Alfred Zoff, The Meadow Near Krems, 1903
On Thursday, January 7, shortly before 10:00 a.m., I entered a line outside the Viasat Engineering Pavilion at Cal State San Marcos. I stood, wearing a mask, under the warm Southern California winter sun, along with a few hundred strangers (all socially distanced, of course). We were waiting to be tested for COVID-19. Earlier in the week, I had contact with someone who later tested positive, so here I was in line.
While waiting for my turn to be tested, I read parts of the January/February 2021 issue of The Atlantic. One article discussed the difficult ethical and emotional decisions U.S. doctors have been confronted with while providing care during the pandemic. With limited supplies, fatigued medical staff, and, in some cases, little capacity at hospitals, how do health care professionals decide who receives care? First come, first served? Those most likely to survive? Save as many lives as possible?