Life lessons: what a doctor learned from death and dying in Covid wards

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Emma Goldberg followed doctors when Covid first hit New York. Now, as the Delta variant surges across the US, she retells the story of an ICU physician during the horror of the first wave

We’re playing a song for you,” Dr Luis Seija said softly, gazing at his patient. His voice, muffled by two masks and a face shield, fought to be heard above the noise of the hospital room. There were monitors beeping, alarms ringing, the hum of the negative-pressure machines.

“We’re playing this for you,” Dr Seija told the patient, a Latina woman in her 60s. “So you can dance the night away.” He took her hand into his own, and he noticed, right away, how soft her skin felt.

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