Coronavirus is proving to be a massive threat to humanity. Thus, great efforts are needed to fight this deadly virus, and that is what Chinese nurses are doing. The internet is already filled with images and videos showing the efforts that Chinese nurses are undertaking to fight coronavirus. A new video, however, shows that these nurses are doing everything they possibly can in their battle against this deadly virus, including shaving their heads.
Chinese nurses shaving heads to fight coronavirus
Recent images and videos from China show nurses shaving parts or all of their hair off over fears of cross-infection while treating coronavirus infected patients. As per a report from China Daily, Shan Xia, a 30-year-old nurse from the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, shaved off all her hair.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) February 10, 2020
Xia, the mother of two, told the publication that this allows her to save time when wearing and removing protective clothing. Another video shows nurses in Shaanxi province shaving the back of their heads.
Respect! A team of nurses in NW China's Shaanxi shaved their hair before coming in for duty amid coronavirus outbreak to avoid cross-infection. pic.twitter.com/XpseMgSsg9
— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) February 6, 2020
Apart from shaving heads, there has been other heart-wrenching and emotional footage from China. For instance, a series of photos showed nurses with marks across their faces due to wearing masks for long periods of time. Another nurse was seen with concerning red marks around her face after treating infected patients for ten straight days.
One more image that went viral was of a nurse with her badly cut hands. The cuts were reported to be the result of constantly applying disinfectant while regularly changing gloves. Further, the medical staff in Wuhan is going to extreme lengths to save time to treat the infected patients, including wearing adult diapers as a substitute for bathroom breaks.
A tiring job both emotionally and physically
One of the most emotional videos that surfaced recently was of a nurse and her daughter. The video shared by New China TV, showed a nurse consoling her sobbing daughter by giving an air hug. Since the nurse was treating coronavirus patients, direct touch was not allowed.
The daughter with tears in her eyes tells the mother from a distance that she misses her. In reply, the mother says that she is “fighting monsters. I will be back home once the virus is beaten.”
The daughter is then seen putting a box of dumplings on the ground, which the mother picks up after the daughter steps back. Both then bid each other goodbye, with the mother promising, “I will come back to be your company after we win the fight.”
Last week, BBC also spoke to a health worker in Hubei about their work. The nurse, who asked to be referred to by her family name, Yao, called her place of work a “fever clinic.” She analyses blood samples of those suspected of having coronavirus. Prior to the outbreak, Yao was scheduled to visit Guangzhou to celebrate the Chinese New Year with her family.
“It’s a difficult job, it’s very sad and heart-breaking, and most of the time we just don’t have time to think about our own safety,” Yao told BBC. Further, Yao said that the staff works in 10-hour shifts and that during these shifts no one can eat, drink, take a break, or use the toilet.
“At the end of the shift, when we take off the suits, we’ll find our clothes are completely wet with sweat,” said Yao. “Our forehead, nose, neck and face are left with deep marks by the tight masks and sometimes even cuts.”
Rising concerns over medical workers’ health
These images and footage come at a time when there are growing concerns related to the health of medical staff, who are working for long hours and without adequate sleep. Last week, there were reports that a medical worker, who had been working for ten straight days to fight the coronavirus, died of a heart attack.
“I think it is a strain for every doctor and every nurse in Wuhan, both physically and mentally,” therapist Candice Qin from Beijing told The Washington Post. “We know that patients are worried, but we should bear in mind that doctors are just as human as well.”
Coronavirus has already claimed over 1000 lives, and work pressure continues to grow on the medical workers. Last week, deputy provincial governor Yang Yunyan said there is still a shortage of 2250 medical personnel in Hubei.
Yang noted that unavailability of adequate protective gear is also making it difficult to deploy medical staff in infected areas. Earlier this month, the National Health Commission sent about 1000 medical workers from different provinces and municipalities to work in Wuhan.