NEW YORK, NY—Overwhelmed with hordes of COVID-19 patients filling the Emergency Department at Manhattan Medical Center, third-year resident, Dr. Noah Moe Karona, expressed relief and sheer joy upon learning that the man in Room 9 was having a heart attack.
“Every room is COVID-19,” complained Dr. Karona. “Corona here, corona there, corona everywhere! I’ve been dreaming about someone coming in with a good old MI, and thank God, that day is finally here!”
According to eyewitnesses, Dr. Karona ripped off his mask and gown as soon as he entered Room 9 and immediately hugged and kissed the elderly man who appeared to be in severe distress. “Oh, how I’ve missed patients like you,” he gushed, as he stared longingly at the gorgeous lab report indicating elevated troponin levels. “Great news! You’re having a heart attack!”
After initiating treatment, he promptly called the Cardiology fellow who seemed equally elated about the glorious news. “First ER consult in weeks!” the fellow exclaimed.
In fact, non-coronavirus cases have become so rare in this ER that when one showed up later that afternoon, a huge brawl ensued between the residents over who would pick it up. “Intractable diarrhea!” they all shouted. “That one’s mine! I want intractable diarrhea!”
At press time, however, the Cardiology fellow had just shared some depressing news with Dr. Karona: “Sorry to tell you this, but the guy in Room 9 isn’t having an MI after all. The elevated troponin is just from myocardial injury due to his underlying condition.” When Dr. Karona pressed him to reveal what the patient’s underlying condition was, the fellow paused briefly before slowly uttering the 3 most dreadful words possible: “It’s. COVID. 19.”
UPDATE: In even more depressing news for these ER residents, the patient with diarrhea also ended up testing positive for coronavirus. There is, however, a bit of optimism: Dr. Karona hasn’t seen any COVID-19 patients in the last week! That’s right, absolutely none. Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that he kissed that guy in room 9 and is now a COVID-19 patient himself.