Since Tuesday, April 28, Roxana stole the show in the chat of our Group 2, Vargas' students, the teacher who, when the roll call was over, made us repeat very loudly: “Being good makes you happy and strong.”
From April 28 to May 11, another 29 of us accompanied her, via the Internet, when the guard was quiet and we sent her off on the days set aside for that. For 14 dates, we sent no one more "take care" than her.
Roxana Rodríguez is still number 25 in my "pre" class. But today Roxana is also a doctor whom we have all heard speak with the respect that she has fought to burn her eyelashes and thinking of each patient as a family member.
Our 25th is a source of pride and concern to us, as she was in the Intensive and Emergency Care Unit of the “Guevara” Hospital attending to suspects for COVID-19.
Roxana offers security to those of us who have loved many in Las Tunas, because we know her as responsible at work as she is fun in our reunions, and we imagine her unveiled with her cases as in the "pre" when there was a physics problem difficult to solve.
She served seven terms in there. Seven times she worked for 24 hours and tried to rest the next 24. After the third time, she sent to the chat a photo that deserved sad or surprised faces as reactions; one that we would not even think of sharing, because of that character that always made us respect the 25th. I didn't see those dark circles under her eyes the day after a sleepless trip, a big party, or an early morning of scholarship stories and mischief.
She will have time to disappear them, in isolation, where she left last Monday as a new woman, as a new doctor. The order is to rest for 14 full days. And I can't imagine her fulfilling that mission. But she will. Like she always does. In the chat, she told us that the last guard was quiet, to close hard days, because you could see a lot of patients and there were nights when several serious ones arrived. And I can imagine her efforts to save them all. At other times I've heard about her other efforts, from patients, from relatives.
What they do not know is that Roxana was not going to be a clinic. At the University, she thought about Neurosurgery until a rotation and a professor changed her course. She says so and holds Dr. Isora responsible (and here Alenna, the 18th in my group, points out: Zoilita, don't forget to mention her, she is wonderful.
And I also remember when Orlandito got sick, the 13th, and everyone cited with certainty the diagnosis and solution given by that specialist who inspired my friend). It is a difficult path. Professor Isora did not deceive her, and in her still short experience she has proven it, but she would choose it again, says the outstanding student, and recognizes that the madness of the ER was not the only complicated thing. There are issues that were not predicted in class nor practiced when that rotation took place.
For Isabel's daughter: Spending Mother's Day here was complicated... But "must be done!" she said in every way, and she spoke in the plural, because on these dates, besides not having received any confirmation from COVID-19 in her room, the best thing was the friendship and empathy between those who did not even know each other, or had hardly ever crossed paths. Those same people who tied their coat to each other's backs, who beat together to get a patient out of danger and who constantly watched each other to be alerted and avoid mistakes, shared extra food during the hours of rest and tried out the dominoes, without fixed partners... They are clear: at the end of all this, there will be a family party.
Roxana finished and Surelys, the 12th of my group, who lives in Chile with her husband, cares for patients with respiratory symptoms facing the same danger there. The 25th gives her a thousand pieces of advice, like Elisita, the 14th, who takes turns in Emergencies at the Gustavo Aldereguía Lima polyclinic and whom Roxana has been taking care of these days, from the chat, of tonsillitis.
When all this is over I'll call the roll again. As always, it will be at the Martí square, at 5:00 pm. The date will not coincide with a guard of the 25th. It had happened before. And we know that someone is always missing because of life, geography, children, work..., but now the when will be fixed by her, the disciple of Vargas who is good, with pleasure, and is, for that reason also, strong and happy; the doctor that we will embrace, as our closest symbol of all those to whom we applaud; the one who has now written on her mask, but who since I met her, as one more number on the list of a group, has been willing to offer her heart.