A DOCTOR working tirelessly to save lives in the Madrid region city of Ciudad Real during the Covid-19 outbreak, returned home after a shift to find a note pinned to his apartment door telling him to get out.
The anonymous message read: “Hello neighbour, we know about all the good work you do in the hospital and we appreciate it, but you should also think about your neighbours. Here, there are children and senior citizens.”
“There are other places you can stay… Please think about it,” as the note urged him to move to a hotel made available to medical staff.
Twenty-eight-year-old Jesus Monllor’s discovery of the note mirrored a similar greeting, also sent anonymously, to a Murcia region supermarket worker telling her to quit her flat with her children because her neighbours feared they would be infected by the coronavirus.
Dr Monllor took to Twitter to vent his anger: “It’s obvious that no health professional would expect a message like this. I don’t think anyone deserves it. We are breaking our backs, with very few resources, risking our health so that everyone who comes through the hospital doors will get better.”
He added that he takes every precaution to avoid catching and spreading the virus.
A online petition to support the doctor has received nearly 9,000 signatures, and the local mayor even visited Monllor in his hospital to ask for his forgiveness in “the name of the entire community.”
In the doctor’s apartment building, another neighbour responded to the original message by putting up another anonymous note, which said “a hero lives here.”
Pilar Allue, the director of the National Police, said that her officers can seek to prosecute anybody who posted “reprehensible” messages like this.
“Our team will continue going after criminals, including those who commit hate crimes, which is what something like this could be considered,” she added.
Hotels across Spain have been opened to give healthcare professionals the option to live outside their homes during the crisis to eliminate the risk of infecting their families.
Unions though have made it clear that it is a personal choice and their members should not be hounded out of their homes.
The SATSE nurses union said: “Health professionals are extremely concerned about not infecting people around them, that’s why we’ve been saying from day one that all workers must have the necessary protective equipment.”