Rugerio, chief of the intensive therapy department at Mexico City’s Central Military Hospital, sees some of the most serious cases of Covid-19. She received the vaccination as part of one of the nation’s first wave of immunizations against the coronavirus for medical personnel.
One day after being administered the vaccine at a city hospital, she saw her daughter on Christmas Day.
“She was so big, because a child in eight months grows a lot and, well, now she’s almost a young lady, almost my size despite being only 10 years old, and she was so pretty,” she told Reforma newspaper. “She recognized me, though. She ran up to hug me and her father and, well, that day was just marvelous. We gave her what Santa had brought her under the Christmas tree, which were some dolls that she wanted. We spent the whole afternoon together; we ate pizza. We had a great Christmas Day.”
Because she and her husband are both doctors with the Mexican military, treating patients with Covid on a daily basis, they sent their daughter Camila to live with family eight months ago to reduce the risk of infecting her with the disease they have seen ravage so many people.
“It was very complicated. She is my only daughter,” Rugerio said. “We are only my husband, my daughter and myself. And with the uncertainty that existed with the pandemic, we made the difficult decision to have her be with our family in Sinaloa.”
Despite the sacrifices she’s had to make as a frontline worker, Rugerio, who has been a military doctor for 18 years, said she has experienced moments of pride, satisfaction, and even happiness watching some of her patients in critical condition overcome the coronavirus.
“It’s been very arduous work, not just for the doctors but for all the staff — the orderlies, the cleaning personnel — but it has its rewards, to give families their parents back or to watch our patients recover despite having been in grave condition; that is a great compensation,” she said.
But the most encouraging moment of the pandemic for her so far, she said, has been the day she received the vaccine.
“After so many months of uncertainty, it has given us a bit of light in our work,” she said.