A heartbreaking photo of an elderly patient wrapped in the arms of a doctor has captivated the world.
The image is of Dr Joseph Varon of the US, covered in personal protective equipment as he comforts a man suffering from coronavirus in an intensive care unit in Houston, Texas on Thanksgiving.
Getty Images photographer Go Nakamura captured the moment the elderly patient buried his face in Dr Varon’s chest as the two shared a moment that has since gone viral.
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The photo marked Dr Varon’s 252nd day straight taking care of COVID-19 patients at United Memorial Medical Center where he is the chief of staff.
In an interview with CNN, he said “America is going to see the darkest days in modern American medical history” over Christmas if it doesn’t change course fast.
His warning comes after his hospital, like many others across the country, reached capacity. Texas alone has recorded more than 1,220,000 cases and 21,500 deaths in the last week.
“My nurses in the middle of the day, they will start crying … When they finish finally getting a patient in, they get a phone call from the ER that there is another patient that is being admitted,” Dr Varon told the publication.
“How have I done it? I don’t know. I’m running out of fumes.”
Both the image and Dr Varon’s words have left people from all over the world in tears as they continue to take to social media in droves to express their heartache.
“My heart just broke into a million pieces. As humans, we know what that person is feeling,” an Instagram user wrote, adding, “hell, we know what they are both feeling. And it hurts
“This brought tears to my eyes,” another said.
“Doctors and nurses are heroes. God bless them all abs (sic) thank you for your service,” a third person commented, while a fourth wrote: “I’m just so sorry. We as a country should have done better for you and the 250,000 who are no longer with us.”
America as whole has recorded more than 13.3 million cases and has reached over 266,000 deaths.