Nurse's heartbreaking before-and-after photos show the devastating toll the pandemic has taken on healthcare workers - as she urges people to protect themselves AND others

 An ICU nurse has shared before-and-after photos that capture the devastating toll that the coronavirus pandemic has had on healthcare workers.

Kathryn, who works as a nurse in the ICU of a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, shared the two images of herself on Twitter last week in a particularly somber take on the 'how it started, how it's going' meme.

While she looked happy and fresh-faced in the first photo, which was taken in April right after her graduation from nursing school, a more recent photo shows Kathryn looking exhausted, with messy hair, PPE marks on her face, and a disheartening thousand-yard stare.

An ICU nurse has shared before-and-after photos that capture the devastating toll that the coronavirus pandemic has had on healthcare workers

An ICU nurse has shared before-and-after photos that capture the devastating toll that the coronavirus pandemic has had on healthcare workers

Before: Kathryn, who works as a nurse in the ICU of a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, shared the two images of herself on Twitter last week, starting with one taken in April

Before: Kathryn, who works as a nurse in the ICU of a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, shared the two images of herself on Twitter last week, starting with one taken in April

A more recent photo shows Kathryn looking exhausted, with messy hair, PPE marks on her face, and a disheartening thousand-yard stare

A more recent photo shows Kathryn looking exhausted, with messy hair, PPE marks on her face, and a disheartening thousand-yard stare

Kathryn went on to say that she posted the images to urge people to take the virus seriously, pointing out that it's not just about protecting yourself — it's about protecting others, including healthcare workers on the front lines.   


'I love being a nurse,' she tweeted. 'Didn't exactly expect to be a new nurse in the middle of a highly politicized pandemic but life comes at you fast and even in a pandemic, there's nothing else I want to do. 

'Caring for the sickest of the sick is an honor and I treasure my patients,' she went on.

'It is devastating to watch people die when those deaths were avoidable and it's even more devastating when you watch them die the same way, time after time after time. It's devastating that basic common sense and decency has been politicized. 

'Covid is a brutal disease and I wouldn't wish the worst of it on my worst enemy,' she concluded. 


She went on to say that she loves being a nurse, but the way the 'common sense and decency has been politicized' is devastating

She went on to say that she loves being a nurse, but the way the 'common sense and decency has been politicized' is devastating 

She wishes that people would realize that wearing masks and social distancing aren't just for protecting themselves, but for protecting others

She wishes that people would realize that wearing masks and social distancing aren't just for protecting themselves, but for protecting others 

'Please understand that you aren't just protecting yourself, you are protecting the people around you.'

Speaking to Scary Mommy, the nurse said she would like people to know that 'healthcare workers aren’t the frontline, we’re the last line.'

'There isn’t any cavalry coming to relieve us or take our place if we fall, and things are only going to get worse,' she said. 'We will do everything we can for as long as we can to help as many as we can, but the public has to do their part to limit the spread of covid or the healthcare system and the people who work in healthcare will collapse under the weight of it.'

She went on to tell CTVNews.ca that it is 'exhausting' to be a healthcare worker during the pandemic, but some people seem to be able to ignore what's going on because they don't actually see what it is like in hospitals.

'People don’t see it. They don’t. They don’t see what we see. They don’t see the reality of this every day,' she said.

Her tweet has inspired several other nurses to share their own 'how it started, how it's going' memes

Her tweet has inspired several other nurses to share their own 'how it started, how it's going' memes

The images show that the pandemic has taken a similar toll on other healthcare professionals

The images show that the pandemic has taken a similar toll on other healthcare professionals

To that end, she thought her photos could provide a bit of context, so people could get a hint of the toll it takes.

'I mean just the physical effects of wearing all that PPE (personal protective equipment) for so long,' she said. 

'We’re dehydrated all the time because we’re sweating so much and because with the masks on, you can’t drink until you leave the floor or go into the break room to take your mask off and drink.'

She added that because there is no definitive treatment for COVID-19, patients 'suffer so intensely' — and seeing others 'acting like that's not happening' is 'infuriating.'

Nurse's heartbreaking before-and-after photos show the devastating toll the pandemic has taken on healthcare workers - as she urges people to protect themselves AND others Nurse's heartbreaking before-and-after photos show the devastating toll the pandemic has taken on healthcare workers - as she urges people to protect themselves AND others Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:27 Rating: 5

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