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Roshin George

A week-old picture of a newborn baby boy pulling at the obstetrician’s mask has suddenly gone viral as a symbol of hope in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UAE-based gynaecologist Dr Samer Cheaib shared the picture — of the baby fresh out of the womb and before the umbilical cord is cut — on his Instagram page on October 5; it has garnered over 30,000 likes so far. The image symbolises new life trying to break away from the shackles of the face mask, which has become a mandatory human accessory in most parts of the world to prevent the spread of the disease.

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“We all want a sign that we are going to take off the mask soon,” Dr Cheaib captioned the photo on Instagram and Facebook.

The US-educated Lebanese doctor is a consultant gynecologist in Dubai. He routinely shares pictures of babies he has helped deliver but this has been the most popular of the lot.
According to LinkedIn, the doctor specialises in high-risk pregnancies as well as twin and triplet pregnancies.

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The story of the picture has been widely shared in Indian media and has invited the comments of a good many Indian social media users. Many saw it as a sign for a better future, while others said it summed up the year 2020 for them.