Opinion: Ventilators can save people with serious Covid-19. The people behind them are even more important

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In mid-March, the day before I flew back to New York City to return to work as a pediatric intensive care unit nurse, my brother, an emergency physician, urged me to quit.

Stay in Chicago near family, he argued, and find a job in a local hospital. That way, if I were to contract Covid-19, my brother could manage my ventilator. And if the city ran out of ventilators, he promised he would manually ventilate me. In retrospect, that’s a very loving proclamation: to personally squeeze the breath into me hour after hour. It would be a tiring, impossible task.

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