“I feel as if I have been placed in the middle of the arena without a cape or sword, waiting for the gate to open at any moment, with people applauding …” Nieves Luque, a 43-year-old anesthetist who has seen close-ups gorged in the squares of Extremadura, it is sewn to value, but also feels fear. Like so many. Like everyone. Like so many other doctors, it occupies a place in the trench today, ready to go out when duty calls, when patients need it. “I am just another soldier, who can be called to go to the front at any time.” In the Medicine Army, Nieves and his colleagues are assigned a number to act when necessary in the area of the Badajoz hospital complex.
This Pansense with jet hair and emerald eyes has been devoted to Medicine for two decades. She has experienced the most unpleasant face of many illnesses and has put many patients to sleep to ease their pain. Now, like his companions, he sails in the sea of uncertainty. “There is a tremendous psychosis, I think it has acted too slowly and now we are suffering much more serious consequences,” he says. And he says: «I cannot complain. The heroes are those who are facing this contagious virus face to face. 16% of those infected in the region (according to the figures of this Monday) belong to medical personnel. For now, I am in the second line of fire ».
But if his companions are injured, Nieves will have to take a step forward in this combat, although the danger is already perceived in his day to day: “We have been with companions who were with infected patients, and who have already tested positive … »This is the case of the orthopedic surgeon José Luis Calatayud, a member of the bullfighting team in Badajoz, who deals with this flint bug, quarantining his home. Most are not even tested, with the risk that it entails for all the angels in white and green coats who watch over the sick, for their families. His health is everyone’s today.
Nieves does not complain, but he knows that the risk is not only that of the first line. “We have to intubate the sick and get closer to the airway, with all that that implies,” he explains. And he says that “in the Badajoz hospital there are 39 cases, with five in the ICU and the others milder, but this disease is so treacherous and contagious that the number can change quickly.”
Nieves admires the work of all his colleagues and dwells on the seriousness of the situation in Madrid: “There is the great war, they are literally risking their lives, with little protection …”
Like all doctors and nurses, their voice rises in the only request: «To have protective measures, for the patients, for our families, for us. What less than having masks? What less to do the tests? ». “People are afraid,” he adds, “as if a tsunami is coming that cannot be controlled.”