Responding to COVID-19 Gets Personal — The Story of One Brooklyn Family

The coronavirus pandemic has already made its dreadful mark on the world. The whole humanity has been shaken up with the consequences of the appalling calamity that has extinguished hundreds of thousands of lives so far. Millions of people have been greatly affected, which resulted in the catastrophe of the social institution. When the outbreak occurred, each of us became responsible for the safety of our own and our families’ lives. Responding to COVID-19 is now a private issue of every human being. The US, like many other countries, is currently going through a period of trial. Having the highest per-capita coronavirus infection rate, Americans are fighting a common enemy by all possible means. Today, we want to share one COVID-19 story that happened to Mark Norov and his family in Brooklyn, New York. This real-life story is a bright example of when and how responding to COVID-19 gets personal and, therefore, comes across as a great lesson for all of us.

Responding to COVID-19 Gets Personal — The Story of One Brooklyn Family

One family found itself facing COVID-19 on multiple fronts. Mark Norov tested positive along with his wife, who at the time was 9 months pregnant with their second baby. And that’s just the beginning of the Norov family’s COVID-19 adventure.

As Mark recalls it, “At 2 am, I got a phone call. ‘Mom can’t breathe, she is going to a hospital. On the way out of the door, she said her goodbyes.’ Despite mom’s fragile condition, the medics did not want to enter the house and made her walk to the car. I do not blame them, but it makes me wonder how my wife would deliver a baby in the current crisis — considering she also tested positive and is due any day now. I would like to visit my mom in a hospital, but nobody is allowed to.”

Ironically, Mark and his father spend a lot of time in hospitals since they run a local business repairing medical equipment. When ventilators, drips, and other critical components in New York’s smaller medical facilities break, it’s often the Medical Equipment Doctor (MED) crew exposing themselves to the virus to fix these vital machines.

While preparing for his wife’s upcoming labor and ensuring his crew’s safety, Mark’s thoughts were with his mother. Was it really necessary to make teachers like Mark’s mother go back to work after a case of the virus was officially diagnosed in her very school? Her age and pre-existing conditions severely hurt her chances of making it through, but what could Mark do other than try to keep her spirits up by phone? After the call, he checked on his daughter — she had a fever — and then returned to bed to his wife, who was not sleeping well. Any day now, she would go into labor.

And yet, Mark had to shut out all the personal problems and concentrate on the things he could control, things that could help the community even while they might not help Mark’s own family. Large hospitals have an entire maintenance department, but smaller facilities and private practices cannot afford them — that is where Medical Equipment Doctor comes in.

Medical Equipment Doctor had a spike in calls from laboratories and smaller hospitals with overworked equipment that needed to get repaired ASAP, with lives at stake and not a minute to waste. To reduce the turnaround time, Mark converted his brother’s house into a part-time repair depot for simple but vital devices such as centrifuges and autoclaves. No laboratory can operate without them.

So far, this story has a happy ending. Mark’s mother stabilized and was discharged from the hospital. His wife, although with difficulties, gave birth, on April 27t​h​, to a healthy girl whom the couple named Tovah (Hebrew for “goodness”). And their community keeps fighting the outbreak and responding to COVID-19 with all it has, including centrifuges and autoclaves repaired by MED.

Mark Norov’s family is now safe, but they continue their fight against the coronavirus, trying to help others as much as they can. With the coronavirus hovering around, we are all at risk, so we should be as cautious as it is only possible. Responding to COVID-19 and turmoil caused by the panic is a civil and moral obligation of every citizen. Stay calm, stay home, and take care of your family!

Originally published at



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