Bishnu Virachan was a bicycle deliveryman for a grocery store in Queens. With New York City locked down, he was busier than ever.
But in early April, as he was watching television, he felt “a pain in my heart.” It frightened him, but he did not go to the emergency room. Mr. Virachan, 43, was even more afraid of that.
“What can I do? What can I do?” he asked. “Everywhere, the coronavirus.”
After a few days, pain overrode fear and he went to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. Doctors discovered a nearly complete blockage of his left main coronary artery.
A surgeon opened the artery, but Mr. Virachan was left with a weakened heart. Had he waited much longer, doctors said, he would have died.
Fear of the coronavirus is leading people with life-threatening emergencies, like a heart attack or stroke, to stay home when ordinarily they would have