Palliative Care in the Time of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a severe acute care crisis of unknown duration, in which potentially hundreds of thousands of people may get sick, some critically, and tens of thousands may die. In this context, the usual concerns of palliative care quality of life, discernment of patient goals, advance care planning, pain and symptom management, and support for caregivers over protracted trajectories—seem pale in comparison. Nevertheless, managing pain and symptoms, ensuring comfort in dying, and supporting families and providers are what palliative care does every day. Palliative care has never been more important than it is right now!