Medical workers forced to get creative as face mask shortages in ‘developed’ West complicate battle with Covid-19
Photographs showing Western medical workers with improvised safety gear have sparked outrage among commentators, who argue that nurses and doctors in developed nations shouldn’t have to wear trash bags as they combat Covid-19.
A photograph of nurses at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City sporting improvised medical gear amid growing shortages caused a firestorm on social media. Staff at the medical facility even told media that the recent death of one of their colleagues from Covid-19 was likely tied to the lack of basic medical supplies available to them.
Nurses are wearing trash bags. In New York City. In the richest country in the world. At the end of the longest economic expansion in that nation’s history. https://t.co/3K6uCrFHUf— Jeremy D. Goodwin 🎧 (@JeremyDGoodwin) March 26, 2020
This is not an isolated issue. The Henry Ford Health System boasted in a press release that staff at their medical facilities had devised “creative solutions” to the protective gear shortage, using “nylon jersey fabric, elastic bands, Velcro, tongue depressors and air filter material.”
Crude garments worn by American medical professionals have already spawned petitions for adequate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
Unfortunately, the severe drought of face masks and other sterile equipment has affected most of the Western world. In France, a doctor even posed naked as a protest against the lack of necessary medical gear.
Beneath the photo, he accused French President Emmanuel Macron of “asking your little soldiers to go to the front without weapons or defenses (masks, gel, overshirts) and of course without consideration.”
In the Czech Republic – which now requires all residents to wear face masks while outdoors – medical workers were photographed wearing modified diving masks as they treated Covid-19 patients.
#littleheroes Folk creativity of the Czech nation saves the health system.Hobby diving mask with #DIY reduction on military particle filter as a professional protective equipment. #coronavirus#COVID2019#CoronaPandemie#staysafepic.twitter.com/kdunlMHWAd— Martin (@martinrovnak) March 25, 2020
The phenomenon has left many wondering why modern Western nations seem to be adopting desperate measures once only thought possible in less developed parts of the world.
Afghan kid is creative. Poor man’s mask. Getting mask is unthinkable for ordinary citizen to escape virus in land obliterated by war criminals. pic.twitter.com/BxG4IR4jlo— Abu Salman (@AbuSalm17187224) March 25, 2020
Much of Europe is now in lockdown, even as infections continue to mount. The United States saw its 1,000th death from the illness on Wednesday night. Cases worldwide have surpassed 470,000, with more than 21,300 deaths.
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