If you’re looking forward to ringing in the new year, you’re not alone. Even if you’ve been lucky enough to avoid getting sick, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone’s life. Many have lost loved ones. Others have lost their jobs or their health care. Many of us are just getting by, but with a growing—and deepening—anxiety.
We’ve tried to keep ourselves and others safe by wearing masks, staying home, and avoiding social situations—even missing important milestones like birthdays, graduations, weddings, and holidays with our families and friends. But our health care workers across the country—and the world—have sacrificed much more.
That’s true here at Yale, where our frontline health care workers—physicians, nurses, as well as clinic and laboratory staff—cared for more than 5,000 COVID-19 patients since the pandemic began.
But, as an academic medical center, we have a different mandate. Not only do we treat the patients who come to us for care, our doctors are also here to study, innovate, and advance the practice of medicine, which Yale has a long history of doing. From developing new ways to share research earlier, to innovations in testing, treatments, and technology, to identifying and acting on ways to reduce health disparities and improve on cultural sensitivity in the community response to the pandemic, Yale doctors have risen to the challenge and felt grateful for the opportunity to make an impact in a situation where so many feel so helpless.
From the earliest days of the pandemic, they not only provided around-the-clock care to patients on the frontlines, they also pivoted to revamp laboratories overnight, embarked on numerous studies and clinical trials for treatments, and dug deep into the science behind SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to help us find our way to 2021.
Here is a look back at some key contributions Yale experts made during the pandemic.
[Pictured: The Study at Yale hotel in New Haven lights up windows in a heart shape in support of health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.]