French dentists strip naked to protest lack of protective gear

French dentists strip naked to protest lack of protective gear

Lucy Martirosyan

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Dr. Maud Braun-Reys, left, a dental surgeon in Obernai, France, posted an image on Facebook of herself naked in her office along with her father, Dr. Daniel Reys, also a dentist, to protest the lack of PPE.


Courtesy of Dr. Maud Braun-Reys


It will be a couple of weeks before people get back to work in France. But for now, the country’s dentists are feeling especially vulnerable.

Many of them say they won’t have enough personal protective equipment, or PPE, to protect them from the coronavirus as they treat their patients. So they’re protesting in a unique way: They’re stripping down.

Dozens of dentists have taken pictures of themselves naked in their offices and posted the photos online with the hashtag #dentisteapoil — or, dentists in the buff. The photos are composed with carefully positioned props like books and flowers to conceal their private parts.

Dental surgeon Dr. Maud Braun-Reys posted a photo of herself naked in her office in Obernai, near Strasbourg, France. She also posted a naked photo of her 72-year-old father, Dr. Daniel Reys, who is also a dentist. 

“If tomorrow the health ministry doesn’t free up this talk of PPE that is currently blocked or give us the possibility to order, it will be like going naked to work,” Braun-Reys said. “The fact is that because of the shortage of masks in the hospital, all dentists make a donation of their stock of PPE. So without protection for us and for our patients, it’s really impossible to face COVID.” 

Screengrab of naked German doctors protesting in the nude because of lack of PPE during the COVID-19 outbreak.



Related: COVID-19: The latest from The World 

The French dentists are joined by health specialists throughout Europe posing naked to demonstrate their vulnerability. In Germany, nude photos appear on a website urging politicians to ensure doctors and clinics have enough protective gear.

“I learned how to stitch wounds, why do I now have to learn how to stitch masks?” reads a placard held by a female doctor with a stethoscope and a red mask in one photo. The naked doctors said that outpatient and general practice care for COVID-19 patients was as important as hospital care, putting them on the front line in the fight to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

In response to the French dentists’ protest, the country’s government said it will provide the dentists extra masks when the country’s lockdown begins to lift on May 11.

“Last week we announced an extra 150,000 FFP2 masks to be provided to them by the 11th of May to allow some cabinets [offices] to reopen and handle relative emergencies,” a spokesperson for the French ministry of health told The World. “After the 11th of May, we will progressively reopen all dentists and provide the necessary PPE for this activity to be possible.”

“It’s not enough for 42,000 dentists. It will just only last for one day of work.”

Maud Braun-Reys, dentist

According to Braun-Reys, much more gear is needed: “It’s not enough for 42,000 dentists. It will just only last for one day of work.” 

Braun-Reys noted that the images have shocked people around the world, particularly in the US. But the intention was not to draw attention to French dentists’ naked bodies, she said.

“It’s just to explain that we are totally defenseless,” she said. “So it was really to shock maybe a little bit the opinion, but also to alert the authorities. And we are all united in this movement. All the dental profession is united. We have made 260 photos for the moment and it’s going to grow and grow all over the world.” 

Reuters contributed to this report. Editor’s note: A previous version of this story used the wrong image for Dr. Daniel Reys.

Brazilian Supreme Court orders probe into Bolsonaro; El Salvador prison crackdown risks coronavirus spread; Harvard student creates PPE supply chain from China to Boston

Brazilian Supreme Court orders probe into Bolsonaro; El Salvador prison crackdown risks coronavirus spread; Harvard student creates PPE supply chain from China to Boston

The World staff

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro walks as he leaves the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, January 22, 2020.


Adriano Machado/Reuters


Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered an investigation into accusations from Sergio Moro, the former justice minister, that allege President Jair Bolsonaro tried to “interfere” with police work for political gain. Moro — previously an anti-corruption judge — resigned last week, sending the administration into turmoil. A majority of Brazilians believe there is truth to accusations against Bolsonaro, but are split on whether or not he should be impeached.

And: Embraer takes Boeing to arbitration over failed deal as Brazil eyes China tie-up

Also: A Republican effort to sabotage Obamacare was just rejected by the Supreme Court

El Salvador prison crackdown risks coronavirus spread

“No ray of sunlight” will enter prison cells holding gang members, said El Salvador’s security minister Osiris Luna, after a spate of homicides occured over the weekend. The government says prisoners were passing messages to the outside about the targets of the killings. Photos released by the office of President Nayib Bukele show inmates stripped down to shorts and crammed together on prison floors, most with no protection from the spread of the novel coronavirus. Human rights organizations have warned about the deadly consequences of the virus in Latin America’s overcrowded prison facilities. 

And: ‘Calamitous’ — domestic violence set to soar by 20% during global lockdown

WHO warns children could die as vaccinations for other diseases are delayed

The World Health Organization warns that children are at risk as the pandemic has created vaccine shortages in at least 21 countries for other potentially deadly diseases. Immunizations and treatment for diseases such as malaria have been put on hold, which could lead to a spike in cases later. “The tragic reality is children will die as a result,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urging countries to ensure vaccine programs are funded. 

Also: Vaccine rates drop dangerously as parents avoid doctor’s visits

And: US was warned of threat from anti-vaxxers in event of pandemic

Discussion today: Pandemic exposes health inequities

With the coronavirus pandemic making its way around the globe, poor communities and communities of color have been hit particularly hard, exposing longstanding health disparities. As part of our weekly series, The World’s Elana Gordon will be taking your questions and moderating a conversation with Dr. Mary Bassett, director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and former commissioner of health for New York City, on Tuesday, April 28 at 12 p.m. ET.

Harvard grad student creates PPE supply chain from China to Boston

The coronavirus pandemic is creating an insatiable demand for medical and personal protective equipment (PPE) that has overwhelmed the world market. China has ramped up the production of needed supplies by bringing new manufacturers online. In an international marketplace where companies, federal and state agencies are fighting for equipment, Harvard business student Sophie Bai and her colleagues are creating a new supply chain.

And: Shutdowns have led to cleaner air quality. Is it sustainable?

COVID-19 interrupts fertility plans for hopeful couples in the UK

Thousands of women may lose out on their chance to have a baby because of COVID-19. Fertility clinics across Britain shut their doors in mid-April, pausing in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment for many women midcycle. The decision has left thousands in limbo. No one knows when the clinics will open up again and for those who have spent years trying to conceive — the closure is a cruel blow.

Also: Kids in Spain venture outside for the first time in weeks as lockdown gradually eases up

Corona Diaries: Open-source project chronicles pandemic life via voice notes

A map of Europe and North Africa showing locations where people have tagged recordings uploaded to the crowdsourced project, Corona Diaries.


Corona Diaries

During the novel coronavirus pandemic, some are turning to their diaries to document this incredible time. Fellows from Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism had a different idea to chronicle daily life. They have started the “Corona Diaries” — an open-source audio project where anyone — including you — can contribute their audio story.

Morning meme

Chris Woodhead is taking a more permanent approach to tracking his pandemic experience: a tattoo for every day in lockdown.

    View this post on Instagram         

Self-isolation tattoo no.31

A post shared by Chris Woodhead (@adverse.camber) on Apr 16, 2020 at 6:39am PDT

In case you missed itListen: As some countries ease lockdowns, UK’s Boris Johnson asks Britons to be patient

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks outside 10 Downing Street after recovering from the coronavirus, in London, England, April 27, 2020.


Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/handout via Reuters

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is back on the job and urging the public to be patient with the lockdown restrictions. Meanwhile, the British parliament is back up and running though, without the traditional rancor for which the body is known. And, different countries are enforcing rules on self-isolation and quarantine differently. In the Philippines, a large part of the country is on lockdown with potentially deadly curfews. Also, the “Corona Diaries” gives people an opportunity to share their experiences of life under lockdown. 

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