“I have to go to work and do my part,” writes Alessia Bonari. “Please do yours too.”
Even at the best of times, it’s easy to forget the hard work medical professionals put in to help heal people every day – often at the sacrifice of their own personal wellbeing. As hysteria over the coronavirus pandemic reaches fever pitch, however, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers need our support more than ever.
Alessia Bonari, a young nurse working on the frontline of Italy’s fight against Covid-19, has underlined the forgotten human impact of the virus.
In Bonari’s photo, the bruises on her face – caused by wearing a medically-approved protective face mask for hours on end – are clearly visible.
“I am a nurse and right now I am facing this medical emergency,” she writes alongside the striking image.
“I’m afraid to go to work. I’m afraid because the mask might not stick properly to my face, or I may accidentally touch myself with dirty gloves, or maybe the lenses do not cover my eyes fully and something might slip by.”
Bonari continues: “I am physically tired because the protective devices hurt, the lab coat makes me sweat and, once dressed, I can no longer go to the bathroom or drink for six hours.
“I am mentally exhausted, like all my colleagues who have been in the same condition for weeks, but this will not prevent us from doing our jobs.”
She finishes by saying: “To anyone who is reading this post, I beg you not to undermine the efforts we are making. Please don’t be selfish: if you’re asked to stay home, do so, and protect those who are most vulnerable.
“I can’t afford the luxury of going back to my quarantined house. I have to go to work and do my part. Please do yours too.”
At the time of this article’s publication, Italy has more than 12,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and a death toll of 827.
Nearly 900 people with the virus in Italy are in intensive care, according to World Health Organization (WHO) head Michael Ryan.
A number of online fundraising pages have been set up to help raise funds for the medical equipment deemed necessary to deal with the COVID-19 emergency, including protective devices such as suits, masks and protective glasses.
As previously reported by Stylist, WHO has declared that the ongoing coronavirus outbreak is a “pandemic” (aka a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time).
WHO chief Dr Tedros said cases outside China had soared 13-fold in two weeks.
He said he was “deeply concerned” by “alarming levels of inaction”.
However, while the situation is undoubtedly serious, Dr Daniel Atkinson has said: “At present this situation looks like it is extremely serious. Saying that it is an ‘emergency’, however, would imply that we all ought to be taking radical action to avert disaster.
“In reality what we have to do is be more careful with our hygiene – which, while a very simple thing to do, is likely to be the one thing that makes the most difference to the way that the situation progresses.”
If you think you might have coronavirus, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do. Do not go to your GP or local hospital.
Image: Instagram/Alessia Bonari