An innocent and well-deserved meal. After almost two years of living in hell, having seen death daily in the corridors of the hospital. After having worked seven days a week for months, lots of «48 hours on duty», dressed as an astronaut. After treating hundreds of
critically patients today, and burying them tomorrow; months of vacations cancelled without a date…
Lola and her colleagues from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Regional Hospital of Málaga wanted to celebrate many things with the excuse of Christmas. «The first thing is that we are still alive», exclaimed Lola, who also explained how badly they had been these months ago «many colleagues have even considered leaving the profession», added Lola, with tears in her eyes.
For a few months, things are apparently looking better. Cases have been growing alarmingly in recent weeks, but hospital pressure remains stable. “We urgently need to evade for a while”, told us Pedro, a Lola’s work colleague. «We feel that we need to escape from this nightmare for an afternoon and enjoy some time with those bad times partners», indicated Pedro.
An innocent and well-deserved meal, at a bad time. Finally, last week they all got together to eat. 174 people in the same room, no masks… and what they have been warning and alerting themselves for the last two years happened: a massive COVID-19 infection. More than 70 people among the healthcare professionals involved have been infected with COVID-19. Most are asymptomatic, thanks to being vaccinated. But they remain at home in quarantine. Days ago, other services of the same hospital had already cancelled similar meals «things are not good enough to put many people together,» said an emergency doctor. “And even less we”, he added.
Last week it was precisely the health staff of one of those cancelled meals, from the emergency service, who had to double hours and continue working to cover their colleagues in the ICU. And the next days the plan will be the same. Andres, an emergency doctor at the hospital, thinks that «For people who have suffered so much in the last year, and who are at the limit of their physical and mental strength, this extra effort, at this moment, is superhuman”. In addition, he wondered why the authorities did not take measures to provide backup personnel and avoid these situations.
Luis went yesterday to the emergency service at Regional Hospital of Malaga. He felt chest pains after eating when he was playing with her grandchildren. For a year he has been terrified of approaching a hospital, but the pressure on his chest scared him even more. «We are fatally staffed», told Luis and his relatives at the emergency door. “You may have to wait for several hours until you can finally see a doctor”, explained Luis.
«Of course, when you can», replied Luis to the nurse in the admission service. «You are superheroes, and we cannot ask you for more than you already do», he added.
But superheroes, sometimes, dress up as humans.