Lenox Hill episode 9 recap – what happened in the one-off special

By Daniel Hart
Published: June 24, 2020 (Last updated: February 7, 2024)
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Netflix documentary series Lenox Hill episode 9 - Pandemic


The one-off special episode of Lenox Hill brings a stinging, emotional reality of this pandemic — it’s real, too real, and it will change the world forever.

This recap of Netflix documentary series Lenox Hill episode 9, “Pandemic” contains episode-specific information.

Access all the recaps of the series.

How does Lenox Hill episode 9, “Pandemic” open?

Episode 9 begins with media snippet discussing how COVID-19 has arrived in the USA. The episode then flits to March 9, 2020, at the hospital for its first COVID emergency huddle led by Jill Kalman, MD, and executive director of Lenox Hill Hospital. They are discussing resources and equipment which is scarce — episode 9 starts with the warnings of preparation for what’s to come. By March 13, 2020, there were 1,264 infections and 36 deaths in the USA. John Boockvar talks about how he wanted the country shut down a week ago.

I’ve trained my whole life for this. 

By March 25, 2020, there were 51,455 infections and 667 deaths. Mirtha Macri heads into the Emergency Department and she feels like she’s trained her whole life for this pandemic but she doesn’t want to be exposed due to the pregnancy. John tells David to tell their team that the front line staff is already getting infected, which means they will be sent in next. By April 4, 2020, the number of infections is 241,575 and deaths are at 5,849 in the USA. It’s all hands on deck and it’s the beginnings of a war against the virus. Lenox Hill episode 9, “Pandemic” shows how this is unheard of for these health professionals — it’s a genuine shock for them all.

Personal and emotional changes

By April 6, 2020, there were 307,318 infections and 8,358 deaths in the USA. David talks about how the country is under attack and how they are trying to help in many ways, including clinical trials for COVID-19. David says they were afraid of this and now it is real — New York is in the thick of it as the epicenter. Mirtha tells us that any room labeled with an “X” needs complete decontamination before it is used again due to patients with the virus being in there. She talks about how anxiety is rising in the ER; they are going through personal and emotional changes.

I’ve just met them

By April 15, 2020, there were 576,362 infections and 23,366 deaths in the USA. John tells the story of a father and a husband with three children — when this man learned he had COVID-19 he collapsed. David states how different it is in ER as you have no relationship with the patient — they are intubated and you’ve just met them — he fields calls telling families the inevitable, that their loved ones are going to die.

Stress and anxiety

Mirtha discusses how they have refrigerated morgue trucks outside every hospital — a horrific process. She discusses how she’s starting to get stressed — one of the nurses she knows has COVID-19 and another nurse is in the ICU and she doesn’t understand how they got it as they were so careful. When she gets home, it’s the worst part of the night because she can’t see her family. Lenox Hill episode 9, “Pandemic” highlights the emotional toll on the health community whose lives have changed drastically.

End of life

John talks of a young man with brain complications with COVID-19 that he was hoping to save but after weeks of treatment, they won’t be able to save him and he needs to end his life with the family. The mother asks John if he’d do it for his son — these words floored John evidently. It’s difficult to imagine this happening to any parent and it goes to show, life is too short — it could happen to anyone.

How does Lenox Hill episode 9, “Pandemic” end?

Mirtha talks about a long shift that was really bad and that she really wants to see her family. By May 12, 2020, there were 1,298,287 infections and 78,652 deaths in the USA. Mirtha talks about how this pandemic has brought the health professional community closer together as a family. By May 20, 2020, there were 1,477,459 infections and 89,271 deaths in the USA. Jill Kalman does a tribute gathering outside the hospital to those that they have lost. Jill asks the community to shout out their names. David says he doesn’t think it will ever be the same. Outside his window are the BLM protests chanting, “I can’t breathe”. The one-off special episode of Lenox Hill brings a stinging, emotional reality of this pandemic — it’s real, too real, and it will change the world forever.


Mirtha Macri, DO — Emergency Medicine

David Langer, MD — Chair, Neurosurgery

John Boockvar, MD — Vice Chair, Neurosurgery

Jill Kalman, MD — Executive Director, Lenox Hill Hospital

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