Can a young man with Covid-19 pneumonia in the emergency department of an Oklahoma hospital have an effect on an elderly woman with chest pain in Connecticut?

An early-morning call from the head of my Connecticut hospital makes me think he can, and this butterfly effect is something many hospitals will be experiencing in the weeks and months ahead as Covid-19 and the Delta variant continue to surge throughout parts of the U.S.

“We’ve been getting a lot of requests from other hospitals to transfer their patients here,” my boss told me on an early morning call. As the chair of medicine for a large tertiary care hospital in Connecticut, I was used to getting requests from across New England for patients to be transferred

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