Medical professionals revealed the online attacks they have suffered through while working on the frontlines of a pandemic that had 31,670 coronavirus patients in hospital as of February 2.
Doctors told Channel 4 News that people had called them names including a ‘devil’, ‘Satan’, ‘a shill of the Government’ and a ‘prostitute for Big Pharma’.
Intensive care consultant Dr Matt Morgan, who has been called a ‘piece of sh*t’, said his colleagues ‘across intensive care in South Wales, have been sent death threats of physical violence.’
Dr Ami Jones, also an intensive care consultant, said her nurses have been ‘absolutely devastated’ by the online abuse.
She told the presenter that nurses tell her: ‘“People think we’re lying. People think I’m coming to work and lying about what I do”.
‘They couldn’t believe that they’re breaking their back and, you know, killing themselves to try and keep these patients going and that people are turning around and saying that we’re lying and none of that’s happening and that Covid doesn’t exist.’
Dr Clare Davies said NHS staff ‘don’t want to be called “heroes” they just do not want to be called “murderers or prostitutes”.’
She said: ‘Instead now of being heroes and being clapped we are now being told that we are killers, we are liars, we are frauds.
‘We just want to be treated with civility and treated as people that are doing our job, daily, under pressure.’
Emergency medicine consultant, Dr Farbod Babolhaveji, said that although medical staff could just stay away from social media he thinks they have a ‘responsibility as health care workers’ to inform the public.
‘We don’t get paid for doing this. It’s not part of our job. We haven’t had training in doing it. We do it because we think it’s important. We do it because we think it will help patients and families,’ said Dr Matt Morgan.
The coronavirus death toll for health care workers has surpassed 600, according to a recent report by the workers’ safety organisation Peoplesafe.
Peoplesafe thinks the ‘higher risk of infection’ that healthcare workers take takes a mental health toll including ‘stress, anxiety, PTSD, depression and insomnia’.
Whilst the service says that ‘abuse is nothing new for NHS staff, the coronavirus pandemic has led to a rise in violence towards healthcare staff’.
Many anti-lockdown protesters and coronavirus skeptics have demonstrated outside hospitals over the last few months.
Deomstrators refused to wear masks and shouted ‘Covid is a hoax’ as stressed medical staff begin and finish their shifts.
One doctor posted about finishing an A&E shift at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital and coming out to one such protest.
Dr Matthew Lee tweeted: ‘Worked the late A&E shift on New Year’s Eve and came out to this.
‘Hundreds of maskless, drunk people in huge groups shouting “Covid is a hoax”, literally outside the building where hundreds are sick and dying.
‘Why do people still not realise the seriousness of this pandemic?’
According to the latest Government figures, 242.8 people per 100,000 have tested positive in the seven-day period ending on January 30.
In the week ending on January 22, 9,052 people died with coronavirus mentioned on their death certificates.
The UK’s total death toll, since the pandemic started, recently surpassed 100,000 as it is now 112, 660 if one measures it by the virus mentioned on a death certificate and 110,250 if one measures it by a death within 28 days of a positive test.