Medical professionals are being treated like the heroes they are here in the U.S. and many other countries, but not all nurses and doctors are being shown the same level of respect and thanksgiving around the world that we're seeing here.
Sadly, in Mexico, some have been shunned, assaulted, and even attacked with bleach.
Dr. Angela Vargas works in a Mexico City hospital with rheumatic disease patients, not coronavirus cases. But when she leaves the clinic she’s treated as if she’s sick herself.
To avoid getting attacked, like some of her colleagues have, Vargas, 46, changes into civilian clothes when she leaves the hospital.
“If people see that you’re a nurse or that you work at a hospital, they look at you like you’re infected,” she told Bloomberg on Thursday.
While doctors from Florida to Italy have been cheered on by the public, in Mexico some have been assaulted in the streets, banned from public transportation, and in a few cases doused in bleach. It happened to a head nurse at Vargas’s hospital, and according to news reports to a doctor in the state of Jalisco and a nurse in Sinaloa. (Bloomberg)
That type of treatment is happening in other countries as well.
Bloomberg reports that healthcare workers in India have been driven out of their apartment buildings and some even attacked by mobs, and similar assaults have taken place in Australia, Columbia, and the Philippines, the Washington Post reports.
These medical professionals are being urged to not wear scrubs outside of the hospital and government officials are imploring people to stop the attacks.
"We invite you, sincerely, to respect us," Fabiana Zepeda, the head nurse of Mexico's national health system, said recently, fighting back tears. "We need the utmost solidarity in these times that call for all Mexicans to stick together."
Condenamos las agresiones al personal de salud. La titular de #Enfermería de @Tu_IMSS hace un llamado enérgico.— Zoé Robledo (@zoerobledo) April 21, 2020
“Podemos cuidarlos y salvar sus vidas, ojalá y ustedes nos cuiden... Tenemos familia, pero es nuestro trabajo cuidar a los demás. Pedimos respeto”: Mtra. Jefa Fabiana pic.twitter.com/Easo0ex6dN