The old man in the hospital clothes rested his head on the doctor’s hands. The doctor stood motionless, patting the patient, his stinging eyes hidden behind the plastic covering his helmet’s face.
“I want to be with my wife,” – the old man sobbed. He is a Covid-19 patient, and the doctor is Joseph Varon, at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston. Varon found the old man in the hospital bed, sobbing and longing for help.
That emotional moment was captured on Thanksgiving Day by photographer Go Nakamura, in the Covid-19 patient ward.
After being posted on Facebook, the photo quickly spread very strongly in the online community. It has become a symbol of the pain and suffering that millions of Americans are suffering during the Covid-19 pandemic – including the patients and the medical professionals.
“I am truly grateful to see this wonderful moment, and send my sincere thanks to the medical staff who worked hard even during the holidays,” – Nakamura wrote.
Nakamura’s post received hundreds of shares, and at the same time made netizens feel like his heart was melting. “I am very happy to see this photo spread, because people are really interested in what is happening in the hospital,” – Nakamura told the Washington Post.
“I believe this photo can be a doorway for people to understand what’s going on, and what the world is like now,” added Nakamura, hinting at the pandemic skepticism. Existing with Americans today.
Talking about the photo above, Nakamura was standing in the corner of the intensive care room at that time, only to catch an emotional moment. He hurriedly pulled out the camera, capturing a picture now seen as a symbol of the loneliness and pain that many patients are suffering, especially when they are separated from their loved ones. An epidemic of separation.
Nakamura said that he went to this medical center more than 20 times, witnessed many warm actions of Dr. Varon.
“I just feel sad, sympathize with him, and do what I should do,” – Varon told CNN. “Usually I would go into my room, sit by the hospital bed, talk to the patient and find out what they really need.”
Dr Varon said the old man in the photo has recovered very well, and is expected to be discharged from the hospital within this week. But with new infections popping up in hospitals in Texas, Varon admits that doctors can’t help everyone feel comfortable.
In the past week, the state of Texas recorded the second highest number of new infections per day since the beginning of the pandemic – more than 16,100 cases. Currently, the state has 1.2 million cases and 21,000 deaths. A new wave of epidemics is slowly pushing hospitals to the limit.
Varon says he has been working non-stop for the past 250 days. He repeatedly warned that the Covid-19 crisis was occurring, and expected everyone to understand the dangers of the virus in order to adhere to safety measures – including social isolation and wearing masks.