Over the last week, COVID-19 went from something people were hearing might be a problem to being the only thing anyone was talking about everywhere. That’s in part because of how fast the new coronavirus itself spreads. A few patients quickly turn into many, then hundreds, then thousands.
In Italy, the realization that people were infecting each other at an unprecedented rate came late. Hospitals have been overwhelmed by patients in their intensive care units, and some doctors have said they’ve had to make difficult decisions about who gets care and who doesn’t. Over 1,200 people have died, and many areas are not in official quarantine.
It is anticipated by medical professionals that the U.S. will soon be Italy 2: Pandemic Death-a-loo if we don’t start taking some extreme measures right now. That means shutting down everything to slow the spread of the virus. That way everyone won’t arrive at the hospital looking for a ventilator to save their lives at the same time. It is falling on communities and local governments to try to do the right thing, but it’s hard to convince everyone. And we need everyone.
A nurse in Italy named Alessia Bonari is trying to get her message to people everywhere: stay the f—k inside if you can! Because she can’t.
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Bonari shared a post on Instagram that has gone viral, showing her face after a long day of wearing a protective mask as she takes care of patients while essentially wearing a hazmat suit.
“I am a nurse and right now I am facing this medical emergency,” she wrote. “I’m afraid too, but not going to go shopping, I’m afraid to go to work.”
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“I am afraid because the mask may not adhere well to the face, or I may have accidentally touched myself with dirty gloves, or maybe the lenses do not completely cover my eyes and something may have passed.
“I am physically tired because the protective devices are bad, the lab coat makes me sweat and once dressed I can no longer go to the bathroom or drink for six hours. I am psychologically tired, and as are all my colleagues who have been in the same condition for weeks, but this will not prevent us from doing our job as we have always done.
“I will continue to take care of and take care of my patients, because I am proud and in love with my job. What I ask anyone who is reading this post is not to frustrate the effort we are making, to be selfless, to stay at home and thus protect those who are most fragile. We young people are not immune to coronavirus, we too can get sick, or worse, we can make you sick. I can’t afford the luxury of going back to my quarantined house, I have to go to work and do my part. You do yours, I ask you please.”
While you may not personally fear ending up in the hospital, the presence of any infected person in contact with others spreads the illness to people who might. You won’t know exactly how, but by staying home, you are saving people’s lives.