By Sherry Qin
The cover of Stories From the Front Line in China’s War on Epidemic “All patients in the ward fell asleep. The on-duty nurse and I were the only people struggling to stay awake. I could hear my sweat dripping like raindrops and wetting my skin through my airtight isolation gowns. As time passed, the cold ‘raindrops’ chilled me to the bone as if they were refrigerating my blood. However, none of this mattered because I finally found a chance to sit down and rest,” Liu Xiaochun, a physician from Guangdong Province, wrote after a long day of work at the Wuhan Jianghan Temporary Treatment Center, in Hubei Province, central China.
Doctors from Guangdong No. 2 Hospital brought sachets from Guangdong for patients in a Fangcang shelter hospital in Wuhan (COURTESY PHOTO) Liu is one of the 42,000 Chinese medical workers from hospitals across China who volunteered to aid Hubei. They left their families behind during the Spring Festival and hurried off to the epicenter Wuhan and other part of Hubei. During sporadic breaks, they wrote diaries and snapped pictures to document their parts in making history. After three months of gruesome battle against COVID-19, China’s coronavirus situation is under control.
On April 15, the last medical team aiding Wuhan left the city; a week later, the number of severe COVID-19 cases dialed back to zero in Wuhan. To document Chinese medical professionals’ heroic work in saving lives, China Pictorial Publishing House, in collaboration with China.org.cn, published a book titled Stories From the Front Line in China’s War on Epidemic, which will soon be available on Amazon.com. It’s the first book portraying the contribution of 42,000 medical workers in aiding Hubei Province. Pan Chun, a doctor from the Zhongda Hospital Southeast University, displays results to other doctors outside the Intensive Care Unit ward through a glass window (COURTESY PHOTO) The book, published in both Chinese and English, reveals the untold stories of medical workers. It is composed of short diaries of medical workers on the front line from 30 different provinces and regions written in first person, accompanied with pictures. The pictures were not professionally composed, and some of them are even blurry, but they portray the day-to-day work of these healthcare workers. Despite the gruesome realities they had to face every day, they found ways to cheer each other up by writing encouraging words on each other’s protection gowns.
A medical worker from Qilu Hospital from Shandong Province poses with her self-decorated gear (COURTESY PHOTO) Many doctors and nurses worked in makeshift hospitals, including Leishenshan and Huoshenshan, which rose from the ground within 10 days, and stadium-converted Fangcang shelter hospitals. Using their patchy diaries and pictures, the book presents a full picture of these impressive facilities that were available thanks to the outpouring of donations from different walks of Chinese society and the tireless work of construction workers day and night. Chen Huanhuan, a clinical laboratory technician, cuts a cake to celebrate his birthday (COURTESY PHOTO) Now that the formidable winter has passed, the editorial team integrated the materials and published this book to show the real anti-epidemic efforts of medical workers and the obstacles and emergencies they confronted, while revealing the selfless and fearless work ethic of Chinese doctors and nurses. While the international society still battles against the deadly virus, this book aims at cheering up the medical workers across the world and simulating the feelings of compassion and love, which are our common language. China stands with the international community to celebrate humanism and conquer obstacles together.