cover image: Humanities  |  Encounters - COVID-19 and the pulse oximeter’s beep


Humanities | Encounters - COVID-19 and the pulse oximeter’s beep

1 Feb 2024

Hybrid sensations that feel like something in health curricula and clinical practice? The World Health Organization, the US between tropical malaria and the winter Critical to our relationships with meas- Food and Drug Administration, and many flu. [...] I begin to cough, sneeze, and splutter uring devices such as the scale, thermo- reputable public health authorities and decide to repeat the all-too-familiar meter, glucometer, and the oximeter, is encourage us to look out for pale skin and COVID-19 rapid test. [...] I’m lethargic and encapsulated in With COVID-19, this possibly increases my the skin, lips, tongue, and nails, and the the mental space of isolation and soli- illness stress, cortisol, and adrenaline with conjunctivae may also appear grey. [...] Accom- ilege and power as a physician have been imbalances of power are magnified panying the soundtrack of coughs and blunted by the invisible but mighty virus through an asymmetrical lens and I can sneezes is the intermittent beeping of the wreaking havoc on my lungs and body. [...] In The intersection of my medical, Black, care professionals like myself — have been my quest for lucidity, I ponder on how the and patient identities is being tested dur- widely documented, and these cannot be premise of equality can lead to perpetua- ing my febrile ruminations as I stare explained by social determinants of health tion of inequity — identical use of the intently at the beeping de.
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