Healthcare Stands Up to COVID-19 Protesters

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APRIL 20, 2020 –Nurses took a stand in Denver, a healthcare worker lost his sense of smell, a photographer captured a moving tribute at a New York City hospital ― and it all played out on social media.

Healthcare Workers Push Back Against Protesters

Protesters with anti-lockdown signs clashed with frontline healthcare workers in scrubs this past weekend.

A small group of Denver healthcare workers stood their ground in the middle of a busy street to block hundreds of angry demonstrators, who object to Gov. Jared Polis’ stay-at-home order, from advancing on the capitol building, according to the local independent news site, Westword. Similar protests have been happening in Pennsylvania, Texas, and other states.

Photojournalist Alyson McClaran captured the tense Denver confrontation in a series of photos she posted to Twitter. Other users posted video clips of the encounter showing an angry, mostly mask-free crowd screaming and honking their car horns as the masked-up nurses remained planted in place until police arrived to diffuse the situation.

Health care workers stand in the street in counter-protest to hundreds of people who gathered at the State Capitol to demand the stay-at-home order be lifted in Denver, Colo., on Sunday, April 19, 2020. Photos by Alyson McClaran

— Alyson McClaran (@McclaranAlyson) April 20, 2020

Westword reporter Chase Woodruff also described the scene in a series of tweets, saying in one, “[Healthcare workers] say they’ve been treating COVID patients for weeks. Today most of the people driving by have been ‘very aggressive,’ they say. I’ve been standing here for a few minutes and already seen two people get in their faces.”

Remarkable scene at 12th and Grant, where two healthcare workers from a Denver-area hospital — they declined to say which or give their names — are standing in the crosswalk during red lights as a “reminder,” they say, of why shutdown measures are in place.

— Chase Woodruff (@dcwoodruff) April 19, 2020

Similar protests and counterprotests have been happening in Pennsylvania, Texas, and other states, according to the Guardian.

Healthcare Worker Goes Nose Blind in Advance of Diagnosis

A thread on the /r/medicine community on Reddit began with a discussion about a healthcare worker who had been working with COVID-19 patients over the past month and noticed that he was suddenly able to eat cooked peas and tomatoes, foods he usually disliked. This got him curious, so he started sniffing items like soap, cut onions, and ginger without registering any scent. Realizing he had complete anosmia, he called his employee health service for a coronavirus test, which came back positive.

Loss of taste and smell is a known side effect of the coronavirus, especially in mild to moderate cases. Some participants in the thread weighed in with similar experiences. Could a daily smell and taste check be a viable self-test for the coronavirus, one user wondered.

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