“To be able to treat you safely, we need protective gear. When we run out of the little we have, we look like this.“
These are the words printed at the top of “Blanke Bedenken,” a German website featuring photos of naked people — reportedly doctors and other medical professionals — who are protesting the lack of protective equipment for those working on the front lines of fighting the coronavirus and COVID-19. This is not meant to be an assortment of eye-candy, but more of an art piece that exposes (pun intended) how vulnerable these women and men are as they try to save lives.
The group argues that Germany’s government said it was prepared for the coronavirus in February, but they were either misinformed or simply lying about the situation. Protective clothing, disinfectants, and disposable masks are in dangerously short supply — a sentiment echoed by medical professionals and local leaders in the United States.
Inspiration Behind the Protest
According to the website, the campaign was inspired by a French doctor named Alain Colombie, who wanted to bring attention to the French government’s lack of preparedness. He photographed himself naked in his practice and called the outcome “cannon fodder.” When he posted his image on social media at the end of March, the 61-year-old doctor said he wanted to “push a stunt and come to the defense of the entire family of healthcare workers.”
“I denounce a guilty lack of preparation, even though I’ve been communicating about COVID-19 since the end of January,” he stated.
More Doctors’ Naked Protest
Participants on the Blanke Bedenken website are not trying to be sexy or funny in their posing. While these naked individuals are partially obscured by medical equipment and other props, their serious expressions and text on the page make it clear that this is neither sexy nor campy. It says:
We are all vulnerable.
Medical practices need more support from politics.
We want to be there for you:
- in case you really need us
- if you have a serious illness/disease
- if there is an increase of Covid-19 cases
- especially if you feel too ill to leave your house and we have to visit you in your home
The website offers the opportunity for other healthcare workers to submit there own photos to the website. Likewise, they can be followed via the hashtag #blankebedenken on Twitter.