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Sunset scene of doctor, patient liked by netizens

By Wang Keju in Beijing and Liu Kun in Wuhan | China Daily | Updated: 2020-03-07 03:41
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An 87-year-old COVID-19 patient and his doctor, Liu Kai, watch the sunset on their way back from a CT scan on Thursday at Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University in Hubei province. GAN JUNCHAO / FOR CHINA DAILY

Sunset pictures can be heartwarming, though some may consider them a cliche.

Yet a picture of a doctor standing beside the bed of an 87-year-old, seriously ill patient who had been wheeled out to enjoy the waning light of the day has become popular on social media.

It was the first time that the novel coronavirus pneumonia patient in Wuhan, Hubei province — the center of the outbreak of the disease — had the chance to watch a sunset outside the ward during his month of treatment at Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University.

"The elderly man had been stuck in the isolation ward for nearly a month, which made him a bit depressed. I thought the rays of the sun might cheer him up," said his doctor, Liu Kai. He said he stopped the wheeled hospital bed outside on their way back from a CT scan on Thursday afternoon.

The patient was admitted on Feb 9. He has required oxygen and has not felt like talking to anyone, Liu said.

But under the care of his 27-year-old doctor and his colleagues from Zhongshan Hospital affiliated with Fudan University in Shanghai, who went to Wuhan to help, the patient's condition has greatly improved.

After Liu and a volunteer worker took the patient for his scan to check on his lungs, the doctor noticed the beauty of the sun casting golden rays on them as they returned to the patient's room.

The idea of pausing to enjoy the sunset popped into Liu's mind, and the patient gave a quick nod of approval.

"The idea lit up my imagination when I saw the sunlight. Since coming to Wuhan, we have been working shifts around the clock. I also wanted to enjoy it awhile," he said. "Even though we only spent five minutes outside, the patient's mood improved and he soon fell asleep after returning."

As the picture was gaining likes online, netizens called it "the warmest scene during the epidemic" they had seen, with many expressing their best wishes for the medical workers and the patient.

"I hope the senior patient will recover soon and that the medical workers will be able to take a break soon, too," Weibo user Xiaoxingxing_dream wrote. "I hope everyone can enjoy such a beautiful sunset every day." The comment had about 1,000 likes as of 4 pm on Friday.

"The patient, who also is a violinist, is now recovering and has begun singing every day. He promises us to perform the song When Will You Return? on the day he is discharged," Liu said. "I also made a deal with him to see the cherry blossoms together after the epidemic."

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