In the world’s ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, no one is risking their lives more than the healthcare workers. While most corporate employees can now enjoy the privilege of working from home, that’s simply not the case for them. They continue to be out there, sacrificing their own lives to save others. Over the past few weeks, photos of overworked doctors, nurses, and other medical workers have gone viral online. These prove the sad reality that’s happening for several months now, in most hospitals around the world.
It’s been over three months now since the announcement of the first-ever confirmed COVID-19 case. However, the number continues to drastically increase each day, with over 500,000 confirmed cases to date. While the death toll has reached over 20,000, the number of recovered cases remains to be significantly higher at over 120,000.
Photos of overworked doctors, nurses, and medical workers have recently gone viral online
“This is a sprint and marathon in one – it’s a very intense strain, but at the same time it takes a long time and the end is not yet in sight.
“After 13 hours in ICU after taking off all my protective devices, I took a selfie.”
“This is reality.”
“This is an anesthesiologist, Dr. John Henao, who is running out of PPE (personal protective equipment) at his hospital.”
“Just finished a 12 hour shift swabbing symptomatic covid19 patients are our drive thru testing site in Cleveland. We collectively swabbed 629.”
“My battle scars”
Even so, this doesn’t change the fact that the pandemic has been overwhelming both global and domestic healthcare systems. Health facilities have started operating way beyond their standard capacities. Even hospitals have been experiencing a shortage of supplies and equipment these days. This has left medical workers with no option but to improvise even their own personal protective equipment (PPE).
“I’ve been a critical care nurse for 13 years, and I’ve never seen anything like what is happening now in our healthcare system.”
“I am a nurse and right now I am facing this medical emergency.”
“This is my new reality. Our unit has turned into an ITU and I spent 10.5hrs with 1hr off in full PPE with covid patients.”
Emergency Nurse in Italy
“As most of the world is isolating, shutting down, and running as far away from the virus, this guy will be running into it.”
“Under the overalls, masks and visors we are the ones who laugh, cry, hope and cheer for our patients.”
Nurse’s Life in the midst of the Pandemic
Bruises on a Nurse’s Face after Shift
With insufficient protective gear, medical workers have become susceptible to contracting the virus more than ever. Sadly, some hospitals are already suffering from limited manpower as some members begin to fall ill too. So, those who remain in the field have no choice but to work longer shifts and risk their lives even more.
“I’m afraid when we run out of resources— supplies and staff. “
“Here’s a massive thank you to the ICU nurses, intensivists, and RTs who are wearing this PPE for an upwards of 30-40 minutes, if not longer…”
“Hospital policy now mask at all times.”
Health Worker at the Frontline of the Pandemic
In addition to urging the public to stay home, some took to social media to share their after-shift selfies. And most, if not all, of these images show their severely bruised faces and extremely tired eyes. Coupled with heartbreaking stories, their posts prove that the pandemic is very much real. It’s not something that we should take very lightly.
“This is what you look like after wearing an N95 mask all day.”
This is what you look like after wearing an N95 mask all day. We don’t have enough of anything. We need @SenSanders more than ever now. Help us help you. #SandersSisters #NursesForBernie pic.twitter.com/jfVKPct2cD
— genithecrankynurse (@genithecrankyn1) March 19, 2020
“Dr. Joy Vink is on the frontline of NYC’s battle with COVID-19, but without access to proper personal protective gear, she’s has no choice but to ‘get creative.'”
Dr. Joy Vink is on the frontline of NYC’s battle with COVID-19, but without access to proper personal protective gear, she’s has no choice but to “get creative.” Forget face shields – she is working in SWIM GOGGLES…our #HealthCareHeroes deserve better! pic.twitter.com/UVVFuK9gYp
— Amplify Her NYC (@AmplifyHerNYC) March 22, 2020
The images show the bruises on the faces of overworked doctors and healthcare workers after working long hours in their PPE
“This is my mom. She’s 71 years old and screening people from the afternoon to midnight.”
This is my mom. She’s 71 years old and screening people from the afternoon to midnight. Thank the people that expose themselves and go through hell just to make sure people are safe. pic.twitter.com/e94ABbqJJj
— Cam (@TakinPichas) March 20, 2020
“This is my mom. She’s my hero. She’s a 60 year old primary care physician testing patients for #COVID19.”
This is my mom. She’s my hero. She’s a 60 year old primary care physician testing patients for #COVID19. She is putting her health on the line to test patients, get them the care they need, and do what she can to prevent community spread and the overburdening of our hospitals. pic.twitter.com/zRjppSxpPn
— Julie Silverbrook (@JMSilverbrook) March 19, 2020
“This is the face of someone who just spent 9 hours in personal protective equipment moving critically ill Covid19 patients around London.”
This is the face of someone who just spent 9 hours in personal protective equipment moving critically ill Covid19 patients around London.
I feel broken – and we are only at the start. I am begging people, please please do social distancing and self isolation #covid19 pic.twitter.com/hs0RQdvsn3
— Natalie Silvey (Stay at home – save lives) (@silv24) March 21, 2020
“This was me last night on shift as a critical nurse when I went on my lunch hour after wearing a mask and all the gear…”
I feel your pain this was me last night on shift as a critical nurse when I went on my lunch hour after wearing a mask and all the gear and do you know what I wouldn’t be doing anything else! pic.twitter.com/o1BtcyLFPk
— Emma Sterba (??????) (@84sterbz) March 21, 2020
This is the sad reality that most hospitals have been experiencing for several months now
“Here’s mine from yesterday after only 4 hours”
Here’s mine from yesterday after only 4 hours pic.twitter.com/WHrtP2xypM
— Liz Staveacre RN (@lizzys39) March 21, 2020
“I was honestly wondering if everyone’s face was bright red after taking off their mask.”
I was honestly wondering if everyone’s face was bright red after taking off their mask.
Stay safe everyone! pic.twitter.com/w7FVunMNdr
— Denise Beady (@RyTy21) March 22, 2020
These are the faces of some of the Italian nurses after 13 long hours of work in ICU.Much tiredness,fear & concern in addition to the brands, injuries & heat caused by protective Equipment.Stay Strong ??#andratuttobene #PakistanStandsWithItaly @gilmour_wendy @azzurri @ItalyMFA pic.twitter.com/YMNARv5G6C
— Qaiser NAWAB #StayHomeSaveLives? (@qaisernawab098) March 22, 2020
So, let’s take all necessary precautionary measures—staying home, social distancing, frequent handwashing, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle—to heart. That’s the least we could do to help our modern-day heroes.