Two years have passed today since the world turned its gaze to the H-10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel, after an Italian client was infected with COVID-19. It was the first contagion in Tenerife and the second in Spain after the positive of a German tourist in La Gomera three weeks earlier.
Immediately, the confinement of the hotel establishment with almost 900 clients and the fifteen employees who worked at that time was decreed. For the first time, an entire hotel was isolated for a health reason, even before the World Health Organization declared the epidemic a pandemic.
Overnight, they planted themselves in front of the hotel’s façade, shielded by a spectacular police deployment, European, national and local television cameras directing their targets at the tents of the field hospital in the same reception hall and towards any balcony in which some movement of tourists was detected.
Nieves López, head of the bar sector and one of the fifteen people who worked that night, admitted to this newspaper that there was a “continuous battle inside the hotel, but we all took a step forward and said: ‘we have to get out of this like be”. Vanesa Méndez, a cook, remembers that at that time the virus had only been detected in Italy and La Gomera: “We did not know how it spread or how infections occurred.” The employees earned the sympathy of the customers with their professionalism. In addition to the encouragement that they transmitted through the corridors, dining rooms, gardens and swimming pools, they also received thank you notes and even children’s drawings that appeared hanging on the walls.
The total number of those affected by COVID-19 in the hotel was seven (six Italian citizens and one British), which highlighted the success of the strategy used in the two weeks of isolation to contain the contagion of the health team, formed by 13 doctors, 42 nurses and 10 logistics management technicians.
The employees keep an indelible memory of the last day. “At midnight, when the quarantine ended, many customers came to the bar, took off their masks and threw them in the air all at once. Then they went out for a walk applauding the health workers and the National Police who were standing guard. It was a beautiful image.”