March 18, 2020

Video Of Nurses in China Celebrating After Containing COVID-19 Will Make You Feel Hopeful

Smiling chinese nurse taking off surgical mask

While the past few weeks have been overwhelming and frightening at times, there is one piece of good news that we can look to for hope--heightened efforts to control COVID-19 disease in China are proving successful. 

The United Nations announced on March 16th that cases of the virus are officially on the decline in China. In China, reported cases rose as high as 15,000 in one day in February to just 15 last week. Dr. Gauden Galea, a representative from the country told UN News that the data very clearly showed that COVID-19 was an “epidemic” that was able to be “stopped in its tracks.” 

What we Can Learn from China

Dr. Galea pointed to efforts in China to contain the outbreak as successful, and observed that other countries (ahem, the U.S.) could learn from China’s efforts to stem the spread of the disease. “So that's a big lesson: that the natural course of the outbreak does not need to be a very high peak that overwhelms health services,” he told UN News. “This lesson in containment, therefore, is a lesson that other countries can learn from and adapt for their own circumstances.”

Here in the U.S., as some have been reluctant to adhere to social distancing suggestions, and others are questioning how severe the virus really is, seeing hard proof that containment efforts can make a difference, even in a country where the virus was able to spread quickly, with devastating consequences, proves that what we do now matters. 

Nurses Celebrate in China

To date, China has reported over 80,000 cases with more than 3,000 deaths, and countries all over the world, like Iran and Italy, are being hit almost just as hard, so the news that the virus is finally declining is a big deal. 

And as the news that the virus is officially on the decline, nurses in China responded with public celebrations. For instance, the media company, redfishstream, released a video on Instagram showing at least 19 Chinese nurses removing their masks to reveal relieved grins. 

The symbolic video highlights progress in the country and marks the closure of the last temporary hospital in Wuhan, China, where many believe the virus originated. Temporary hospitals were created in a rush once the outbreak started to offer beds to thousands of ailing Chinese, and their closure now represents a sign of hope for the rest of the world, who is still dealing with the peak of the pandemic. 

The video, which has been viewed millions of times, may indicate the slowing of the virus and that the tireless work by Chinese doctors and nurses is starting to pay off. 

Hope for Nurses in Hard Times 

If our worst fears lie in anticipation, then living in a time with a virus outbreak and little-to-no information on how to stop it has been terrifying for many in the U.S. and abroad. But the video of the Chinese nurses smiling may be a sign that there is hope and that we will yet get out of the woods--especially for U.S. nurses, healthcare workers, and citizens who are still largely just stepping into the COVID-19 territory and wondering what to expect. 

On Friday, President Trump declared a National Emergency in the U.S. and today many are self-quarantining while others lay in hospital beds, trying to heal. Schools, restaurants, concerts and many other public amenities have closed with many scrambling to rearrange work, school, and childcare. Everyday acts--even right down to dental appointments--have been cancelled, and we are going through our days with the eerie knowledge that we are living history in the making. 

And if everyday life is hard, nurses are being hit the hardest--nurses are heading into work, wondering if they will be exposed to an infection, if today will be “the day” that things get as bad as we have been warned they could get, or if their facility will have enough PPE to go around. 

So if we can hold onto the videos, the posts, and the celebrations of the nurses in China as proof that we will make this through--if we keep sticking to the things that make a difference, like staying home, keeping a physical distance of 6 feet in public, and washing our hands--we can hold onto the hope that, before we know it, it will be the nurses in the U.S. who are whipping off their masks and smiling too. 

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