News Perspective Online September 2020

COVID-19 Warriors

Houston Methodist Hospital, home to Perkins’s Houston-Galveston Extension program, is in the center of the battle against COVID-19.  As infections surged in Texas this summer, the hospital has opened one intensive care unit after another for the most critically ill patients, many of whom are Latino.  

The New York Times has been embedded in the hospital and filed this moving report on the struggle, with video and audio clips from patients, their families and front line medical professionals.  

Many of these patients endure cascading tragedies, with multiple relatives struck by the virus,” the story reports. “A man recovers and goes home from the hospital, but leaves his critically ill wife behind. A patriarch with two dozen ailing family members fights for his life after attending his son’s funeral. A grandmother may die because she celebrated a grandchild’s birthday. A father of three undergoing cancer treatment is thought to have been infected at the hospital. 

Since the fall of 2018, students in Perkins School of Theology’s Houston-Galveston Extension Program have reported to Houston Methodist Hospital to attend many of their classes. The hospital provides classroom space, along with tech support and meals, for the two one-week sessions in which students gather in person every semester. Perkins and Houston Methodist are both affiliated with the United Methodist Church.