On Wednesday, the Italian Group for Evidence-based Medicine (GIMBE) released a not-at-all reassuring report about the number of healthcare workers in Italy that have contracted coronavirus. At the time of its publication, the report said that at least 2,629 doctors, nurses, and general health professionals had tested positive since the country's outbreak started in February, and that number represents 8 percent of the total number of cases in Italy.
"Figures regarding the contagion among doctors, nurses and general health professionals have started being disclosed only on March 11," GIMBE Director Nino Cartabellotta told Al Jazeera. "Hundreds of new cases have been daily recorded since then. But medical personnel on the front line should be the first to be protected."
A surgeon, an anesthesiologist, and a nurse from Umberto Parini Regional Hospital in Aosta, Italy might be among that 2,629, and it's probably safe to say that their own illnesses could've been avoided if one of their patients hadn't been so determined to get plastic surgery.
According to Italian daily La Repubblica, the unidentified man had a cough and other symptoms in the days leading up to his rhinoseptoplasty, a surgery that combines the cosmetic benefit of a nose job with the therapeutic repair of a deviated septum. In other words, his very non-essential, elective surgical procedure.
When the anesthesiologist noted his high temperature before the operation began, the man was given a coronavirus test—which was positive—and sent home to self-isolate. But by the time he was at home looking at his original nose in the mirror, he'd already infected the doc, the anesthesiologist, and the nurse. Now he could face jail time, and if the prosecutor decides to pursue a case against him, he could be charged with negligent personal injury or more serious offenses that could come with a jail sentence of up to 12 years.
Meanwhile in the United States, celebrities aren't taking those kinds of risks with their own plastic surgeries—but they are reportedly trying to get facelifts and other procedures taken care of while films and television shows are on hiatus.
"As incredible as it sounds, it's actually true. It's almost like Christmas vacation," Dr. Terry Dubrow, a plastic surgeon and co-host of Botched, told TMZ. "We're getting calls, particularly from Beverly Hills, celebrities and high-profile people… because Beverly Hills is shut down. You're not allowed to have elective beauty treatments or cosmetic surgery in Beverly Hills now. I'm in Orange County, we're still open… A lot of them want their facelifts. They want to do their major overhaul that they were sort of waiting for their break between movies to do."
Dubrow said that he's telling those celebs to "be really smart about it" and maybe opt for Botox treatments and fillers instead of a "major overhaul." But he said even then, it's important that any prospective patient should not have a fever or other symptoms, and they shouldn't have been around anyone who has traveled recently.
Cari Stover, FNP-C and certified aesthetic injector, echoed Dr. Dubrow's statements, telling VICE that the lack of complications—especially the kind that could result in a visit to an already overtaxed hospital—make Botox or fillers a much better option for anyone who wants to come out of their post-pandemic bunker looking younger and suspiciously more carefree. "The biggest complication is just being out in public or in a medical office, and becoming a disease vector," she said.
Then there's always the possibility that even aesthetics practitioners will decide that their skills could be better used elsewhere. Stover, a nurse practitioner, has volunteered to work at coronavirus testing stations or at a medical clinic. "I feel obligated, like it's my responsibility. I know how to do more than inject faces so I want to help in my full capacity," she said.
"I worked urgent care for five years so I can rock a mask."