Perspectives in biology and medicine;
This article highlights the outcomes of COVID-19, from the perspective of surviving patients, health-care systems, and societies. It draws on first-person experience of what it is to go through and survive acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiple organ failure. It summarizes the research on the short- and long-term outcomes for critically ill patients. The physical, cognitive, and emotional sequalae are staggering. Health-care professionals and systems will have to step up to meet the challenge of caring for large numbers of COVID-19 patients after discharge. And societies will have to step up to the ethical questions that the pandemic has made so stark. What kind of societies do we want to be, in terms of guarding the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens?