Vassar on the Front Lines

Voices from a Pandemic

Ethan Weiss ’91

Dr. Ethan Weiss is a cardiologist specializing in general cardiology at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. His special interests include preventive cardiology, genetics of coronary disease, risk assessment, and heart disease in the young. He was part of a UCSF contingent that traveled to New York City to assist hospitals in their treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Submitted May 14, 2020

Reflection #1 Going Where Needed

“I discussed it with my wife and my kids, and that wasn’t easy, but ultimately they saw in me what I was seeing in myself, which was I had to be there.”

Reflection #2 Dying Alone

“What was particularly sad about the entire experience of caring for patients in the hospital was how alone they all were. In her case that was even more profound because her only living relative, her closest relative, her only friend and important person in her life was her older brother. It turned out they had come to the hospital together, both of them with COVID infection.”

Reflection #3 A Needed Victory

“I don’t want to say there weren’t happy moments, there were. In a sea of sadness, there were some wins.”

Reflection #4 Why Help?

“I do think a lot about what drew me to come to New York. One thing that is surely on the top of my mind was the connection that I had, through Vassar, to New York City. It felt good to come home in some sense to a place I had felt very close to 30 years ago.”

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