While the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the globe and takes a toll on healthcare services, workers on the frontlines face a number of hurdles. Like many around the world, healthcare professionals in Germany are struggling with a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE)—and they’re posting nudes in protest.
Der Spiegel reports that Germany has not been able to keep its healthcare professionals adequately stocked with the protective equipment needed to fight coronavirus.
It’s been a problem for the country since early in the pandemic’s contagion cycle. Reuters reported on March 4 that Germany banned exports of medical protection equipment including masks, gloves, and suits. But according to Insider, the country has already run out of its own emergency stockpiles of PPE.
The shortage hits hospitals and clinics hard and puts healthcare professionals at higher risk of contracting coronavirus. But doctors and other workers are hoping their nudes will help awareness of the problem.
The group responsible for the naked initiative, Blanke Bedenken, is comprised of doctors and nurses who are using nudity as a metaphor for their vulnerability. An official website for the protest shows off the coronavirus nudes.
“We are your general practitioners,” the website says in German, per Google Translate. “To be able to treat you safely, we and our team need protective equipment and political support. When we run out of what little we have, we look like this.”
The photos on the site show medical workers dressed down but covering themselves with items including stethoscopes, face masks, toilet paper, and signs.
One provider’s sign, also written in German, says, per Google Translate “I learned to sew wounds why do I have to sew masks now?”
According to Johns Hopkins University’s tracker, Germany has had more than 161,173 confirmed coronavirus cases and 6,399 deaths as of April 29.
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