How Doctors and Nurses are Dealing with the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Mary Altaffer/AP

Nurses on strike outside the Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y. due to a sick leave policy of needing a doctor's note.

This is a tough period for everyone and many healthcare workers are doing their best to save lives during this crisis. The internet has become a resourceful way to keep people informed and show what’s happening in their lives at the moment. Doctors and nurses are sharing their thoughts on different social media platforms and in some places striking in order to protect patients and healthcare officials.

Healthcare workers need the correct tools to prevent themselves from catching the virus. PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is important for healthcare workers right now but there isn’t enough equipment for every nurse and doctor. Due to running out of N95 masks, some healthcare workers have to resort to using trash bags, raincoats, and paper towels to protect themselves against this virus. Some doctors and nurses are even buying their own gear in order to stay safe. But this still leaves many other workers vulnerable to the infection. “If frontline workers and caregivers and nurses and doctors aren’t safe, nobody will be safe,” said Cortez, President of California Nurses Association and of National Nurses United. It is understandably alarming for healthcare workers to be concerned due to the increasing amount of cases in the U.S and the rest of the world. When at testing sites or being close to patients with COVID-19 it is important for them to be protected. Even then, many people are asymptomatic so they need to be cautious all the time. In many places, nurses and doctors have no choice but to strike. In Brazil and Zimbabwe, they have strikes due to the lack of access to PPE. These circumstances have taken a toll on their mental health because they are risking everything for us. Throughout this time, there have been high rates of depression, and many people are extremely stressed by the situation. Having access to equipment all the time could ease their worries. People need to be aware of the fact that nurses and doctors are scared, just like the rest of us, they need that equipment to keep not only themselves safe but us too.

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Healthcare workers wearing full PPE.

The internet is what keeps people entertained at a time like this, such apps like Instagram, Tiktok, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter. Doctors and nurses use these apps to relieve their stress. Many of them are using it to share their experience. People salute them because they are saving lives and just need a small break once in a while. Doctors and nurses are also bringing attention to the issues by making videos like what to do and what not to do. One really popular app is Tiktok. Dr. Jason Campbell posted a dance video a few weeks ago to spread joy and reach out to younger people. He says that he also uses the app to stay calm and happy. These social media platforms allow these people on the frontlines to share their voice. Some hospitals are not letting their workers talk about the lack of PPE and testing. They have threatened workers that if they talk about these things outside of the hospital, they will be fired. It is good that some healthcare workers have been able to spread awareness about these problems but all of them should be allowed to have a voice and say what they need to say. I think it’s important to listen to healthcare workers during this time. If people on the frontlines are telling us to stay home, then we should listen to them and stay home because they are doing everything they can to save lives and protect us.