"Before I leave here, I want to see your face to pray for you. Today, I only know your eyes." Bruno Muniz, 30, is a doctor in infectious diseases at the EmÃlio Ribas hospital in SÃ£o Paulo, often hears this from his patients.
With so much protective attire, the faces of health professionals are hidden. And they are the only contact with the outside world of patients hospitalized due to the coronavirus. Without being able to receive visits, since the risk of contamination of the disease is high, emotional support comes from the doctors, nurses, and assistants themselves.
Muniz, for example, says that he started to provide virtual visits - with his cell phone protected by plastic and disinfected. He makes an appointment for video calls with a family member or friend of the patient. During the call, the resident shares updates about the patient's health, and the patient has a few minutes to talk and receive news from loved ones.
When the patient is intubated, the resident asks the family to send WhatsApp audios for him to play while in the beds. "We don't know if they really listen, but I heard from other colleagues who also do it."
Some patients have no friends or family. "In these situations, we ended up being their escape valve a little. The most important thing is to donate silence, listen and let them talk", said the doctor, who understands that the situation is new for everyone. "If we, health professionals, are scared, imagine who is not."
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon