A heartbreaking photo circulating on social media illustrates the reality for hospital patients in Covid-ravaged countries around the world.
The photo shows a patient's hand clasping two rubber gloves filled with warm water. The gloves are "holding" the patient's hand, to remind the person what it is like to feel the comforting touch of another human - something a lot of Covid patients have not been able to feel in a long time.
The image has been described on social media as a "heartbreaking sign of the times".
"In isolation wards where patients die alone, craving the touch of their loved ones, nurses fill gloves with warm water to simulate that comfort. They call it the Hand of God," Twitter user Marc Goldstein posted, alongside the photo.
A nurse in Brazil had the idea of filling up the latex gloves with warm water from the shower, tied each rubber finger together and placed the patient's hand inside the two rubber hands, to warm it up.
The patient's hands had become cold during intubation, because of difficulties with blood circulation - but the gloves also had the added benefit of providing a literal touch of affection.
The Brazilian nurse explained that restrictions on physical contact had made it so that a lot of patients could not receive any visits, which had led to many feeling alone.
Social media responded to the image with shock and also praise for the healthcare worker who thought of this heartwarming solution.
"I am in awe of the human who was compassionate enough to think of this," one person wrote on Twitter.
"This photo is incredibly sad. It confirms for me that #CovidZero is the only moral goal. Nothing matters more than human life, no borders, travel, freedom or economy is more important than life," another person commented.
"When this is all over we are really going to have to be there for all the medical and hospital employees who are having to witness this in real time. I can't imagine how broken their hearts are," someone else said.
The photo was taken in a hospital in Brazil, a country where Covid is running rampant and deaths from the virus have surpassed 345,000 - and continue to climb.