As the University of Maryland and the rest of the state began to shut down to battle COVID-19, Dr. Jessica Lu ’14 had already spent weeks fighting it at work in a Seattle hospital.

Because Seattle was the first major city in the United States to be hit with coronavirus, she said, health care workers weren’t following protocols so much as creating them based on information that was changing by the minute. Even as she and co-workers cared for patients, they’ve feared spreading a contagious disease to loved ones at home.

“I think it's really difficult and challenging emotionally to grapple with how vulnerable we are, not only to ourselves, but to the ones we love,” Lu said.

She’s conveying the swirl of emotions among health care workers on the Instagram page Frontline COVID-19, which she started March 23 with friend and fellow physician Sandra Truong. It now displays over 50 snapshots and portraits and even artwork of doctors pausing in their personal protective equipment (PPE), first responders outside their rigs and nurses smiling through the struggle.

“I think seeing the humanism and the personal sacrifices people have made in the course of fighting this pandemic helps put a face to these scary numbers that are thrown out there,” Lu said.

As states lift stay-at-home orders and people return to their regular routines, Lu and Truong are considering shifting the page’s focus to highlight that transition and the little acts of kindness they’ve shown along the way.

“The overall takeaway from this time is that life is unpredictable,” Lu said.

Below are selected posts from @frontline.covid19: