Be fearless. We are in this together.
The Spring Festival of 2020 will be remembered by every Chinese, not for their fear of the new coronavirus outbreak, but the courage and sacrifice of Chinese medical practitioners and everyone who holds fast to their posts.
Doctors and nurses working for Fudan-affiliated hospitals responded swiftly to the call for medical help from Wuhan, the center of the outbreak.
A doctor on the frontline
Zhong Ming from Fudan Zhongshan Hospital was the 1st Shanghai medical expert to join the frontline. He set out for Wuhan on Jan. 23.
Chinese New Year’s Eve fell on Jan. 24 when, 26 medical practitioners from various affiliated hospitals of Fudan went for this battle on this most important occasion of family union of a year.
On Jan. 27 and 28, the third and fourth day of the first lunar month, 16 Fudan doctors and nurses rushed to Wuhan.
On Feb. 4, the day of the solar term Beginning of Spring, Huashan Hospital sent a rescue team of 46 members and 6 full-equipped mobile rescue vehicles.
On Feb. 7, the day before the Lantern Festival, 136 medical workers from Zhongshan Hospital headed for Wuhan!
On Feb. 9, 214 medics from Huashan Hospital left for Wuhan to help treat patients at the ICU of Tongji Hospital in Wuhan.
A father, husband and trailblazer
“To bring hope to people in pain, I believe, is what a medical practitioner should do.”
Said Zhong Ming, Vice Director of ICU, Zhongshan Hospital
Zhong (4th from the left) with his colleagues before heading to Wuhan
In less than four hours after deciding to join the fight against NCP in its epicenter, Zhong packed what was necessary and left for Wuhan. He originally planned a nice Spring Festival vacation abroad, with his wife and young daughter.
With a strong sense of responsibility as a doctor, Zhong has been working at full capacity since he arrived on the Chinese New Year’s Eve. Zhong said, now that the front-line medical practitioners had known more about the virus and gathered experience to treat patients, they had come up more effective treatments.
“Nothing makes us happier than transferring those who we deem well enough to regular wards and not seeing them again. That means they will fully recover and be discharged from the hospital soon.”
“Daddy has been away for two weeks, and I miss him dearly. But I know he is doing very important things. Daddy, you can do it! Our country can do it too!” Zhong’s daughter sent her blessings across the screen, from thousand miles away.
Zhong Ming has won multiple honors for his voluntary work in emergencies, including Fudan University Advanced Individual for Earthquake Relief and Fudan University President Award for Earthquake Relief for his outstanding contribution in the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake.
A mother and angel in white
Zhang Wenying, from Jinshan Hospital, Fudan University, caressing the face of her 3-year-old son, said with a guilty look, “Mommy needs to go somewhere faraway. Be a good boy and Daddy will take you to visit your grandparents this Spring Festival.” Her son nodded earnestly. Zhang couldn’t hold her tears anymore. However much she didn’t want to part ways with her kid, she was more concerned with the patients desperately in need in Wuhan.
The medic cut her hair short to prevent getting the virus.
Letters between wife and husband
Qian Xuemei, Vice Director of Infectious Disease of Qingpu Central Hospital, Fudan University, sent a letter from Wuhan to her husband.
My dear husband, son and daughter-in-law,
Don’t worry about my living here. Meals here of course are not as delicious as what I had at home, but I eat to gain my strength against the virus. Don’t worry about my sleep. I left in a hurry and forgot my sleeping pills, but my colleagues who soon came to join us brought them for me. Migraines have cut me some slack, and haven’t visited me once since I arrived.
Don’t worry about me too much, as I left you, my family, and joined a bigger family. Everyone here takes care of each other. Promise you will take good protective measures at home. Our hearts unite as one though in different places.
My dear wife,
Hope you are well.
When you signed up for the mission, we expressed our full support. But did you know that we were actually really worrying about you? You are not young anymore. You don’t mind putting yourself out there. You are always too kind...
But what else could I say? I had to let you go, see you rush to that battlefield, and make sure you have nothing to worry at home.
The gown diary
Jan. 27, 3rd day of the first lunar month
When I arrived at the hospital, I saw many of my colleagues working in isolation wards had not eaten, drunk, or gone to the toilet in 5 consecutive hours. I felt bad for it, but I held back my tears and told myself again and again to KEEP ON!
By Yan Yingming, Qingpu Central Hospital
Change of shift
Everyone was absorbed in their work and time passed quickly. Some staffers talked over the walkie-talkie to remind us of our meal time. But none of us left! Putting off and on the disposable gowns was time-consuming and resource-wasting! Our biggest worry still, is the trouble of going to the toilet.
By Huang Lili, Shanghai No.5 People’s Hospital
Marks and lines left by face masks
Jan. 29, 5th day of the first lunar month
I entered the ward at 8am and now the time is 4pm. To save gown use and reduce the chance of cross infection, I haven’t taken any food or water, or used the toilet for 8 hours. It took me 40 minutes to finish taking off pieces after pieces of gowns, as well as gloves, the mask, and shoe covers and thoroughly washing my hands.
By Zhang Wenying, Jinshan Hospital
Zhang Wenying at work
Feb. 5, 12th day of the first lunar month
To fight against the new coronavirus, doctors and nurses work in dentistry and ophthalmology joined the internal medicine and critical care section. The world became overwhelming and blurry when I put on layers and layers of protective clothing. It felt a bit hard for me to breathe with the mask on. We couldn’t recognize each other in this outfit, and instead, we wrote our names and the hospital we are from on the back of the gown.
By Jiang Weiping, Huadong Hospital
The medic's name is written on the back of the gown
The patients, for whom they are risking their lives
Jan. 28, 4th day of the first lunar month
We had two patients with oxygen saturation at 70% each on my shift. With the coordinated effort of the doctors and nurses, the figure slowly rose back to normal (98%). We heard their rapid breathing returned to normal and steady. The tension on their faces faded away and they fell into sleep...
By Qu Ruyi, Pudong Hospital
Checking patients'vital signs regularly
Jan. 30, 6th day of the first lunar month
Due to the particularity of the novel coronavirus, care-takers with no professional medical background are not allowed in the isolation wards, and most critically-ill patients cannot take care for themselves, so it is our responsibility to help with their daily needs, taking the time to feed them and dispose their waste properly. These seemingly trivial tasks, when added up, take more time and energy than our usual work does.
By Shi Xinyi, Shanghai No.5 People’s Hospital
Medics and patients
Jan. 31, 7th day of the first lunar month
It’s my first time in Wuhan and to have heard the local dialect. It sounds pretty nice. People here tend to stress or prolong the middle part of the sentence. If you listen carefully, you’ll find a nice tune to it. The patients here always express their appreciation to us. When an old grandpa learned that we came all the way from Shanghai, he thanked us repeatedly. “Thank you! Thank you!”. His eyes turned red as he almost cried. I hastened to change the subject as this would really break my heart.
By Wang Rongrong, Qingpu Central Hospital
Members of Qingpu Central Hospital
Feb. 5, 12th day of the first lunar month
The isolation wards I am working at receive a lot of “white lung” patients. Some older patients with poorer immunity to the virus passed away in 2 days. But there was one patient I will forever remember. When a pregnant woman was sent to the hospital, her oxygenation index was plunging and her status was not suitable to use the ventilator. Every time we reminded her to think about her unborn child, she would try her best to open her eyes and stay awake, breathing as hard as she could. And she survived, thanks to her strong will.
By Jiang Weiping, Huadong Hospital
Doctors from Huadong Hospital
Editor: Deng Jianguo, Wang Mengqi