In many ways, Tanya Fields’s attempt to get testing for Covid-19 is the by-now-familiar American tale of an ill-equipped health-care system. But to her, it’s more like a black American tale.
In March, the 39-year-old began experiencing classic symptoms of the virus, including a fever, body aches, no sense of smell, and shortness of breath. Fields, who lives in the Bronx, in the lowest-income congressional district in the country, decided not to go to the local hospitals she figured would be overwhelmed with patients. She traveled instead to the academic Montefiore Medical Center, waiting for hours in the cold before the facility sent her home without a test.