For Those on the Frontlines of Covid-19

Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

Most people seem to be at their best when life is predictable and unfortunate events are at least manageable. As many of you may have learned over the years, because of my training in infectious diseases in the beginning years of my career, I have always expected the Black Plague to be just a few hours away. I become my very best in chaotic times. Chaos causes me to become utterly calm and completely focused. 

My last day in the office was Wednesday. The staff and I created a “virtual war room” for the management of our practice.  Each staff member has tasks and no one will become ill because of exposure to others who are infected on public transportation or in crowded elevators. The staff and I are “sheltering in place” in our homes and beginning a telemedicine practice, newly sanctioned by the federal government in response to the Covid-19 crisis. 

On Thursday, The Husband and I moved from our small rental apartment in New York City to our village home two hours away. I spent the next two days setting up a home office for managing patient care remotely. Managing new technology may be a steep learning curve for a few days. However, I have great tutors and back up for connecting and communicating with patients who need answers and support from the doctor who has known many of them for a very long time.

Most of you know that alcoholic beverages and I are not great friends. I have known too many men and women who have been done in by the drink and too many lives affected by the collateral damage of alcohol overuse. However, The Husband and I decided that in this new time away from our old lives, that we would have a small drink every night. We are sharing our first drink with you.

So glasses up for our small toast to each of you: “We hope that sheltering in place for as long as is necessary will flatten the curve. We also hope that these small individual sacrifices will give those on the frontlines of this battle against the Covid-19 a fighting chance to care for those who are sick enough to be in an overwhelmed emergency department and possibly admitted to understaffed in-hospital wards.” 

And here is a big toast to all those who are on the frontlines: “You are all heroes and we must commit to providing you with the equipment you need to stay safe and enable you to provide the best care possible during this pandemic.” 

Do your part to remain connected to others, to contribute financially as you can in order to help those who have lost jobs and may lose hope. We are all in this one together.

Dr. Pat


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  • Barbara Thornbrough March 27, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    Glad you are able to set up the away from the city. Your patients are in good hands with you and your caring and attention to every detail. We are Delray Beach, Florida and we are trying to hunker down for awhile.
    We are now 76 years old so although we consider ourselves in good shape we are very afraid of this virus-who isn’t? We are lucky as we can get out to walk and breath sea air into our lungs. Since I have never been a drinker I can only raise my kombucha glass to you and hope that you and your patients are safe and paying close attention to staying inside, hand washing and not bringing anything into the house that might have the virus on it. Lysol spray is great if you can find it. Here there is not one single desanitizer in our grocery store.
    Neither is there a roll of TP. This is, of course, not really an issue in the scheme of things. We are fortunate in this country to have many luxuries- like soap and water to help us fight infection. Stay healthy everyone.
    We in Florida are praying for our beautiful city to be back and up and running soon. BT

  • Jane March 24, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    Thank you for reaching out, and for your continued commitment to helping us through difficult health passages in our lives.

  • Andrea March 23, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    From my home to yours I send love and hopes for a safe future

  • Pamela March 23, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    So grateful for your guidance and support during this terrible time. Wishes for you, The Husband, and all the boys and their families to stay well!

  • Barbara Chapman March 23, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    And a toast to you, my lifesaver and The Husband!!!!
    Love, love, love.

  • Sherry March 23, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Thank you, Dr Allen and Dr Ford for the encouragement, advice and for keeping us connected. With love and admiration from Sherry