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Inside a COVID ICU as Marseille becomes Europe’s new virus hotspot

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Daniel Cole, AP’s regular contributor in the French Riviera region, took readers inside an already-full COVID intensive care unit in Marseille as the French city became Europe’s latest virus hotspot. Cole’s single-handed multiformat reporting delivered the first visual documentation that France’s resurgent infections aren’t just numbers, but people struggling to survive.

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A medical worker brushes the hair of a COVID-19 patient in Laveran Military Training Hospital, Marseille, southern France, Sept.10, 2020. – AP Photo / Daniel Cole

Cole showed both the drama of COVID intensive care and the daily reality for its staff amid this new wave – and the personal touch of a nurse who took the time to brush a patient’s hair and moisturize her skin.

The impact was immediate – the story saw immense use across Europe in all formats, as well as international markets. Both The New York Times and local heavyweight Le Monde put Cole’s images on the top of their home pages.

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