Death and resistance: professionals on the front line against COVID-19




Occupational health, Stress, Public health, Hospital administration, Phenomenology


The COVID-19 pandemic has intensely affected the quality of life and labor conditions of healthcare workers (HCWs). This study sought to understand the experiences of 16 professionals in medicine, nursing and physical therapy who work on the “frontline” of the new Coronavirus. A phenomenological design was used. Results were organized into four axes: (a) the impact of the arrival of the pandemic; (b) participants’ progressive exhaustion; (c) fear and coping; and (d) rethinking life and death. Experiences of anguish, anxiety, depression, and physical and psychological health problems stand out. It was possible to observe that the lack of national coordination, in addition to unscientific political positions, were felt as an aggravating factor for work demands, and that impotence in the face of the disease implicated in rethinking the meaning of life and death. According to the JD-R model, the need to expand resources and emotional support so HCWs can properly manage psychosocial risk factors at work is evident.


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Author Biographies

João Carlos Caselli Messias, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas

Stricto sensu professor of the Graduate Program in Psychology at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas, Campinas-SP, Brazil.

Mônica de Oliveira Rocha, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas

Doctoral student of the stricto sensu Graduate Program in Psychology at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas, Campinas-SP, Brazil.

Karina Borgonovi Silva Barbi, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas

Professor at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas, Campinas-SP, Brazil.

Eduardo Espíndola Fontoura Júnior, Universidade Estadual do Mato Grosso do Sul

Professor at the Universidade Estadual do Mato Grosso do Sul, Dourados-MS, Brazil.


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How to Cite

Messias, J. C. C., Rocha, M. de O., Barbi, K. B. S., & Fontoura Júnior, E. E. (2022). Death and resistance: professionals on the front line against COVID-19. Paidéia (Ribeirão Preto), 32, e3209.



Psychology of Health