With schools closed, Spanish nun serves in COVID-hit nursing home

With schools closed, Spanish nun serves in COVID-hit nursing home

Credit: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.
Credit: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.

.- Sister Isabel García is a Josephine of the Most Holy Trinity religious sister who, until recently, was teaching primary school and high school students in Plasencia, in west central Spain.

But on March 16, Spain shut down schools – including Most Holy Trinity school, where she worked – as the COVID-19 outbreak started taking a heavy toll on the country.

Two weeks later, García read in the newspaper that some residents and workers at the local Virgen del Puerto nursing home had tested positive for the coronavirus and that management was having a hard time finding new workers.

So, she told hoy.es, she decided to start helping out at the facility, which houses more than 80 elderly people.

“I felt that with what was going on, I couldn’t just stand idly by. I had to help, and I had to do it for those people who are the weakest today, the elderly,” she explained.

García contacted management at the residence and offered to work. She began working there the next day, and has been there ever since, she told hoy.es.

“I decided to stay there because even though our school is near the residence, we have older sisters, and I don’t want to put anyone at risk. We thought this was the best thing to do to avoid the risk of infecting others as much as possible,” she stressed.

García does whatever is needed each day: “I help in the kitchen, serving meals, other times I’m in the laundry room…I go from one job to another because there’s a lot of things that have to be done, and in my spare time I go around to the [residents’] rooms and talk with them.”

That contact with the elderly is what she likes the most about her service at the home.

“They’re alone and sad, isolated in their rooms,” she said. “Of course it’s for their own well-being, but they really miss their family members, their friends there at the residence. They can talk with their loved ones on the phone, but it’s not enough. They need a lot of love.”

García said she’s afraid that if the situation lasts for a substantial amount of time, this sadness the elderly are experiencing “could turn into depression in some cases.”

The religious sister said she hopes to keep working at the residence “if possible, until this is over, combining it with my work as a teacher, which I’m doing by sending homework online to the students and then correcting it.”

She also had high praise for her coworkers at the nursing home.

“The wonderful care [the residents] are getting from all the workers at this residence, for whom it’s not a sacrifice to come here every day, quite the opposite, they’re people who care for the elderly with enthusiasm, kindness and love.”

Tags: Spain, Coronavirus

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