For the Power of Women issue, Variety talked to some of the female frontline workers in New York who are caring for the communities in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. For more, click here.
Pregnant women who have contracted COVID-19 are especially worried about the safety of their babies and families. Megan Savage, a maternal fetal medicine fellow at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, dedicates her time to treating them.
Savage and the four others on the hospital’s OB COVID-19 Team meet with patients and evaluate their medical histories and symptoms, devising a proper protocol for treatment. They started seeing coronavirus-positive patients in February, and in early March witnessed an uptick of sick pregnant women.
“I think women in general are pretty selfless, courageous people who really have the ability to adapt and evolve,” Savage says. “Most notably, women just want to protect their pregnancies and their families.”
In addition to taking care of her patients, Savage has been looking out for her team. She has raised more than $10,000 in funding to feed dozens of members of her unit, including behind-the-scenes workers.
“There’s so much gratitude that people send our way, but there are so many people behind the scenes — environmental services, maintenance men, cafeteria workers, respiratory technicians, you name it — and without them the hospital would come to an absolute screeching halt,” Savage says. “I just felt like the doctors shouldn’t just be the people being recognized.”
One of the biggest differences that Savage has noticed in her unit is the emotional change in her peers. Doctors often compartmentalize their emotions, but she’s observed that they are more vulnerable now as they cope with the unknowns of the virus.
“I think we learned that when you overlay that vulnerability with honesty and good communication, that can actually be an asset,” Savage says. “And I think we’ve become better at sharing the human aspects of ourselves. I sort of hope that’s something that we all learn, that it’s OK to be human. It’s OK to not know things all the time.”