COVID Christmas In French ICU: Fear, Fatigue And Loving Care

Doctors and nurses share a Christmas Eve meal together in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at la Timone hospital in Marseille, southern France, Friday, Dec. 24, 2021. Marseille's La Timone Hospital, one of France's biggest hospitals, has weathered wave after wave of COVID-19. On Christmas Eve, medical personnel decorated a fir tree in the corridor and seized a moment for a communal meal in their scrubs, trying to maintain a semblance of holiday spirit in between rounds. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

(AP) — The staff is tired, the omicron variant is bearing down and the intensive care unit beds are filling fast at a hospital in the French city of Marseille.

The unit’s chief doctor is trying to keep his team members motivated as they spend another Christmas tending to patients on breathing machines. They decorated a fir tree in the corridor and seized a moment in between rounds for a communal Christmas Eve meal.

Marseille’s La Timone Hospital has weathered wave after wave of COVID-19 and allows families to visit gravely ill loved ones in the ICU. One patient spending the holidays there said he deeply regrets not getting vaccinated against the coronavirus.


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