Daniel Brenner  ·  First Wave for 5280


Colorado had its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 5, 2020.

5280 Magazine sent Daniel Brenner to document Denver's health care workers navigating The First Wave of treatment.


Dr. Frank Lansville has handled stressful, traumatic situations during his 25-year career, including care for victims of the Aurora theater shooting in 2012. He felt the first days of COVID-19 were more protracted and uncertain than anything he had ever experienced.

“This is the first time in our careers where we’re constantly at risk too,” he said. “The mentality of an ER doc is to charge into the room. We still have a sense of urgency with what we do. But we have to spend more time pausing.”


Dr. Rania Khan was 27-weeks pregnant in late February. “I experienced some complications, and the baby’s heart stopped beating. I ended up losing the child,” she said. “I was supposed to take a lot of time off, but I decided to come back to work after about 14 days. It had a lot to do with COVID-19. I wanted to be present.”


Dr. Steven Brown felt like things were finally beginning to calm down in early May. “I think one of the biggest concerns is getting people to understand that if they think they’re having a serious health issue, fear of COVID-19 shouldn’t keep them away from the hospital,” he said.


Daniel Brenner  ·  DanielBrennerPhoto.com  ·  danieljbrenner@gmail.com  ·  303.564.2050

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