2020 - 2021
Italy was the first Western country to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. In March 2020, the country’s health system was caught off-guard and brought to its knees, particularly in northern Italy, due to the exceptional nature of this tragedy.
USCAs (Special Continuity of Care Units) are teams of doctors responsible for monitoring and providing home care for Covid-19 patients. They are responsible for assessing who needs to be hospitalised on the basis of the symptoms and state of health of those suffering from the virus, helping prevent accident and emergency departments and hospitals from becoming overwhelmed (Law Decree n. 14 of March 9, 2020).
USCA doctors are very young. As a matter of fact, due to the shortage of personnel to combat the pandemic, from March 2020, the recruitment of recent medicine graduates has been made easier, abolishing the state exam for qualification to the medical profession, with an urgent and extraordinary measure (Law Decree n. 18 of March 17, 2020).
The Emilia Romagna region (Northern Italy) was one of the first to implement USCAs (as early as March 2020), and they have always remained operational, even in periods in which the curve of infections flattened, becoming one of the fundamental resources in tackling the pandemic. At the end of 2020, the USCAs consisted of 420 people (358 doctors and 62 healthcare workers), with an average age of 33, making around 11,000 visits every month.
Young doctors put their postgraduate specialisations on hold, catapulted, from one day to the next, from studying the profession to tackling a pandemic on the front line, 7 days a week.
The photographs are slightly out of focus due to the transparent plastic I had to cover the camera with to avoid contamination.