The virus shrinks their worlds to a hospital ward, and in the absence of loved ones they are deeply grateful for the nurses’ care.
Fernández holds up a tablet computer over the chest of 94-year-old María Teresa Argullos Bove so she can speak to her sister, children and grandchildren from her hospital bed.
One of Bove’s relatives asks her when she will be going home. “I still can’t leave,” Bove answers, adding “but soon, soon” as she blows kisses toward the screen.
Nursing assistant Ana Aguilar, 20, said she asked one of her patients, a woman in the last days of her life, if there was anything she could do for her. The patient replied that she wanted to eat “salmorejo,” a traditional kind of creamy tomato soup.
Aguilar made some at home and brought it to the hospital. The patient repeated “tasty, tasty, tasty,” after each spoonful, Aguilar says.
Elisa Martínez Sedano, 71, said that after three weeks in the hospital she was “eternally grateful” to the nurses.
“Because here we are alone,” Sedano said. “We do not have our family, just them. They are the ones who take care of us, the nurses.”