“There has been no reduction in employment,” said Maria Berardelli, nursing coordinator at Pope John XXIII’s hospital. “A smaller number of admissions to the emergency room, but our intensive care unit is still full, so that activity has not been reduced.”
In a public housing project in the city of Seville, 90-year-old Manuela Jiménez has been locked up in her home for more than 20 days. He spoke to neighbors from his window as they gave food and said he had never seen anything like it, despite having lived through the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War.
“In the past my mother would lock me up and I would remain calm but now, look, there are my neighbors and I can’t see them,” Jiménez said.
The disease has been compounded by a shocking economic pain because all the world’s biggest economies have been stalled, including in Italy and Spain. In France, which trailed its two neighbors to the south in death and infection, the government closed the country two days after Italy – and also appeared to have subsided slightly.
The US initially refused to take some of the crackdowns seen in other European countries, which banned large events, closed schools and closed their borders to slow the spread of COVID-19 disease.
The government’s first suggestion is that people wash their hands frequently. As the number of cases increased, the response increased including the closure of schools, bars, restaurants and non-essential shops and national orders for everyone except key workers to stay at home.
Now, Austria and the Czech Republic openly discuss ways to ease some crippling restrictions. The Austrian Chancellor said the plan was to leave small shops and park centers reopen next week, with limits on the number of customers inside, and the rest on May 1. The Czech government proposes an end to the ban on travel restrictions abroad on April 14 and the reopening of small shops.
AP reporters Renata Brito in Barcelona, Spain, Barry Hatton in Lisbon, Portugal and Lori Hinnant in Paris contributed to this report.
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