Friday, June 14, 2024

Nurse alleges beating by neighbors fearful of Covid infection

A nurse in León, Guanajuato, claims she and her family were beaten by neighbors who feared she would infect them with the coronavirus but the alleged assailants say the virus had nothing to do with it.

Nurse Carolina Lira filed a complaint alleging that she, her elderly mother and aunt were physically and verbally attacked on August 15 by a man and a woman outside her mother’s food stand.

Lira says she suffered a cervical sprain from the beating, which began when the woman allegedly grabbed her mother and began choking her, threatening to kill her before shoving her into a post and knocking her to the ground.

Then, a woman identified as Laura grabbed Carolina Lira’s hair and knocked her to the ground. Next, she claims, Laura punched her in the back, chest and abdomen while hurling insults. Lira says they called her a piece of “garbage” who would infect the entire neighborhood with the virus.

“I felt that they were going to kill me. They were hitting me with so much anger and fury that I really did think I would die,” said Lira, who is also a teacher at a private university.

The neighbors began harassing Lira in May, she says, when one of them approached her and threatened to kill her because she was  was going to infect everyone with the coronavirus, a phrase that was allegedly repeated in Saturday’s attack.

Lira said that since then she and her family had been afraid to go outside, but they never thought the situation would escalate to physical violence. 

Lira was assessed by health personnel who determined that she should wear a neck brace but did not require hospitalization. The hospital in Guanajuato where Lira works condemned the attack and any physical or emotional abuse against health workers. 

But the alleged attackers tell a different story. “It is a street issue. It was never aggression due to Covid,” Laura claimed, saying the clash was the result of longstanding neighborhood quarrels.

Laura said the Lira family disparaged her brother due to his sexual preference, calling him names, and that is how the melee began. 

“… there was never a Covid issue like she’s saying,” Laura said, noting that her family has received threats as a result of the heavy media attention that has been given the case.

Her family said they have several videos of the incident which prove that coronavirus and the nursing profession were never mentioned.

Yesterday afternoon, Laura’s family filed a counterclaim for physical damage and plan to file another complaint for moral damages in the coming days.

The family says it considers nursing an honorable profession and that healthcare workers have their full appreciation and support.

Source: El Universal (sp), Sin Embargo (sp), Página Central (sp), Periódico Correo (sp)

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