On the morning of March 8, Francesca Tamburelli was in her apartment in Heidelberg, Germany, when she learned that part of Italy was entering lockdown due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Upon hearing the news the 25-year-old, who graduated from medical school just last summer, quickly boarded a bus to her hometown of Turin. Within a few days, she was working in a hospital in Cremona, a city in the epicenter of Italy’s outbreak, where nearly 500 patients suffering from COVID-19 are treated. Other than internships and volunteer work in Tanzania, it’s her first professional experience in a hospital.
Tamburelli is one of the many young doctors in Italy responding to the calls recently put out by local administrations to meet the shortage of medical staff in hospitals experiencing unprecedented levels of pressure. Italy is one of the worst affected countries by the coronavirus; over 86,000 people here