The first thing we met outside the Academic Hospital was the new sampling tent, just unpacked from a container labeled "emergency equipment".

"When the wind is on, it gets cold," said Jonas Furberg, one of the nurses who worked in the tent.

Then one day in mid-March, the hope was still to be able to trace the infection and limit the spread in Sweden.

But just like the chilly wind that caused the nurses in the tent to freeze, everyone was aware that the storm was on the horizon.

"Now it has to be faster than the virus," the infectious physician Erik Salaneck told us when we entered the infections.

The storm is here

By mid-March, a handful of patients had been confirmed to be infected and hospitalized. But no one had yet died in their region.

"But the worst is not so far away," Erik Salaneck noted.

Finding and breaking all infection chains would soon prove impossible. Just a few days later, the first patient at the Academic Hospital dies and in the Stockholm region it is stated that the storm is now here.

"You feel cold, now you should get good treatment and we hope for the best". The nurse takes the patient in his hand and tries to calm him down. Photo: Emil Larsson / SVT

As the number of infected people increased in Sweden, the health care was forced to change. At the Academic Hospital several new departments for corona patients were opened in record speed. We were locked around among packing boxes and staff who would learn new routines and face a disease completely unknown to them. Some were scared. But everyone with the will during this special time does their utmost to save lives.

Great need for places

The situation changed in mid-April. There was no longer talk of calm before the storm, patients were queuing up to get to hospitals and doctors were forced to redirect ambulances to other clinics.

During one day, 20 new patients with Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals in the Uppsala region.

One patient has deteriorated and moved to another department for more specialized care. Photo: Emil Larsson / SVT

The need for seats was then so great that the beds were used immediately after they returned from the courthouse. A specialist nurse explained to us that it feels on the metal frame of the bed because it is cold.

From time to time we realized that the distance between life and death is short.

"It's been a tough time"

But in recent weeks, the number of newly enrolled patients with Covid-19 has decreased, the curve seems to be moving in the right direction in their region.

The staff is allowed to breathe and reflect for a little while.

"When all this is over, I'll probably take a little break, it's been a tough time," says Andrea Vergara, assistant nurse at Infection Division 30F.

Thanks to great efforts, the healthcare system was able to change and it did not actually become as chaotic as we have seen in the pictures from other countries, at least not in Uppsala.

But maybe we will have reason to unpack our protective masks again and return to the hospital corridors, because who knows how the second wave will hit Sweden.

SVT's team Oskar Jönsson and Emil Larsson. Photo: Emil Larsson / SVT

The documentary "Stories from the front line" will be broadcast at 20:00 on Thursday, May 28 in SVT 1 and can also be seen on SVT Play.