Born in Telde, PhD in Nursing and employee of the Maternal-Insular, the also president of the Spanish Association of Nursing in Neurosciences (AEEN) posted yesterday on his networks -Raul Castellano- a video aimed at his closest environment to raise awareness about gravity of this situation: the piece was shared 400 times yesterday in a few hours.
What prompted you to record that video to raise awareness about the situation we are living with the coronavirus?
Since the beginning of this epidemic, we have received recommendations from both official and unofficial sources, which little by little has generated a state of alert that until yesterday I thought was favoring individual containment measures for the population. It was after talking with friends and family that I realized that things were not being done well; I was asked to see us to have a drink or even take a trip, that together with the increase in the incidence of infections by Covid-19 in the Canary Islands encouraged me to use the power of social networks and the impact of a video made by health personnel to be able to First, to change my surroundings and stop contagion, and then try to reach as many people as possible.
Are many infections expected on the islands?
First, we must analyze global data globally to understand what may happen locally.
In Spain, the current situation according to the latest report published by the Ministry of Health is 2,950 confirmed cases, of which there are 51 confirmed cases in the Canary Islands. Therefore, in response to the initial question, in the Canary Islands it is expected that the number of contagion will increase exponentially, as it has done in other countries such as ours, but this data on possible contagions only matters for macro planning and management. sanitary.
I give an example, to understand it better: if we live in any neighborhood in the Canary Islands with zero cases and we close the entrance to that neighborhood, our prevention measures can be good or bad that the next day there will be zero cases, although in the neighborhood of to the side they register an increase in the double of cases; that is to say, the zones of initial incidence or what many media have called hot spots are the first places that ordinary citizens should control, and that is important information.
We know which are the areas with the highest incidence, which are already clear in a certain way, for example people who come from high incidence sites such as Madrid or the Basque Country. But an area of possible high incidence is any place where there are a large number of people in a small space such as shopping centers, supermarkets, schools, parks, theaters or hospitals, among others. It is in these places where it is essential to follow the recommendations that the health authorities and scientific associations have established.
For all of us, the important thing is to respect and restrict the presence in these sites, because it does not matter what cases we have at that time registered globally in the Canary Islands; If we leave that supposed neighborhood without cases every day to visit a friend of the neighborhood with twice as many cases, it is at that moment where, in a place where I had no problems on the way back, I just generated them. More graphic is if we transform that neighborhood into our family and the neighborhood next door in an afternoon of coffee with friends: on my return there was no case but I have been responsible for bringing the possibility of a first infection .
How many nurses does the Spanish Association of Nursing and Neuroscience you preside represent and what role do they play in the fight against the pandemic?
Currently, the AEEN represents more than 150 nurses throughout Spain, but it is also integrated into the Spanish Union of Scientific Nursing Societies and the European Association of Neuroscience Nursing. Our work as an association against this pandemic is to advise professionals who need them regarding the measures to take in the application of nursing care in patients suffering from Covid-19 disease.
Furthermore, we are in constant contact with the rest of national, European associations and professional associations to disseminate rigorous health information, which is what the population should consult to resolve doubts about the disease and its possible contagion.
In what conditions are they working?
Currently, that is, at the time that you are interviewing me [ayer] The Canary Health Service is capable of assuming the care of patients who need care to overcome this disease, but we are aware that professional and organizational efforts will have to be increased in the face of an increase in cases. As in the previous question, I said that it was not important to know the new cases for the general population, if it is important for the health administration and in our case for the Ministry of Health because only in this way can material resources be properly planned. and humans for a possible situation of higher incidence.
Returning to the video, repeat the word coherence up to four times. Was it a little tugging, too?
It is the key in this problem that affects us all, coherence will make us stop the contagion. Consistency is washing your hands as strictly as canceling social events; consistency is to suspend classes and in turn not take children to the park; Consistency is avoiding crowded places but also avoiding being in a supermarket with a queue of 50 people.
Do you think that the public has learned the seriousness of what is happening? It will not be because the media does not insist on offering that message.
Before answering, it allows me to thank the media that provide rigorous and verified information; they are the voice of the scientific society, the health administrations and the professional associations. I think that the population knows how serious the problem may be, but something contradictory occurs with this disease, which is that it has very mild symptoms in some people and very severe in others. If you will allow me to enunciate another more graphic example: if this disease were to produce a symptom that touches the person who had it, it would release a green tint on their hands, it would be very easy to control it, we would have to walk through public places without touching that green tint that has previously left another contagious person, but unfortunately it is not. There are asymptomatic people, people in the incubation process or people with very mild symptoms, so my recommendation is that we internalize that all people are potential transmitters of the disease, automatically if we think about it, our attitude will be different and we will consider things like walking by a shopping center or taking our children to the park because we are all potentially transmitters of the disease.
You say, for example, that canceling a dinner with friends or a coffee is a success for everyone. What role does citizens play in the fight that you, the health workers, are leading?
Citizens are the key in this fight. A study by Dr. Andrea Remuzzi and his research team published in the Magazine Lancet, concludes after carrying out different simulations of possible methods to control new cases, that the measures associated with the quarantine of the environment of known and symptomatic cases are insufficient to control the Covid-19, that is, the solution to the problem lies in each person individually. In the video I comment that we, the health workers, have the responsibility to care for the sick who need it, but the rest of the population has the duty to stop the contagion. I use the word duty because it is a collective responsibility: if I am at home with my children and a friend calls me to go with their children to the park, my duty is to stop a new possible start of infection by rejecting that unnecessary exit.
He always talks about staying at home but what should be done if there is no other choice but to leave?
As I say in the video, supermarkets and pharmacies will never close. They have not done so in the countries with the highest incidence, that means that this exit should not be strictly necessary today or tomorrow but can be staggered. I advise for example to go to the supermarket to carry a large bag and not to take cars and baskets, due to the risk of manipulation of those objects by other people, to arrive with the bag at the supermarket and buy what is necessary. By carrying only one bag I will be less time in a crowded area because it will take less time to make the purchase than if I decide to fill two cars so I will be acting consistently and stopping the contagion.
What if you don’t keep in touch with anyone during an outing, let’s say to go for a walk or do sports outdoors or to go to the beach without relating?
In this case, it is known that the transmission of the virus is by droplets, that is, non-visible secretions that we all expel or have in our hands, so outdoor activities, in non-crowded places, are a good option to disconnect from the home and take some sun that will help generate Vitamin D, which will be beneficial for our immune system.
One has the feeling that they have stopped giving figures on infections to focus on the essential, which is to cure patients. Can it be said that it is easy to cure the patient who is not among the risk groups?
With this simple disease there is nothing, that’s why I return to emphasize the work and the duty that we all have in front of it. The groups that are not at risk will not require health care in most cases, but they are important sources of contagion, therefore if a person does not have risk factors for this disease, their duty will be to think that they can Being the trigger of the disease in another person who is, that is why it is so important to stay home and, for example, go to the emergency services only in severe cases in order to have the national health system without collapsing. The Ministry of Health has activated a telephone service attended by nurses 24 hours a day to answer questions in these patients without risk factors.
Does the Canary Islands have any peculiarity, positive or negative, regarding the arrival, expansion or brake of the Covid-19?
From an epidemiological point of view, being an autonomous community that receives 15 million tourists a year can cause cases declared in other countries to easily reach the Canary Islands, but with current regulations on air transport and tourism, this peculiarity is minimized. I believe that the canary is solidary by nature, it has been demonstrated in other forest or natural catastrophes that we have suffered.
For when is a little light glimpsed in this crisis?
It is very difficult to know.
Are you showing the signs of affection and solidarity of the citizenry?
I am surprised, excited and overwhelmed by the reaction with the video. In 5 hours it had more than 1,000 views and was shared 400 times; My fellow health workers have congratulated me on the way they put it. It has no other objective than to move consciences and try to make people who have doubts know that their responsibility is as important as mine as a health care provider. We all must stop this virus.
2020 has been declared a year of nursing by the WHO. The current situation is not to celebrate, at least for now.
This year is very important to make nursing work visible around the world. Unfortunately, in situations like this, it becomes more palpable because the patient suffering from coronavirus that arrives at the hospital needs care. The nurse will accompany you 24 hours a day, administering the care with the best scientific evidence available, but also with the affection that all my colleagues they transmit while exercising a profession as vocational as this.
Finally, if it allows me to value the sacrifice of my colleagues who, not being the moment to enter into controversy regarding the ratio of nurses to patients at the current moment of alarm, if I must record the need for the Spanish health system to increase this ratio of nurse per person, being much lower compared to other countries in Europe. We will be few, but what the population must know is that we will work to care for them until exhaustion; We ask that you please help us stop the contagion and stay home.