Between surgeries one stressful morning, Ben Cayer and Mindy Brock—husband and wife, and fellow nurse anesthetists—peered through layers of protective gear and locked eyes. It was a lovers' gaze in the most unlikely situation. A co-worker was there to snap a picture. Now the image, shared on social media, is inspiring people around the globe, reports the AP. "Everybody's talking about the photo," says Cayer, 46, who met his wife of five years in nurse anesthesia school, where they were seated side by side in alphabetical order, in 2007. It strikes a chord "because we're all going through the same thing right now and it's a symbol of hope and love." Brock, 38, adds: "What's important is that we stick together, we work together, and we always support each other. And not just Ben and I, but the human race right now."
The Florida pair, who volunteered for Tampa General Hospital's new "airway team," have the high-risk duty of placing breathing tubes in surgery patients, any of whom may have COVID-19. Placing a tube into a patient's mouth and down into their airway requires close contact—and because the virus spreads in droplets, the highest level of protective gear. The photo was snapped on Brock's first day on the team, which hadn't begun so well. The couple bickered during the drive to work, disagreeing about what to play on the car radio, and who was doing the dishes at home. Later, they found each other between surgeries and the tension melted. "We have grown men bawling because none of their family can be there with them," Brock says. "All those trivial things that we were arguing about that morning, in the grand scheme of things, aren't that important." (Read more coronavirus stories.)