At 15.07 hrs sharp a delegation of UZ Leuven staff watched the helicopter fly past the Gasthuisberg campus from the hospital's helipad. Our message for Flanders was loud and clear: ‘Komt goed!’ ('All will be well'). The message was - unsurprisingly - spelled out in white sheets. UZ Leuven patients also watched this special moment of solidarity on their bedside screens or on their mobile phones.
With this positive message we as a hospital want to encourage and thank everyone for their efforts and solidarity. The message is inspired by a mural in the cyclists tunnel to the Gasthuisberg campus. The Leuven artist Straatletters painted the slogan in the tunnel a couple of weeks ago, during the night. The initiative gave everyone an enormous boost in difficult times.
Prof. dr. Marc Van Ranst, head of the laboratory medicine department: "We are optimistic. At the moment, the number of people leaving the hospital is higher than the number of people being admitted. Our employees are keeping their heads up and motivate one another even more than at other times. We find a lot of comfort in one another on the work floor."
Prof. dr. Joost Wauters, physician on an intensive care ward for COVID-19 patients: "As the slogan points out: all will be well. We're already doing better and we have everyone in Flanders to thank for that, by staying at home and by continuing to do so. This has slowed down the spread of the virus and gave us more breathing room to prepare ourselves. However, the fight is not over, and we are still working extremely hard, but we are combative thanks to all the support we're getting and all hospital departments are working together like never before."
The UZ Leuven delegation was a mix of physicians, nurses, logistics staff and other supporting departments, both from COVID-19-wards and non-COVID-19 wards. Because it is not just the people on the platform that participated, but everyone working in the hospital (about 1,100 in total). The message is clear: figthing corona is something we do together. And yes, all will be well.