When France is boxed in, this doctor has become a lifeline for her rural community


“It responds very well to the music,” she says about a patient. It takes a bear plush pink and caress the cheek of a woman in bed, which opens a half-eye. Since the beginning of the isolation, the residents are confined in their rooms. The medical staff is the only person they have seen and the Dr Spihlmann starting to take notice of patients developing psychological problems or behavioural problems such as a worsening of the dementia, a silence or violence. A resident is tearful when she sees us. Isolated in their rooms and cut off from their families, they are fully dependent on the staff. Few can speak with their relatives via video conferencing.After a long day, Dr. Spihlmann arrives at the house about 20: 30. and undresses in a decontamination area is improvised in the garage. She removes her shoes at the entrance, throws his clothes directly in the washing machine and the showers in the basement. Despite her precautions, her husband Vincent always takes instinctively a step back from it on occasion. She sometimes forgets where she is and wears a mask to the interior of his home. Vincent and their teenage sons, Tom and Basil, have tried to help him cope with the pressure of his work during the time they are confined to the house. “At one point, she was so stressed that she cried out always in it,” says Basile. That night, Dr. Spihlmann and her husband play a duo on clarinet and piano to relax.

I come home in the farm of my family. My brother, who is sick, is isolated in a room at the back of the house, only communicating with me by SMS so that it is only 50 metres away. Dr. Spihlmann gives me some masks FFP2 for the wife and the daughter of my brother. I left his medication in front of her window. I’m trying to find a pulse oximeter to measure the oxygen level in his blood, but they have all been requisitioned by the State for hospitals. We fear that my father, who present a high risk because of a pre-existing condition, do also falls ill. At night, the sound of the cough of my brother beat my heart.


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