June 26, 2020

The Reprieve

Michigan has passed its Covid-19 peak, and the state has started opening up. But it’s still been intensely difficult for the staff in the ICU at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. We've embedded with them over the past few months, and tracked how this pandemic has changed them and their city.

Jamiel Law

Note: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. BEEPED VERSION.



We meet the doctors. Rana Awdish spends hours of each day walking the floors of the ICU checking in on her co-workers, which means that maybe more than any single person in the hospital she knows best what the staff has been going through at each stage of this pandemic. One doctor that has deep ties to Detroit is Geneva Tatem. She’s one of the few Black doctors in the ICU and has a deep awareness of what Covid-19 has done to families in the city. (13 minutes)

Act One

Pod Bless America

When it comes to caring for Covid-19 patients, it’s the nurses who are carrying the heaviest burden. Ben Calhoun spent weeks talking to the nurses in the first Covid-19 unit to open in the ICU – Pod 4. (17 minutes)

Act Two

Stan’s Good Day

We found out about a patient from a recording made by young doctor named Stan Linder. Producer Emanuele Berry put this together. It begins with a voice memo Stan recorded for us on his phone. (10 minutes)

Act Three

Granger in a Strange Land

Robert Granger was a patient in Pod 4 for several weeks. During that time, his daughter learns something about him she'd never realized before. (12 minutes)

Act Four

Mr. Eastside

Some of the first Covid-19 patients to arrive at Henry Ford Hospital were police and others who’d attended a community breakfast in early March called "Police and Pancakes." Aaron K. Foley has this story of this breakfast and of one man — Marlowe Stoudamire — who ended up at Henry Ford. (20 minutes)