In mid-February, just before the reality of Covid-19 took hold in the United States, I was in Loreto, Peru’s largest province, working with a medical team to provide health care to villages generally cut off from such services. These were mainly communities of huts on or along the Marañon River, with limited or no access to running water, toilets, electricity, or cellphone reception.

Little did I know that the trip would provide me with valuable lessons about what I would be facing on my return home.

In Loreto, the clinics we worked in often consisted of school desks covered with tablecloths. Even the most basic personal protective equipment, like gloves and hand sanitizer, were in short supply, if available at all. The types of medications were

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