A US nurse has left onlookers gobsmacked by her startling physical transformation after working months on coronavirus wards in hospitals.
Nurse Kaitlyn from Tennessee in the United States shared a set of before and after photos to Twitter earlier this month, in a bid to raise awareness of the impact the pandemic is having on healthcare workers.
“How it’s started vs how it’s going,” she captioned the photos.
In the first snap, Kathryn, a newly registered nurse, looks bright-eyed and fresh, smiling for the camera on what appears to be her graduation.
In the second the nurse is looking haggard – her eyes are sunken, face marked with the red indents of PPE such as masks, and her hair sweaty and pushed back.
Beneath the photo she gave a bit more context, saying she loved being a nurse, but explaining this was her first year of nursing, and the experience had left her rattled.
“I love being a nurse,” she wrote. “Didn't exactly expect to be a new nurse in the middle of a highly politicized pandemic but life comes at you fast and even in a pandemic, there's nothing else I want to do. Caring for the sickest of the sick is an [honour] and I treasure my patients.”
She went on to reveal the ‘devastation’ she had witnessed in her year of work.
“It is devastating to watch people die when those deaths were avoidable and it's even more devastating when you watch them die the same way, time after time after time,” she wrote.
“It's devastating that basic common sense and decency has been politicized. Covid is a brutal disease and I wouldn't wish the worst of it on my worst enemy.”
“Please understand that you aren't just protecting yourself, you are protecting the people around you.”
Onlookers react to ‘brutal’ before and after
The startling snap driving home the brutal toll of the virus, which as she mentioned has become a hot button political topic in the country, has caused a major stir online.
Some detractors tried to derail the post, but thousands came out in support of the frontline worker.
Other healthcare workers followed in her footsteps, sharing their own before-and-afters to detract from the haters.
“The human toll of being a nurse working in a rampant pandemic is written on your face,” one woman wrote.
“Thank you for your patient care. Please take care of yourself. It is such an impossible time for you and your colleagues. If I could give you the strength I would.”
“Hugs to you. To all of us right now,” a fellow healthcare worker wrote. “So weary. So tired. Of being betrayed, questioned. Doubted.”
“It wears you down,” another agreed. “I’ve been a nurse for almost 25 years. I’ve never seen anything like this nightmare.”
More than 88,000 people have shared the photos, and almost one million have liked it.
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