Discussion: On the front lines of the coronavirus crisis

Discussion: On the front lines of the coronavirus crisis

Updated:

April 17, 2020 · 3:00 PM EDT

By
The World staff

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US President Donald Trump is expected to announce new guidelines to reopen the economy after a monthlong shutdown over the coronavirus outbreak, while leaders elsewhere are more cautious.

The United Kingdom’s Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Thursday the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country is starting to peak, but it is too early to lift the lockdown because the virus would “run rampant” if the government eased social distancing measures.

And Spain on Thursday reported a rise in its national toll of deaths from the coronavirus in the past day, but figures from the region of Catalonia indicated the real total so far could be several thousand more.

Spain has been one of the countries worst hit by the global epidemic, but it has tentatively started to ease a lockdown imposed on March 14.

Related: Racing to develop a drug to fight COVID-19

As health experts, heads of state and business leaders debate easing restrictions, hospital workers remain under intense pressure trying to combat COVID-19.

What are the challenges facing our medical responders during this unprecedented time?

As part of our weekly series with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, The World’s Jonathan Dyer moderated a discussion with Dr. Paul Biddinger, director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Disaster Medicine.

Biddinger, offered a firsthand account of what it’s like to be on the hospital front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic as deaths surge.