Coronavirus Diary (23): “A Disdain for Science”

A plea from my sister-in-law, Jessica Franklin, MD, of Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey. She posted this on Facebook, and was reluctant to have it posted publicly, describing it as more a “frustrated, heart-broken rant than a reasoned opinion.” But there’s been no paucity of reasoned opinions at this point. Every other commenter on her Facebook post has a story to tell about someone’s backsliding or refusing to comply with social distancing, the ban on gatherings, etc. If we’re going to break our health care workers and our health care facilities in this excruciating way, we should have the courage to watch it happen in real time.  Continue reading

Coronavirus Diary (14): “The Eyes of a Masked Stranger”

A message from my sister-in-law Jessica Franklin, MD, after her first full day treating COVID-19 patients at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, a region (meaning New York City and its immediate suburbs) that’s been described as “the epicenter of the global pandemic.” Her message begins in the block quote below the fold.

As a one-time hospital “environmental services worker” (aka “janitor”), I particularly appreciate Jess’s inclusion of that profession in what she says below. If physicians and nurses will have to go without personal protective equipment, what do you think will happen to janitors? I can tell you what happened to us when I was working as a hospital janitor at Overlook Hospital in my 20s. We were told to clean up hazardous waste without any personal protective equipment at all. Because if we didn’t do it, who would? At that wage, what choice would anyone have? Say “no”? Continue reading

Coronavirus Diary (9): Urgent Request for Medical Supplies

Via my sister-in-law, Jessica Franklin, MD:



We are in the same situation as all hospitals and running extremely low on supplies. Our priority is to protect our staff and we are exploring all options to get much needed supplies.

Request for Supplies Issued to the Community

Via email, Valley has issued a request for surgical masks, N95 masks, non-latex gloves, and fluid-resistant isolation gowns to more than 300,000 members of our community.

If you know someone who may have supplies either at home or at a place of business, please ask them to drop the supplies off between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday – Friday at the hospital’s main entrance. A Valley staff member will be there beginning Monday to receive the supplies so those donating do not need to get out of their car.

Address: 223 N. Van Dien Ave., Ridgewood, New Jersey 07450