According to data provided by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), as of April 23, there are 2,649,680 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally. Out of those, 184,643 have resulted in death. As a response to the global pandemic, countries across the world have taken various measures to prevent and minimize the spread of the virus. Many governments have issued a stay-at-home order as social distancing and physical isolation are considered a key to prevent the spread of the respiratory illness.
Unfortunately, not everyone is content enough to stay at home and stay safe. Dozens of citizens left their houses to protest in the streets, bearing signs expressing their dislike of the quarantine measures. But amidst the chaos, we should not forget those who stand at the front lines of this terrible pandemic—medical care workers. Here is their reality, their everyday battle. Healthcare workers shared not only their red and bruised faces, but their thoughts and stories as well.
"I Broke Down And Cried Today. I Cried Of Exhaustion, Of Defeat"
"Because after 4 years of being an ER nurse, I suddenly feel like I know nothing. Because my face hurts after wearing an N95 for 13 f**king hours, which happens to be the same N95 I wore yesterday for 12.5 hours, and the same one from all last week. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the statement “but this is what you signed up for”. Just, no. I signed up to take care of sick patients, yes. I did not sign up to be unprotected by their sickness (although my hospital is busting their asses to try to protect us). I did not sign up to be yelled at by angry patients because our government failed to be prepared. I did not sign up to risk mine and my family’s health and safety because people wanted to go on their vacations after they said NOT to. An ER nurse in New York died today of COVID-19. He was in his 40s and had very mild asthma. That’s it. This is not just a tall tale, this is the real risk. I have to go into every patient’s room and in the back of my mind I think “this could be the patient that gets me sick... that kills me”. “This could be the patient that gives me the virus I bring home to my children or asthmatic husband”. This is my new reality. But this is only the beginning. We haven’t even scratched the surface of the impact of what this illness is going to make on our country. And I’m scared."
"This Is The New Normal After A Shift, Blisters On The Nose And Irritation To My Face"
"Wearing a mask for 12 hours straight. Reusing a mask for at least 3 days, or until it is visibly soiled. Placing it in a paper bag after a shift until the next day. This virus is real, and people are sick, fighting for their lives. Young people with NO health problems are sick, old people are sick and people are dying. I am still seeing people having get-togethers and hanging out. It’s infuriating. Why are you so careless about your health, your friends health and your families. Just because you don’t have symptoms does not mean you are not carrying it. I want you to all to DO BETTER. Be smarter. Stay safe."
"This Is The Face Of A Covid Icu Nurse"
"This is unlike any pic in my feed. It doesn’t have the same “aesthetic.” But seriously, eff the aesthetic. 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞. This is the face of a COVID ICU nurse. Blood, sweat, and tears - literally. This is what healthcare workers are putting in to save these patients. And lots ARE recovering! But, we cannot save them all. • You can see the exhaustion all over my face. I’ve been working 12 hour night shifts (I am not a night shifter normally). I’m a Peds Nurse now working on an Adult Unit. A COVID ICU. These are times I’ll never forget. But please don’t call me a “hero.” I appreciate the sentiments, but I am just doing my job. • They’re saying the SURGE in Indiana should be starting late this week. Pray for your healthcare workers, the patients that will become critically ill, and the families of those patients as there are no visitors allowed. Stay home! You aren’t “stuck” at home, you’re SAFE at home!"
"This Is The Face Of An ICU Nurse. This Is The Face Of Working 65 Hours Over The Last Six Days"
"This is the face of reality. This is the face going through hell. This is the face full of pressure damage from wearing PPE for almost 13 hours a day. This is the face of someone who fears for her own health and all her colleagues, past and present. This is the face of someone putting their life on the line for your families. This is the face of someone who hasn't seen their own family for nearly a month. This is the face of someone who holds your dying family member's hand, so they're never alone. This is the face of someone who is exhausted, but will continue to fight Covid-19. This is the face of someone who will carry on, no matter what. This is the face of someone who is proud to stand on the frontline with all key workers. This is the face of someone who wants lock down to end. This is the face that is begging you, to NOT go out this Easter weekend. This is the face that is begging you to abide by the social distancing rules. This is the face of an ICU nurse that is begging you: to stay inside, protect us, protect the NHS and help us save lives."
"I Am A Nurse (Rn) At Hospital Geral De Parelheiros In São Paulo, Brazil, I Graduated Since 2015 And Today I Am In An Icu With Only Patients With Covid 19"
"The Covid Mask Effects. Please Stay Home And Protect The Ones You Love! Stay Safe, Stay Strong!"
"See The Marks On My Face? Those Are The Marks Left By The N95 Mask That Divides Me And The Potential Covid-19 Patient"
"That barrier is one of which that keeps me safe from bringing the virus home. I am mentally exhausted after each shift. I pray everyday that I do the right thing by my patient and by my family. This Easter, the prayer on everyone’s lips are the same... help keep us safe, hope for an end to this pandemic and to pray for those affected by this virus. Jesus has died and risen to save us. Easter to me is about hope. Let’s all do our part. We are all in this together"
"I Can’t Even Begin To Describe My Emotions After A 14 Hour Long Night On Coronavirus Critical Unit"
"I’m exhausted, overwhelmed, anxious, furious for not having enough or quality PPE, scared of carrying the virus to home or contracting myself; I’m physically and mentally drained, and maybe somewhat proud of myself for helping to fight this pandemic. My shift was a whirlwind. I never saw patients crashing so fast before. By the morning most of the patients were on ventilator or waiting for ventilator to be available. Every admitted patient has pneumonia and literally every patient has Covid-19. I wonder what happened to other diseases 🤔 ?!. You know what’s more sad? As I finally sit down to document on my patient’s chart, I see multiple patients with same last name. Coincidence? Nope. They’re from the same family 😢. Brothers, couple, son/daughter and mother/father. Sadder than that? People dying alone in a hospital bed, not being able to see family members for days and family not being able to say their goodbyes. PEOPLE PLEASE STAY HOME TO STAY ALIVE!!!"
"I’m A Nurse, And Most Of You Are Probably Sick Of Seeing Me In Scrubs With My New Busted Face"
"I think by now you all know I’m a nurse, and most of you are probably sick of seeing me in scrubs with my new busted face. Which is fine, I get sick of myself too sometimes. As a nurse, it’s my job to advocate for my patients, so that’s what I’m going to do. I’ve been seeing so much bulls**t lately, so many angry Americans protesting and spewing their idiotic agendas. Freedom of speech is a great thing, but uneducated takes on what is actually happening in the world is not. I fully admit I was apprehensive about this virus- everything I read made me think it was just a hyped up flu. I work on a surgical unit, which was converted into one of the first COVID units in my hospital. I took my first COVID patient almost 2 months ago, and it feels like it’s been about 12 years since I’ve taken care of anything other than COVID. I have seen more death in 2 months than I have in my 2 short years as a nurse. After most of my shifts, I go home and cry. While many of the patients are elderly with comorbidities, putting them at higher risk of dying, it was not their time to go. I am sick & tired of these protestors, these conspiracy riddled morons, walking around with their signs downplaying the tragedy we’ve all been living, just because they’re bored in their f**king houses. You are taking away so much from the people who have lost loved ones they couldn’t say goodbye to. So I’m speaking for them- for my patients who have died, for the ones who have recovered and gone home, and for the ones we’re still trying to help get back on their feet. Please stay home, please let us continue to heal. The longer you do so, the sooner we can get back to normal"
"Things Are Getting Worse But I Want To Represent Brazil In This Time Of Crisis"
An Unnamed, Unidentified Medical Professional Is Seen With Dark Bruises Covering Her Face
"These Are Not Scars, These Are Stories I’ll Tell The Future Generations, How Together As A Country We Fought This Virus And Survived!"
A Czech Nurse Shares What Her Face Looks Like After Working At A Hospital
"Day 36 Quarantine, Those Signs, Wounds That Have Finally Become Scars That Do Not Matter, There Are Major Scars In Our Hearts That No Matter How Much Time Passes, Nothing, And No One Can Erase"
"Why Do We See So Many People Every Day, Everywhere?"
"N95 9ish Hours. I Did Get A 20 Minute Break And Went Outside For That Good City Air"
"This beats taking off the worst bra or pair of heals. Ever. EVER. My nose feels like a sunburn, but I didn't see any sun today. Stay home guys. Stay safe."
"If You Can Get Your Hands On Biatain, Save Your Faces!"
"I recommend putting a piece of tape over the cut side to prevent fibers falling out into your mask. • also, the mask molds around it well, better seal"
"It Was Nearly 0400. The Marks Are Real"
"And to think, this was only after spending one hour in the room, during an admission, using the interpreter services. The gowns are hot, I’m sweaty, and masks are itchy. I stopped wearing face makeup to work (only mascara on) because the surgical masks, and N95 cannot be cleaned properly if there is makeup is on them. Even though I recently got canceled from my current assignment, my floor is still very busy. I’m looking for a new job. I still have two weeks left at my current hospital. Im staying positive, there’s always jobs around here. It will work out"
"Last Week, This Is Nick About To Intubate A Patient, Only Wearing A Patient’s Gown Because He Couldn’t Find Ppe And The Goggles Leave These Marks On His Face"
"Pressure Points Are Real And I Wear My Mask The Whole Shift, Except To Eat And Take A Break To Not Breath My Own Co2"
"Last shift was rough because I had a patient start to crash and family can’t come. Do you know what it is like to tell family their loved one is passing, but they can’t come say goodbye? I do. I also know what it is like to go into a high risk room multiple times so every possible person can talk to their loved one to say goodbye. This is my job. I would not trade it. I risk my health and honestly my families to do this job. Be safe. Be smart."