Mortuary workers in Spain are vital because they bustle up the dead. This keeps any contamination that may cause more contagion that will make it worse.
In Spain, many workers in mortuaries have to take many of the deceased to their final resting place. Many of the dead are at nursing homes where victims have died because of COVID-19, and they work in silence.
Methodically, they disinfect the mouth, nose, and eyes of the dead to lessen the chances of getting the contagion. Bodies are swaddled in bedsheets, two body bags to cover the corpse, and zippers closed. Lastly, the bags are sealed tight, reported AP News.
Workers would only hear the sound of zippers getting closes, and that is the last time the dead are seen.
During the raging pandemic last spring, requests to move patients who survive COVID-19 were done often. Having a survivor get wheeled out was a good thing, compared to another one¹ dead.
Those working in places where death is commonplace has numbed everyone tasked with it. As the virus surged, so did the bodies that gathered from many victims. Spain has about 1.5 million coronavirus cases, with 43,000 as the death toll.
One of the workers said that feeling nothing is needed when dealing with death.
When the corpse is in the shroud and the zipper is sealed, no more asking how the dead person looks like. No more questions just do the job needed. Working in a morgue means the dead are forgotten or the job will ease anyone out in time.
The death count in Spain was 900 in July. But, the virus came back and took 200 lives this month. Because of the uptick collecting the dead is done in rounds from hospitals to home and care centers.
The worker said that something should have been learned, after the massive toll. But people forget, it happens again as nothing happened.
When one worker goes on sick leave, they need a replacement. In April, when the contagion struck hard, replacement workers are almost not stopping getting the corpses of those victims. Anyone can catch the virus and get sick, but some have to learn how to do the job properly. Safety is a big consideration for morgue workers.
Most PPE for infectious disease would be gloves, mask, and apron, but the coronavirus is more potent. In March, Spanish cities were swimming with infections. To stay safe, wearing an individual protection suit and two sets of gloves was the drill. Though taking off the PPE the right way is crucial for the workers.
Morgue workers are still healthy
One of the exposed workers had to isolate in March and April; he had to do it for six weeks. To be safe, he could only see his child via video.
Safety was almost a maniacal concern for morgue workers and risking their loved one's lives is not an option. They were risking their lives.
One of them said that at one point, as many as 50 up to 200 corpses were picked up. He had been collecting bodies for 14-years, but it overwhelmed him.
Like many mortuary workers in Spain, it was the most taxing time in their jobs. It took a lot to do their jobs.