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Table of Contents
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 203-204

Working through the COVID-19 Omicron outbreak

Department of Ophthalmology, Tung Wah Eastern Hospital, Hong Kong, China

Date of Submission25-Mar-2022
Date of Decision05-Apr-2022
Date of Acceptance06-Apr-2022
Date of Web Publication30-Jun-2022

Correspondence Address:
Sunny Chi Lik Au
9/F, MO Office, Lo Ka Chow Memorial Ophthalmic Centre, Tung Wah Eastern Hospital, 19 Eastern Hospital Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/crst.crst_102_22

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How to cite this article:
Lik Au SC. Working through the COVID-19 Omicron outbreak. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2022;5:203-4

How to cite this URL:
Lik Au SC. Working through the COVID-19 Omicron outbreak. Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Aug 20];5:203-4. Available from: https://www.crstonline.com/text.asp?2022/5/2/203/348207

The Omicron outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic increased the burden on the medical systems around the world. The pandemic affected not only the local populations, but also the health-care workers.[1] Fear is a natural response that is triggered in situations such as epidemics and disease outbreaks. The fear of COVID-19 is not just associated with public health compliance, but also with negative well-being.[2] Here, we present some of the personal feelings shared with us by various frontline health-care workers from different departments in public hospitals (patient care assistants, nurses, physiotherapists, trainees and specialists from medicine, surgery, radiology, oncology, pediatrics, etc.) while fighting Omicron's local surge across the outpatient clinics and inpatient wards.

Before attending to a COVID-19 positive case, one said to another colleague with kids, “You have two children at home. I'll attend to it, bro. Keep yourself clean, and avoid bringing the virus home.

We were going to attend to our first COVID-19 patient in the negative pressure isolation room. After putting on his N95 mask and face shield, I saw my colleague's hands shaking. He was definitely frightened.

First of all, I felt uneasy. I had fear and anxiety. I didn't know when it would end.

I witnessed the panic and fear that COVID-19 created in our patients. It was difficult to forget my first patient and her emotional change. I will never forget the fear I experienced inside myself after crossing the double doors of the isolation room.

We were trying not to stay in the isolation rooms for a long time, especially to protect ourselves. I felt a burden, but ethically, I stayed with my patient until his needs were met.

One of my patients died while I was on my first call in the lunar new year of the tiger. I will never forget that moment.

One of my patients showed frustration after finding out that her test had confirmed COVID-19 infection. I tried to support her psychologically by saying that the day would come when she would be fine to come back for follow-up and that she would get over the hurdle.

It was at the peak of the Omicron outbreak locally, and even the doctors didn't know what to do with such a huge number of infected cases. I had one colleague, in his 30s, who was unluckily the first to catch the infection within our department. I was impressed by his tolerance with not being able to leave his room for days, isolating himself from his family, and waiting with uncertainty for such a long time.

To have a life encounter in this once-in-a-lifetime exceptional event is an invaluable arrangement by God. We were still fighting with pride at the beginning of our COVID-19 war. It was a difficult period in my career when I felt that I had attained a sense of professional satisfaction with the usual routine.

There have been many times when in our hearts we felt emotionally that enough was enough. Working with protective equipment was physically difficult. Although the protective equipment we used was beneficial for us, it was also very tiring to work while wearing it. All protective equipment made our movement difficult. We did not dare to drink even a sip of water in between the clinics when we had full personal protective equipment on.

Psychological support is of paramount important to working personnel. While we were fighting so hard for people, many others outside were also still fighting for it.

COVID-19 will leave a giant footprint on our lives. Many believe that the pandemic will forever change the way we live and work; actually, that change is already here. It is not just shaping us physically on a daily basis, but also psychologically bit by bit. Let us struggle through it; there is always a rainbow after the storm.


Verbal consent has been obtained from all the health-care workers, whose quotes have been reproduced in a de-identified manner.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Yeung NC, Wong EL, Cheung AW, Yeoh EK, Wong SY. Feeling anxious amid the COVID-19 pandemic: Factors associated with anxiety symptoms among nurses in Hong Kong. Front Psychol 2021;12:748575.  Back to cited text no. 1
Sit SM, Lam TH, Lai AY, Wong BY, Wang MP, Ho SY. Fear of COVID-19 and its associations with perceived personal and family benefits and harms in Hong Kong. Transl Behav Med 2021;11:793-801.  Back to cited text no. 2


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