Feature: Growing up brave on anti-epidemic frontline

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-29 21:04:08|Editor: huaxia

FUZHOU, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- Thick protective suits obstruct her breath, layers of masks chafe her face and ears, and dripping sweat stings her eyes encased in goggles.

Xie Jiahui, born in 2000, is one of the youngest medical staff fighting the invisible enemy of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the frontline in Wuhan, the hardest-hit city in central China's Hubei Province.

On the left sleeve of her protective suit, Xie wrote the words "Go to hell, virus."

Insufferably annoying as she felt, she dares not to take off any of the protective gear for even a second.

Saturday was the 14th day that she has been working as a nurse in a makeshift hospital built for COVID-19 infected patients in Wuhan, which had registered 48,557 confirmed cases and 2,169 deaths as of Saturday.

Medical professionals from across the country and the military are taking rotations to assist in curbing the epidemic in Wuhan.

Xie and her 106 teammates are with the second group of medical staff from east China's Fujian Province to Wuhan. Upon arrival, they were sent to the hospital in Wuhan's Optics Valley.

Before coming to Wuhan, the native of the city of Ningde, Fujian, had never lived in another city for more than 11 days.

"Where are you going?" asked Xie's younger brother as he watched her pack for her trip.

"To save people's lives," she replied with a touch of pride.

After graduating from a nursing school in her home city, she worked in a traditional Chinese medicine hospital there, in charge of the cleaning, disinfection, sterilization and maintenance of medical supplies.

She said she is still a child in the eyes of her parents, but she hopes to be a good model for her younger brother.

"I wasn't born to be brave; I just chose to be so," said Xie, who volunteered to join the medical team.

Two weeks ago, she was enlisted and became the youngest team member.

"This was the first time that I ever encountered such a major public health emergency," Xie said. "To go through it as a medical worker, I feel honored."

"My colleagues treat me like their little sister," she said. "But I'm also trying my best to learn from them. When I did not do well, I practiced hard. I know I should take up my own responsibility," she said.

In the busy routine work in Wuhan, she said she was touched that the relations between medical staff and patients are warmed in the battle against the virus.

Her colleagues posted video clips on social media, in which dozens of patients were standing in a row, turning on their mobile phones' flashlights and singing birthday songs for a doctor in the middle. Xie was among the medical staff at the party.

"Such moments make me feel that we are a warm family," Xie said. "Medical staff and patients are fighting this battle together."