photo shows PPE-clad doctor comforting lonely, elderly covid-19 patient ~ The Washington post

Joseph Varon hugs a patient in the covid-19 intensive care unit during Thanksgiving at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston. (Go Nakamura/Getty Images)
Joseph Varon hugs a patient in the covid-19 intensive care unit during Thanksgiving at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston. (Go Nakamura/Getty Images) 

By Paulina VillegasNovember 30, 2020 at 3:02 p.m. MSTAdd to list

An elderly man in a hospital gown buried his head in the arms of a doctor who, fully clad in protective equipment, hugged and consoled the patient. The doctor’s fixed, disturbed gaze can be seen through the plastic face shield.

“I want to be with my wife,” the frail patient, battling covid-19, had told Joseph Varon, chief of staff at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston. Varon had found the man out of his hospital bed, crying and seeking help.

The emotional moment was captured on Thanksgiving Day by photographer Go Nakamura, who was in the covid ward documenting the pandemic for Getty Images.

The image circulated widely online over the weekend after Nakamura posted it on Facebook, resonating with the pain and struggle of millions of Americans, patients and health workers alike as the country reels from soaring coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.

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