In this interview, Resa Lewiss, Brown University class of 1992 and practicing emergency physician, shares her thoughts on COVID-19 in the early days of the virus’ outbreak in the United States.
Lewiss begins by explaining why she anticipated that COVID-19 would spread outside of China and eventually appear in the United States. She describes the challenges of anticipating the outbreak in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she lives and works, noting that the symptoms presented differently in different patients. Lewiss specifically discusses the use of ultrasound technology to help treat COVID-19 patients and addresses the complexity of testing in the United States, particularly as it relates to test availability and quality of the results.
Lewiss goes on to discuss changes in emergency room cases due to social distancing and increased awareness that people become susceptible to germs and viruses when they enter a hospital. She also emphasizes the value of telehealth in treating patients while also practicing social distancing, and emphasizes that this would be a transformative option for the medical community and patients even after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. She briefly mentions changes she notices within her own local community as well as changes in her hospital to encourage rationing of personal protective equipment and disinfectant products. She closes by stating that the pandemic is giving emergency medicine its time and gaining greater appreciation from people outside of the medical community.