Long and exhausting rotations await most, seven or more days in a constant fight against Covid-19, hopelessness and in some cases in a pitched battle against death, then wait for the result of their own PCR tests, and not to get sick to continue.
Two small women stand out at the Montalban Comprehensive Diagnostic Center, in Caracas. They are Dr. Lilian Lopez, from eastern Granma province, with 10 years of experience as a specialist in General Comprehensive Medicine, and Blanca Rosa Sanchez, a nurse from Camagüey province, in Cuba.
Their delicate figures are lost inside the heavy biosafety suits, and although the discomfort when walking is notable, that does not prevent them from moving agilely to attend to each patients, with extreme dedication, which goes beyond medical care.
They know the names of everyone, which province they are from and what they do; a smile, a phrase of encouragement or the affectionate telling-off are priorities for these women who do not skimp on care, they have no hours, nor the slightest sign of annoyance when someone needs them.
Lopez, 35, is fulfilling her second mission in Venezuela and although her work this time is as a community doctor, she told Prensa Latina that taking the step forward to support the care of Covid-19 patients is a commitment, more than a duty.
Always smiling, the young doctor tells stories of her family living in Bayamo, her little niece who is waiting for her and future projects in Cuba. Although she has only been in Venezuela for 10 months, she says that she is ready to leave for her homeland to support in the fight against Covid-19 if necessary.
Sanchez, for her part, has a vast experience as an emergency nurse in Cuba, while she goes through her seventh red-zone rotation in Venezuela, she emphasizes that feeling fear is not allowed.
Twelve hours are barely enough for these hard-working women to carry out all the pending work, because they are also the ones who clean, make teas for their patients, or whatever homework is necessary.
The short night’s rest is sometimes not enough to regain strength or have news from the family in Cuba, because their minds are still plotting about the next treatments to use, or thinking about the state of mind of those who, more than anything, are looking for salvation behind those eyes.
With their phrase of ‘good morning,’ the room is filled again with their laughter and joy, something special that unites Cubans in the face of misadventures, which amid misfortune, makes them feel like a great family, where they share pains, the coughs that do not stop, the regions of Cuba, the good and bad news, but more than anything, hope.