Healthcare Workers in Italy Share Photos of Bruised Faces From Face Masks After Treating Coronavirus Patients

Italy is one of the countries that has so far been hardest hit by the coronavirus, with thousands of cases causing hospitals to overflow and run dangerously low on supplies, providers and more. While millions of people have been instructed to stay home as much as possible, healthcare workers don't have that option and have been on the front lines fighting the virus, many sharing photos and stories on social media.

A number of medical professionals have been posting selfies after long days at work, their protective gear having left deep marks on their faces after hours of wear. Dr. Nicola Sgarbi, a doctor in training who works in the ICU of the civil hospital of Baggiovara in Modena, Italy, was one of those workers, who posted his own photo after a shift on March 13. "I mainly took the photo for two reasons. Firstly, to send it to my partner, to tell her that I had finished my shift at work and that I was on my way home, slightly bruised," Sgarbi told CNN over email. "Secondly, to show it to my 1-year-old daughter when she will have grown up. I will be telling her about this moment."

"I have never seen something quite like this in my career," Sgarbi added. "I believe that in order to get through this extremely demanding time, we need the effort and commitment of each and every one of us."

Other healthcare workers also posted their own photos, showing the world just how hard they are working to battle the virus. Many have been wearing protective eyewear as well as masks, an item that has been in serious shortage around the world since the pandemic began. Citizens quickly began buying up masks in a misguided effort to protect themselves despite health experts' repeated warnings not do so, as masks should only be worn by those who are already sick or those who are treating sick patients. As a result, many hospitals are in a shortage of masks, an item they desperately need to keep their workers safe.

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As of Sunday, Italy had over 47,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 4,000 deaths. There are over 340,000 cases worldwide and over 15,000 deaths. Over 100,000 people have recovered from the disease.

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