This work follows the lives of two doctors and two nurses, inside and outside Portugal’s two major hospitals (Lisbon and Porto), in an attempt to document the challenges they faced as health professionals during a one-year period of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also fragments of their personal life as they return back home.
Patrícia Cardoso is 38 years old. She is the head nurse of the Intensive Care Unit of the Centro Hospitalar de São João, Porto, in what is the last line in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, in that hospital. An ECMO reference center for the entire northern region of the country. Patrícia has two children, Inês and Diogo, who are three years old.
Maria Sousa Uva is 30 years old. She is a medical intern in the specialty of Intensive Medicine at Hospital de Santa Maria, Lisbon. When the first patient with Covid-19 was admitted to the hospital, she had been in the Intensive Care Unit for about three months. During the pandemic, she worked in two COVID-19 units, a non-COVID-19 unit, and at INEM (National Institute of Medical Emergency), where she is part of the VMER (Medical Emergency and Reanimation Vehicle) team at the same hospital. Maria has two children, aged three and six.
António Madureira, 51, has been a radiologist for 27 years and is the director of the radiology service at Centro Hospitalar de São João, Porto. He took office in February 2020, a month before the start of the pandemic in Portugal. He tested positive for the new coronavirus a week after taking the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. António lives with his wife and three children.
Isabel Pires, 46, has been a nurse for 25 years and also works at the intensive care unit of Centro Hospitalar de São João. She lives with her husband and two daughters aged 15 and 18. Her mother, Hélia, 81, is in a nursing home in Gondomar.