Doctors and nurses in a Rome hospital spent New Year’s Eve like any other day – fighting the coronavirus, as they have been doing for months.
As mild celebrations happened at midnight, few nurses looked from the window of their ward, at the fireworks welcoming the new year.
In the Covid 3 Hospital of Casalpalocco, on the outskirts of Italy’s capital, dozens of patients continued fighting for their lives.
It was a night as any other night, as it has been for almost a year already.
The hospital was a normal clinic, but after the virus hit Italy, the first European country to be hit by the pandemic last February, it was soon turned into a hospital just for treating COVID-19.
There are three general medicine wards, one sub-intensive care unit, and three ICUs all busy with COVID-19 patients.
Here doctors and nurses are on 12-hour shifts, and didn’t have much time to celebrate.
Nurses looked busy and calm as usual in the long corridor of the sub-intensive ward where most patients lie in bed in a dim light, in rooms with two beds each.
In one of the ICUs, the staff were giving medicines, checking respiratory machines, filling in medical records.
Vaccines are on their way, although it will take months to vaccinate most of the population. Doctor Paolo Petrassi, coordinator for night shift, says mass vaccination is the only hope.
“My thought for the new year, the best wishes I could tell myself and share with those who are around me, it’s to get out of this nightmare as soon as possible,” Petrassi said.