OPINION: I wake up before the alarm clock goes off, incredible as it may seem, despite the fatigue. Many of us suffer from insomnia or wake up several times in the night. Sometimes we don’t know if we are at home or in the hospital.
I to work along deserted roads, without a sound. When I arrive, the images are the same every day: dozens of ambulances, colleagues running, paramedics looking for beds, stretchers and wheelchairs.
You can only see their eyes under the protective clothing. But we all know what’s underneath because a look is worth a thousand words. The dressing room is silent as everyone prepares for battle.
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You wonder which colleague is on the ward today; so many have tested positive and are at home.
Despite the deaths of healthcare workers in Spain and in Italy, I am not scared of catching coronavirus. It is inevitable.
Patients come and then more patients. They are no longer just old. There are many young people who end up in the intensive care unit.
During the next 12 hours, you are not hungry or thirsty. You do not know if it is day or night, if it rains or there is sun.
Later, your mobile shows 12 missed calls and 97 WhatsApp messages, from friends, your parents, your brothers, who are worried about you.
Then the next workers arrive and they have the same look as you this morning. Ambulances are still queuing to unload patients.
Relatives wave goodbye because they will not be able to see their loved ones again. They will receive only one phone call a day, to explain how the patient is, or worse.
When I get to the parking lot and get in the car, my hands are shaking. I just want to lower the window pane so that the wind blows on my face.
And then I cry. I cry a lot, trying to understand how we have come to this. When I get home I don’t let my children kiss or hug me, because you never know if you or they might be infected.
I appeal to you to be aware that what is coming will be very hard.
The only way to help is to stay in your homes.
Natalia Silva is a 42-year-old surgeon at a hospital in Barcelona.
The Telegraph, London