These Philly Doctors have Covid-19 but They ARe Still Treating Patients – virtually

Written by on March 30, 2020

This story is part of the SoJo Exchange of COVID-19 stories from the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous reporting about responses to social problems.


It started with a cough, mild but dry. The body aches and chills came two days later, when Aditi Joshi’s fever spiked north of 102 degrees. Soon, the emergency medicine physician lost her senses of smell and taste, piling kimchi and Indian spices onto rice to see if she could detect any heat.

She had contracted the coronavirus, and for nearly two weeks she has been quarantined alone inside her Philadelphia home. But rather than sitting out the greatest fight of her medical career, Joshi has been using telemedicine to continue treating patients with the same COVID-19 symptoms she’s feeling.

“When you get something yourself, you can actually understand what people mean,” said Joshi, who works for Jefferson Health. “And for me, there’s something helpful about feeling like I don’t have to sit back and do nothing about it.”

Appointment requests for video “visits” with doctors have exploded in the past week as patients seek answers on COVID-19 while trying to avoid emergency rooms where they could encounter the virus. At the same time, Medicare and private insurers that once did not cover virtual health care have bent the rules for the pandemic. Patients need only a computer or cell phone with a video function.

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