Lectures

African Immigrant Care Workers & COVID in the US: Their Fears, Protections, and Recalibrations

This article is part of the series:

The US healthcare system depends on the labor of immigrant healthcare professionals, a fact mainly unrecognized and unreported during the pandemic. Twenty-eight percent of physicians are foreign-born, as are 22 percent of nursing assistants (Batalova 2020). The immigrant professionals make up even more of the workforce in healthcare positions that are undervalued, in comparison to what is considered skilled medical …

Lectures

The Third Choice: Suicide Hotlines, Psychiatry, and the Police

This article is part of the series:

With Covid-19 showing no sign of abating, mental health care (from ongoing therapy to helplines) continues to be an important site of treatment for many Americans. While traditional therapy has continued to be prohibitively expensive for most, teletherapy has been covered by most major health insurance companies since the early days of the pandemic and is currently free for …

Lectures

Staying (at Home) with Brain Fog: “Un-witting” Patient Activism

This article is part of the series:


Scene 1: It’s Sunday afternoon, around one o’clock, and a group of a dozen or so people log onto a video call from their apartments. Occasionally someone’s cat will walk into the frame, obscuring the camera, or a deliveryman will ring the buzzer, interrupting the flow of conversation. But mostly, what we see of each other are scenes of domestic

Lectures

The ‘truth’ about ALS: Reconciling bias, motives, and etiological gaps

This article is part of the series:

In February of 2019, I was giving a talk in New Haven, Connecticut. My paper was an overview of my research, titled “Is It a ‘White Disease’? ALS, Race, and Suffering in St. Louis, MO.” I closed with an ethnographic vignette from a key informant, Tyrell, whose brother had died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) three years prior, after being …

Lectures

Empty Beds and Mounting Deaths: COVID-19 and U.S. Healthcare’s Systemic Failures

This article is part of the series:

It was afternoon in early April and I was only two-thirds of the way through my 12-hour shift. Between checking on how one patient was breathing and whether another was ready for discharge, I paused at the edge of an open walkway conjoining three diamond-shaped towers. Taking a deep breath behind my face shield and two layers of masks, I …

Lectures

Enlisted Laborers of Public Health: overlaps in the work of soldiers in historical perspective

This article is part of the series:

In April, a friend relayed her experience of getting a test for COVID-19 at a drive-through site at a university in Rhode Island, describing “dozens of camouflaged National Guard soldiers directing grim-faced drivers.” After more than 12 days of persistent fever and two conversations with her doctor, she reported as instructed, alone in her car, and held her ID up …