50 photos of the health care system during COVID-19
Since the first COVID-19 patient in the United States tested positive on Jan. 20, 2020, The Covid Tracking Project reports that there have been 11.37 million known coronavirus cases in the country (as of Nov. 19, 2020). New cases in the U.S. have officially topped 150,000 a day (a record number), and experts warn that things could only get worse as we move into the colder months. Whether we like it or not, it seems the pandemic will continue to dominate headlines and affect our daily lives for months to come.
While many of us feel the burden the global pandemic has had on our day-to-day lives, those challenges often pale in comparison to the toll the coronavirus has taken on the country’s health care system. Hundreds of thousands of patients have been hospitalized with COVID-19. Health care workers have administered 171.9 million coronavirus tests (as of Nov. 19, 2020). These numbers don’t include the countless number of hours doctors and nurses have poured into the rehabilitation and recovery of COVID-19 patients who face long-lasting symptoms like heart and respiratory issues or joint pain.
On Nov. 18, the U.S. hit the tragic milestone of 250,000 deaths from the virus. "Lost on the Frontline," a partnership between The Guardian and Kaiser, tracks the number of health care worker deaths in the U.S. As of Nov. 19 that number reached 1,396.
To demonstrate just how difficult the past 300 days have been for health care workers in this country, Stacker compiled a collection of 50 incredible images showcasing the United States’ health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic. From the early days of the virus’ spread to photos taken during the second wave, these pictures illustrate just how tirelessly frontline medical personnel have worked to curb this virus, care for the sick, and overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges. Clicking through these images, it’s clear that we owe these professionals a debt of gratitude for the incredible work they’ve done—and a reckoning for the lack of hazard pay and structural support, and for the amount trauma so many continue to endure.
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Health And Human Services briefs the media on the department's response to the coronavirus in January
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is joined by (from left to right) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Director Nancy Messonnier, and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, for a press conference on the coordinated public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, only a handful of cases had been reported in the United States.
Drive-through coronavirus testing centers open
In March, health care workers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment checked in with people waiting to be tested for COVID-19 at the state's first drive-up testing center in Denver. As of November 2020, all 50 states have drive-up testing centers, many of which provide free or low-cost tests for anyone who wants one.
Doctors transition to telemedicine appointments
Two staff members wheel Amwell telemedicine carts into the entrance of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Benioff Children's Hospital in Mission Bay, San Francisco, California. As a result of the outbreak, patients were increasingly asked to conduct telemedicine appointments in an effort to avoid infecting health care workers.
Non-profit community health centers treat patients during COVID-19 pandemic
In Seattle, Washington, Dr. Alan Chun checks on a patient who suffered a fall at the International Community Health Services’ assisted living facility, the Legacy House. The ICHS nonprofit clinic cares for uninsured patients, low income people, and immigrants. ICHS and other nonprofit medical centers all across the country faced the expiration of federal funding in May as the coronavirus continued to spread.
A coronavirus patient in recovery
Michael Barker, 69, a retired assistant chief of The Boca Raton Fire Rescue Services Department, poses in his living room while suffering from COVID-19. Barker, who believes he contracted the virus while on vacation, told reporters, "This is a strange illness. When you breathe it hurts, makes you confused and light headed. It killed my appetite and I’ve lost 14 pounds.”
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Drive for donations to collect personal protective equipment for hospitals and health care providers
Dave Maddux, special projects manager for Project Cure, steadies a pallet of donated goods onto a truck during a drive to collect personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies for health care workers in Colorado. The drive’s organizers, which included the Denver Broncos and several nonprofit organizations, say PPE supplies are in a "critical shortage" amid the coronavirus outbreak.
New York City becomes the center of the coronavirus outbreak in the US
People line up outside Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York City to get tested for the coronavirus on March 24, 2020. At this time, New York had about a third of the nation’s confirmed coronavirus cases, making it the center of the outbreak in the United States.
Hospitals cancel hundreds of doctor visits
Boston resident Marion Jones, 79, was among the many patients who found their non-urgent appointments canceled by overwhelmed hospitals and clinics. Some large facilities, like Massachusetts’ Tufts Medical Center, saw routine procedures plummet by 30-50%.
New York City hospital adds new protocols and triage tents to address coronavirus
Before entering the main emergency department area at St. Barnabas hospital in the Bronx, New York City, doctors test hospital staff with flu-like symptoms for COVID-19. Triage tents like these were set up in front of hospitals all over the hard-hit city.
Temporary field hospitals are set up around the country
As COVID-19 cases continued to rise around the country, many hospitals found themselves overwhelmed. Military personnel helped establish field hospitals, like this one at the CenturyLink Event Center in Seattle, Washington, to provide life-saving care for non-COVID-19 patients. When completed, the center had the capabilities of a normal hospital, including an operating room, intensive care units, X-rays, and more.
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