It has been a period of selflessness by medical practitioners around the world.
Nurses have shared their harrowing stories of fighting coronavirus on the NHS frontline – while others complained bosses were ‘gagging’ them from speaking out.
One medic revealed she missed her grandfather’s funeral to go into work, while another shared a photo of her bruised face after a gruelling 11-hour shift.
Meanwhile, other NHS staff complained threats of disciplinary action were preventing them from speaking out, including about the lack of vital protective equipment.
It came as the daily death toll in the UK yesterday surged to nearly 1,000 as government sources indicated the national lockdown is set to extend into May. Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains ‘stable’ in intensive care.
Today, nurse Shannon Jane Finan described her own distressing experience on Twitter.
‘Today I should be at my grandad’s funeral but due to covid I can’t attend to hold my dad’s hand while he mourns his dad,’ she wrote.
‘Today I am going to make him and my grandad proud working again on the front line.’
Another Twitter user shared a photo of a frontline NHS worker who had sent him a photo of her bruised face.
‘She’ll absolutely murder me for posting this but working the long hours in intensive care and wearing full PPE for 11 hours of her shift is causing Katie so much pain,’ he wrote.
‘Her face is so swollen and bruised but she never moans and still smashes in them shifts. Ma warrior.’
Last month, the GMB trade union was forced to promise to ‘protect and defend whistleblowers’ over claims employees had been threatened with the sack for speaking out against a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
NHS staff today told The Guardian they still feared being disciplined for sharing their stories from the frontline, with some saying they also feared their social media accounts were being monitored.
Medics at one hospital trust received an email from the chief executive forbidding them from speaking to the media, while others have had requests to talk to the press turned down by PR departments or even been sent home for doing so.
One nurse who wanted to talk about his work received an email – later recalled – from his trust to all staff banning public communications.