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I watched her cling to life for weeks on a ventilator, but she never saw my face. As an infectious disease doctor during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, I was called to evaluate her in the hospital’s intensive care unit. The hours spent poring through her medical record and debating how best to manage this infection took place behind the scenes, without the standard trip to the bedside.
I saw her through the glass doors of the intensive care unit, a woman my mother’s age with dark hair curled on her pillow. Machines and medicines were keeping her alive, and her face was angled towards the window, as though despite her chemical slumber she sought the warmth of the sunlight pouring in. No visitors were permitted, of course, so the only faces she saw in person were masked and goggled; her care team had the disconcerting look of alien invaders.
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Corresponding Author: Allison Bond, MD, MA, Department of Infectious Diseases, University of California, San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Ave, Ste S380, San Francisco, CA 94143 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.
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