The place was packed at midnight on a Wednesday. After a nurse told the orderly to park my gurney in the only open spot, she warned they might have to move me if someone went into cardiac arrest. I heard the kinds of sounds you hear when someone is dying: floor-shattering coughs, moans, groans. Some patients were sobbing. Doctors and nurses raced from patient to patient…

Because I was quarantined, I was told not to leave my room. No visitors were allowed. Every nurse, doctor, and staff who entered had to be outfitted head-to-toe with gear: mask, clear plastic visor, gloves, and wearing a plastic gown covering almost every inch of their bodies. Because every time someone entered they had to wear special scrubs they would toss out when leaving, doctors would call me by phone to answer questions and fill me in on my test results. Literally, a doctor would stand outside my door and dial my cell. I could hear him talking to me and over the phone. Or they would call from the nurses’ station…

Several nurses told me they are afraid of contracting Covid, “because if I get it, I can’t help patients like you.” They have seen firsthand what happens to that small percentage of people for whom the virus is fatal. Yes, most people will be fine. The vast majority, in fact. But for those who are vulnerable, it is… indescribable what they could face.