When Storm Filomena brought the heaviest snowfall in decades to Spain, dumping as much as 50 centimetres across the centre of the country, everything stopped as up to 500 roads became blocked.
Everything that is, except for many health care workers who were forced to walk for hours to get to their frontline hospitals to tend seriously ill patients suffering from Covid-19. But they did not hesitate. Their physical fitness and mental determination proved a match for the challenge.
Dr Álvaro Sanchez was typical of the resolute spirit, walking 17km (10.5 miles) through the snow to reach his hospital in Majadahonda, north west of Madrid.
“After 17 kilometres of pure snow, an hour and three-quarters later, I can say that I have arrived at the hospital and I can play the game. That's how we are,” said Dr Sanchez on social media. Other video footage showed two nurses, regular skiers, using their ski poles to walk 22km to a hospital in Madrid.
Tributes were paid on social media to doctors and nurses for their self-sacrifice – as well as their fitness – and it prompted owners of 4x4 vehicles to give health workers lifts to work.
Spain's health minister Salvador Illa said: "The commitment that the entire group of health workers is showing is an example of solidarity and dedication."

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