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Health Workers Once Saluted As Heroes Now Get Threats

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FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, a nurse works on a computer while assisting a COVID-19 patient at a hospital in Los Angeles. Across the country, doctors and nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic are dealing with hostility, threats and violence from patients angry over safety rules designed to keep the virus from spreading. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

(AP) — Health care workers who were once saluted for saving lives in the COVID-19 outbreak are now being issued panic buttons and ditching their scrubs before going out in public to avoid harassment.

Across the country, doctors and nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic are dealing with hostility, threats and violence from patients angry over safety rules designed to keep the virus from spreading.

Some hospitals are so concerned that they equipped workers with panic buttons, while others have limited the number of public entrance to their facilities. In Idaho, nurses they’re scared to go to grocery stores unless they’ve changed out of their scrubs so they aren’t accosted by angry residents.

 

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