TIJUANA (Border Report) — Margarita Hernandez has been a nurse at Tijuana’s Hospital General Regional No. 1 in for 12 years, but lately she’s turned into the facility’s “mail carrier.”
Every afternoon before her shift begins at 1:30 p.m., she walks outside and pops open a pink backpack that quickly fills up with letters from people gathered outside.
The letters — sanitized before they enter the hospital — are meant for loved ones who have COVID-19 and are under care at the hospital.
“You know what it represents, it’s from someone who loves you, someone who is waiting for you,” Hernandez said. “This motivates you, lifts your spirits up, helps you overcome your current situation, patients need their spirits lifted, and I gladly do it.”
Hernandez said she came up with the idea a few weeks ago after someone bought a cellphone and used it to help patients communicate with relatives, but the phone was in high demand and they couldn’t keep up.
So they turned to letters.
“I remember the anticipation of getting a letter, reading it, feeling great and reading it all over again, and it leaves you with a great feeling. I thought we could do this for the patients,” Hernandez said.
The correspondence had become very popular. Hernandez delivers 45 to 50 letters per day, but she wishes she could do more.
“Many of my patients don’t get any letters. Maybe it’s because I haven’t come across their families, maybe they’re not there when I show up. But I’ll gladly deliver more if people want to write anonymous letters for the patients,” she said.
Tijuana is experiencing a surge in COVID-19. As of Wednesday morning, 831 cases have been reported including 142 deaths.
Visit BorderReport.com for the latest exclusive stories and breaking news about issues along the United States-Mexico border.