More than a quarter of a million Americans have died due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. In Colorado, as of Friday evening, there have been 188,566 cases and 2,745 deaths.
At the Rose Medical Center's intensive care unit in Denver, patients in critical condition are cared for around the clock by a small group of doctors, nurses and technicians.
Through glass walls and doors, I count eight patients. Two rooms are unoccupied. In most of the filled rooms, there is no movement. Some of the patients are in medically induced paralysis and comas because they are on ventilators. Others lie motionless with masks on their faces. One is sitting in a chair. Some have been there for weeks.
All live connected to small forests of machines, monitors, cables and hoses that deliver life-saving medications and data.
None of these patients can have visitors; not on the floor, not peering through the glass windows, and certainly not at bedside. The only movement in the hallway and rooms comes from caregivers, who incessantly peel off and replace layers of plastic gowns, gloves, masks and face shields.
Like similar units all over the state and country, the Rose COVID-19 ICU is a place few people other than patients and caregivers will ever see.
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