There Is No Noise in a Covid-19 Emergency Room

Somehow I expected a pandemic to be louder

Ambulances lined up outside NYU Langone Health hospital on April 23, 2020. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

People who are struggling to breathe do not talk. They do not make noise.

I arrive at the hospital and am again struck by the lack of noise. Gone are the crying children and loud sounds of chatter. The usual trauma, headache, and abdominal pain patients have virtually disappeared. No one who can avoid the emergency room comes here now. Only the respiratory patients come. One after another — all with the same symptoms.

Associate Professor of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center

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