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Fecha de publicación: 
9 April 2020

Words and messages of praise are abundant in Internet for the work of health personnel in the very serious situation the world faces today. The examples of dedication, sacrifice, and professionalism of hundreds of thousands of doctors, nurses, lab workers, technicians, and nurse aides, who have work in hospitals, clinics and different areas to fight back the spread of the new coronavirus, have thrilled millions of people.

Some believe they deserve statues. Others believe they are the last minute heroes.

The public display of esteem and admiration, the thanks of the people are really welcomed. The medical staff deserves it well. I wish we didn't have to wait for circumstances like these to express so much love and gratitude.

In just a few words, doctors and nurses are not only the last minute heroes; they are the all-time heroes.

Cubans must have felt proud when they could see on television the warm welcome Italians gave to the medical brigade bound to Lombardy. That is the solidarity that international organizations are calling to fight the pandemic.

There are those who speculate that it’s a propaganda operation of the Cuban government; some claim that these people traveled to Italy due to an economic interest.

As if they would get rich from what they will be paid. I wish that was true: all the money any state pays to a public health worker will always be little.

But Cuban doctors who are now fighting against the spread of the virus in Italy are not there for juicy contracts, they are not there "to travel Europe" (This sort of nonsense can also be read in Internet). They are there, firstly, because of an ethical calling... the same calling defended by so many doctors of all nationalities, most of them.

Assuming that the drive for a health professional are mainly economic suggests an astonishing unawareness of the singularities of a job which is essentially humanistic.

Medicine is - should be – a public service. To profit from it - which is what some champions of a certain capitalism defend - is to deny millions of a fundamental right.

Medicine is practiced - it should be practiced - based on the desire and will to do well... just for the sake of doing so. The greatest reward is to contribute to the well-being of others.

That’s the reason why this is a profession just for the chosen ones.

Some of the personnel that traveled to Lombardy have already worked in Africa fighting the Ebola outbreak. It was, up to some extent, a more dangerous mission. There were those who questioned the purity and disinterest of the intentions, of their willingness.

Some questions arise and a few answers must be given: Was it necessary to go fight the pandemic? It was indeed necessary. Was it dangerous to go? It was dangerous. Why then question those who went?

Perhaps the motivations of a government to provide the service were not understood or are not understood. That is a different debate (and that government can offer solid arguments to defend its decisions).

But under what eye is a doctor judged?

Not everyone has the skills to be a hero. Some are not even trained to understand everyday heroism. It would be useful to have, at least, common sense ... which is enough to show respect for the sacrifice of others.

For all the doctors, a large round of applause.

For doctors, public appreciation.

For doctors and scientists, the best wages.

Now and always.

Looking after the health of others is not just a job, it’s devotion.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSi Translation Staff

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