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Coronavirus: doctors are sharing the sacrifices they are making to be on the frontline

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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Wondering who the heroes of the coronavirus pandemic are? Here are the stories of the nurses, physicians, paramedics and hospital staff who are risking everything to treat the hundreds of thousands of people infected with the virus. 

We all know the statistics. More than 202,000 cases of coronavirus and 8,010 deaths in countries including China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, the US and the UK.

But what about the people working on the frontline? Do you know the statistics about the doctors, nurses, paramedics and hospital staff who are putting the health and safety of other people before their own in order to fight this pandemic? Do you know their stories? 

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Several doctors around the world are starting to share tales of the sacrifices they are making in order to continue treating patients infected with coronavirus.

They include a doctor named Seema, who has decided that she will separate from her family within their home indefinitely. “So that I can keep treating you, whilst keeping my family safe,” she explained in a Twitter post that has since gone viral. “It hurts. No hugs from my girls, no cuddles from my partner. PLS socially distance NOW, to make my sacrifice worth it.” 

She’s not the only healthcare worker who has used social media to shed light on the sacrifices they are making to stay on the coronavirus frontline.

Across the UK and the US, physicians and nurses are sharing stories of their decision to isolate from their families in order to continue putting themselves at risk. One tweet thread – shared by a woman whose spouse is an emergency physician in an American hospital and has moved into their garage apartment to separate himself from the rest of family – begged followers to make his sacrifice worthwhile by social distancing as much as possible.

“We have a three wk old newborn and two young kids and just can’t risk it. It pains me to wonder how many weeks will go by that he won’t get to hold our new baby or see our older kids. This is one example of the sacrifice that healthcare workers are making for our communities,” she wrote.

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“It is difficult to see pictures of all the people at bars and restaurants, socialising, making play dates, and ignoring social distancing recommendations when I know my husband and many other healthcare workers are risking their lives to treat more sick patients,” she continued.

“Please, take this pandemic seriously. I hope the projections of infections and serious cases are incorrect. If not, our healthcare system will be overloaded. And already we are seeing the strain. Please thank a healthcare worker for what they are doing and sacrificing.” 

Elsewhere on social media, other healthcare and hospital workers have spoken up about the difficult choices they have had to make in order to continue working in hospitals during this pandemic.

“I had to make the decision to either see my family or go to work and I picked go to work because of the crisis that the NHS is facing,” one woman, who is a cleaner in an NHS facility, wrote on Twitter. “It was a sacrifice I had to make for the foreseeable. Yeah I might not be a doctor or a nurse but i am a cleaner and we are also working.” 

These are the people on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic: the doctors infected because of their proximity to the virus, the nurses with bruised faces from wearing masks all day, the healthcare workers who have cut themselves off from their families in order to keep working.

This is their sacrifice. Let’s not forget it. 

Images: Unsplash

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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