Brazilian nurse uses fake hand to comfort isolated Covid patients

‘Probably one of the most powerful images I’ve seen since this pandemic started’

Gino Spocchia
Saturday 10 April 2021 15:30
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Covid patients in a Bazilian hospital have been receiving the touch of a fake hand following periods of isolation.

The invention of the fake hand – or latex gloves filled with warm water to resemble touch – was allegedly that of Semei Araújo Cunha, a nurse in the city of São Carlos.

She reportedly thought of the fake hands for comforting patients at an emergency care facility in the city, following the hospitalisation of tens of thousands of Brazilians by Covid.

“For the sake of affection, comfort and care for the patient, it is not enough to be professional, you have to be empathetic,” the nurse told a local news outlet, G1 São Carlos and Araraquara, in Portuguese.

“We decided to do it as a form of affection, cuddling, humanisation,” the nurse told the outlet, “as if someone was taking her hand.”

The report included an image of the fake hands comforting a woman at an emergency care facility in Villa Prado, where a number of patients are awaiting admission to one of São Carlos’s main hospitals.

The city – and others across Brazil – are currently facing the worst of the Covid crisis unfolding in the South American country, which this week became only the third to record over 4,000 deaths in a single 24 hour period.

The image was afterwards shared to Twitter, and many admitted to being stunned by the fake hands, as well as the nurses of São Carlos.

“Salute to the front liners and a stark reminder of the grim situation our world is in,” wrote Nissim Mannathukkare, who shared the image of the fake hands from Villa Prado to the site.

Dozens offered praise for the thoughtfulness of the nursing staff, with another writing: “Probably one of the most powerful images I’ve seen since this pandemic started.”

So far, over 13 million Brazilians have been infected with Covid, while a figure approaching 350,000 are dead — of which 3,789 were recorded on Wednesday last week, according to analysis from the New York Times.

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