On COVID time, we’ve become accustomed to waiting. We’re waiting for the next new protocol, waiting for life after the vaccine, waiting for warmer weather, waiting for next month, waiting for someone, waiting for what? As an editorial assistant who interacts with anesthesiology through words, I know my experience with time makes me among the most fortunate. I have not had to endure grueling shifts in layers of PPE and bear witness to the suffering that so many colleagues have. But I gained an entirely new understanding of waiting when I observed a double-lung transplant for a patient whose lungs had been damaged beyond repair by the virus that sent us into our extended waiting.

In the bluish overcast of a weekend morning, I arrive at the hospital in jeans and a black sweater, with a...

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