It is not new when there has been violence against nurses. There are ample examples in the history that whenever there has been an outbreak of diseases, nurses go through a painful and backbreaking time.
Healthcare workers have been in critical situations, and they are no different from when it comes to criminal activities. Rape, violence, abuse can happen inside the hospital buildings as well where the offender can be someone working in-house, an assailant from outside, or someone in a romantic connection with the victim.
The present times when the world is hit by the coronavirus outbreak, healthcare workers are more at risk. It is shocking to see when some parts of the world are applauding the doctors and nurses, there are other parts where the healthcare community is being attacked, spat on, thrown bleach, or denied permission to enter their apartments or use the public transport.
Unfortunately, the US is no different! A country as great as the US is making people question the power of the first world countries. The side that has come to light has left the world startled, questioning the supremacy of the country.
Recent cases have come forward where nurses are being called upon as vectors of coronavirus by the civilians. Hate messages, yells, abuses, denying them entry, looked upon with disgrace, and many more incidences have highlighted the issues where nurses are under the risk of being attacked. It is shocking to see the offensive behavior of civilians and patients in healthcare facilities.
Some of the Shocking Incidences around the world:
- A nurse coming back from work was drenched in chlorine by a civilian in Culiacan, the capital of the state of Sinaloa in Mexico, as she was thought to be the carrier of coronavirus. It made headlines where some people are seen sympathizing with the nurse, others are saying that it was the right thing to do. There are no words to explain the situations. Simply disgusting!
- In New York City, nurses are suffering a severe shortage of medical gear and equipment – making them vulnerable to the outbreak. But, this is not all! Racial slurs are yelled at nurses where the patients are seen spitting on the nurses. It’s a sheer disgrace towards humanity as well as towards the Nobel profession.
- A male nurse in the Philippines was attacked by 5 men where they threw bleach on his face. The doctors say that the nurse may lose his eyesight forever as the damage is quite severe. The bleach burned the eyes quite deep, and to restore vision at this point may not be possible. It pains one heart to hear or read something as terrible as this.
- In the UK, abhorrent abuse from the public is scaring the medical staff. From spitting to abuse, where they are feeling threatened to go out, nurses are in terrible condition. The harassment that the nurses are facing in the UK is aggressively growing each day.
- In India, a group of health workers who were returning home was the victim of snow pelting by mob yelling abuse at them. The mob feared the doctors to be the spreader of coronavirus and charged at them with stones. Also, some nurses have reported the fear of sexual violence as well. How could this even be? It fills one’s heart with agony and disgust.
- In Pakistan, people are kicking out nurses from their buildings over the fears of coronavirus. Many incidences have come forward hovering the news channels about the situation of nurses and doctors.
Where is the sanity? This insane behavior is making one question if the fear is out of illiteracy among people or lack of awareness that is causing such inhuman behavior in some of the worst-hit countries.
Times like these need to be addressed where the law needs to get tightened against the assaulters. There should be no room for such disgraceful behavior and more than that a strict penalty should be implemented so that people stay in their limits.
Nurses are seen urging people to not treat them badly. While traveling to and from work, nurses and doctors are afraid to wear their uniforms out of the fear of being attacked. A uniform that is a mark of respect in the society is now being looked upon with disgrace!
Videos and messages on social media where doctors and nurses are speaking out their plight are heart-wrenching. They are appealing to people to treat them with humanity. Tears and cries are all over the social media, and sadly where many people are seen sympathizing, others are tagging them to be the vectors of coronavirus.
Be mindful, not afraid!
Fear can lead you in the wrong direction. This is not the time to be fearful, but be mindful. Staying emotionally strong, keeping mind at peace, and thinking rational is what we all need to focus on at this point.
Healthcare workers are working round the clock, untiringly to serve humanity amid the terrible times. It is our duty to treat them with respect and be caring toward them as well. They are working to support us by putting their health on the line.