As the Covid-19 pandemic burned through Chicago, New York, Detroit, and other large U.S. cities this spring, residents serenaded and applauded hospital health care workers. Rightly so: They were doing amazing, high-risk, and innovative work. We should also have been celebrating primary care physicians, who kept finding new ways to continue caring for their patients during times of lockdown and hardship, often putting themselves at risk of being infected with the coronavirus.
I interviewed several primary care doctors about how they cared for their patients, themselves, and their families during the first few months of the Covid-19 outbreak in the United States. All of them work in New York state, which was one of the hardest-hit regions in the country during the March, April, and May course of the pandemic. As a standard part of my research, I always use pseudonyms when telling the stories of the people I interview.