People in Spain have been under national lockdown since Sunday to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus, with close to 14,000 confirmed cases and counting.
As urgent care doctors caring for coronavirus patients are struggling to ration beds in hospital intensive care units, other medical providers are having to find ways to continue their routine care for their patients.
“This is a completely new situation,” Dr. Jose Luis Ayuso Mateos, a psychiatrist who serves as head of the World Health Organization’s Collaborative Center for Mental Health Services, told Jim Braude on Greater Boston Wednesday night.
“The main challenge that we have is to prepare what will happen when this takes longer — which is definitely going to happen. … Now we have to change the way we deliver our care, to do it through phone or telemedicine – and that is the big challenge we are having right now.”
His wife, Delories Dunn de Ayuso, described the general spirit in Spain as the country faced a mounting death toll from the global pandemic.
“I think people have really been pulling together, keeping up their spirit,” she said. “Every night … people go out on their balconies, open their windows, and appluead. And it’s the way of showing their appreciation for the health care workers and other essential workers who aren’t on lockdown.”