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TikTok challenges and dancing – these are a few ways medical professionals are keeping their spirits up amid coronavirus chaos

Kübra Yilmaz and Canan Emcan, nurses of the infection ward of the university hospital, in protective clothing and behind a breathing mask, look at two smear tubes and the corresponding virology certificate. In Essen, the city and university hospital feel well prepared for patients infected with the novel coronavirus.
Bernd Thissen | Getty Images

As coronavirus continues to spread medical professionals like doctors and nurses are on the front lines every day treating those infected. A shortage of ventilators, personal protective equipment and never-ending work is the reality many are currently facing.

And the battle against COVID-19 is taking a toll on the mental health of health-care workers, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study focused on Chinese health care workers, which concluded that those like nurses and other front-line health care workers "have a high risk of developing unfavorable mental health outcomes" and need support. 

Despite the grim situation, some health-care workers have found ways to inject some positivity. Take a look at how.

Doing TikTok challenges

One of the most popular challenges on TikTok is the "Oh na na na" foot-dance, which has become a new form of greeting for some at hospitals. As one Instagram user noted, "no hands were touched in the making of this video."

And Instagram user @allaboutaphrika, a nurse, acknowledged how those in her profession can be "mentally impacted" by long hours treating COVID-19. She tried to "bring something light hearted" by attempting the "flip the switch" TikTok challenge, where people record themselves dancing and switching outfits to rapper Drake's song "Nonstop." 

The video (below) shows a nurse and a "patient" (actually another nurse) pulling the switch. The video is a "message related to the increase rate in which nurses and doctors are being exposed to this virus due to lack of proper Personal Protective Equipments," according to the caption.

Holding contests

Instagram account @lurieschildrensnurses put together a hand-washing challenge to inspire its nurses: "Create a short and fun video on hand washing! Post or DM your video and tag @luriechildrensnurses with #luriechildrensnurses. The 2-week challenge starts Monday, March 23 and goes through April 6," the post reads. "All Lurie Children's nurses are eligible to participate. Be creative … we'd love to feature all units! Entries will be featured on our Instagram story and the winner will be chosen based on the most votes from viewers. The winner will be posted to our account! #washyourhands #cdc."

Performing Disney classics 

At Phoenix Children's Hospital healthcare workers "can't always practice social distancing," but hope to take care of children by putting a smile on their faces, according to Instagram user @sarakaczkowsk. A rendition of "We're all in this together" from "High School Musical" just might do the trick. 

How you can help hospital workers too

Lack of personal protective equipment has made working conditions dangerous for many doctors and nurses, and without it, they have a high risk of being exposed to the virus. Here are three ways to help.

1. If you have extra medical masks, you can donate to local hospitals.

2. You can also help feed overworked hospital workers by donating to restaurants providing free meals. For instance, Sweetgreen is delivering free salads and bowls to hospital personnel in cities the company currently serves. The company also encouraged people to submit their local hospitals to be included in this program. 

3. Simply following quarantine and social distancing orders helps healthcare workers because flattening the curve helps keep hospitals and their staff and resources from being so overwhelmed.

Check out: The best credit cards of 2020 could earn you over $1,000 in 5 years

Don't miss: 5 tips for effectively working from home during the coronavirus outbreak, when you have kids

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