In another era, the photo of the handsome doc, his damp shirt clinging to his lean torso, might have gone viral as a sexy symbol of modern India.
But side-by-side with a second photo of Dr. Sohil Makwana covered head-to-toe in protective gear inside a hospital, the tweet that’s been shared around the world became an emblem of the unfolding tragedy in his country beset by the coronavirus.
“Proud to serve the nation,” Makwana wrote when he shared the two pictures after a shift Wednesday, as new COVID-19 cases in India soared toward 400,000 per day, overwhelming the country’s health system.
“Talking on the behalf of all doctors and health workers,” the exhausted doc posted. “We are really working hard away from our family.. sometimes a foot away from positive patient, sometimes an inch away from critically ill oldies… I request please go for vaccination.. it’s only solution! Stay safe.”
His post was shared more than 17,000 times and received thousands of comments, the majority thanking him for his work, though many also asked questions about how to get the vaccine or whether it was safe to leave home to seek a jab.
On Friday, he followed up with a post featuring photos of a senior man and woman.
“Just inoculated my parents with second dose,” Makwana wrote. “I’ve protected my parents.. Did u? Go.. Grab a shot for yourself, for your family, and for all of us…!! Together we can do.”