What it’s like to die from Covid-19

“I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy”: Doctors describe what their sickest coronavirus patients endure.

We’re approaching half a million deaths from the coronavirus in the US. But most of these deaths — and the grueling medical ordeals leading up to them — have remained largely hidden from view. The majority of terminally ill Covid-19 patients typically spend their last days or weeks isolated in ICUs to keep the virus from spreading.

“Most of what I’m seeing is behind closed curtains, and the general public isn’t seeing this side of it,” says Todd Rice, a critical care and pulmonology specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Even “families are only seeing a little bit of it,” he says. As a result, most of us have been “protected and sheltered from seeing the worst of this disease.”