Six Months In

Lessons from the Covid-19 frontlines through the eyes of Dr. Craig Spencer

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Dr. Craig Spencer. Photo illustration; Photo: Marc Goldberg

This story is part of Six Months In, a special weeklong Elemental series reflecting on where we’ve been, what we’ve learned, and what the future holds for the Covid-19 pandemic.

Around six months ago, New York City was seeing its highest caseload of Covid-19 cases yet. Emergency rooms in the city were packed. There was a shortage of personal protective equipment for physicians, not to mention the fear of running out of ventilators for patients with cases so severe that they required supplemental oxygen. But, about half a year out, things in New York City are slowly making a change.

Craig Spencer, MD, is the director of global health in emergency medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. …

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Photography: Meron Menghistab

Immunologist and new mother Megan O’Connor works nonstop to help her team move their Covid-19 vaccine forward

Around mid-March, when the novel coronavirus was beginning to make its way through the U.S., Megan O’Connor had just returned to work after six months of maternity leave.

Even in the weeks after she had her baby daughter, O’Connor, an immunologist, hadn’t stopped working. “Science doesn’t stop just because you are on a break,” she says. In spare moments while taking care of her newborn, O’Connor spent time at home analyzing experimental data and writing grants. Maternity leave felt isolating for her, and O’Connor says she was eager to go back to work and reclaim her identity as a scientist.

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Science explains why there’s a loss of human compassion during pandemics

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Illustrations: Virginia Gabrielli

Since Washington state, where I live, instated its stay-at-home order over 100 days ago, I’ve noticed a number of changes in my behavior. …


Wudan Yan

Journalist based in Seattle. wudanyan.com

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