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Covid 19 – The Transformation of One World

The Coronavirus has taught us a valuable lesson and has forced us to be different people and to do things differently. More creatively, it has opened our eyes to see the resources we have at our disposal such as online communication, it has pushed us to contact those whom we had forgotten (At least, I have learned to use Microsoft’s Team’s and have a video conference with several members of my family) and to realize the work that teachers do in educating our children.

It is impressive to see how schools have taken a step forward teaching through the computer and entertaining to see how parents complain about not having a personalized education when education is 80 percent dependent on parents. Teachers are people who do our work 1.) by vocation and 2.) because we have to eat.

The Coronavirus is teaching us all a lesson, especially those who take the opportunity to launch themselves into fame by filming themselves, taking donations to those who need it most. If we want to help, let’s do it because it comes from the heart and not to demonstrate or want to silence others.

Personally, being confined to my home has shown me how little time I have spent with my family, how much I love them and has taught me to prioritize. Playing with my children and laughing with my wife has been the most beautiful thing I have learned and taken advantage of from this situation.

I see different news on different social networks and I read how there are countries that have reacted very quickly and others that have taken their time. I have read comments of hatred by people towards their own government and being quick in criticizing the actions of other governments.

The Coronavirus is teaching us a great lesson. It is showing us who we are and where we are. We are locked up, with our loved ones and we complain because we prefer to be outside, living a normal life, than to prioritize the life of our loved ones? What a pity it is that a pandemic has become our best teacher. Sometimes human beings require education by blows.

Scepticism

Since all this started, I have always been aware that we are all vulnerable to get the virus. Unfortunately, my fear came true because by travelling every day on the Metro, teaching at a University where people frequently travel and commute . I knew that sooner or later I would be a victim of the virus. Things always happen for a reason and this time I think it was time to make many changes in my life. I went through this virus in a crowded hospital, a hospital that no longer offered beds, but rather armchairs to the sick.

I saw people pass out from weakness, anxiety and other ailments/diseases like diabetes or age. Yes, in this case age turned against us since the virus chose the weakest and in most cases the virus and death won.

Incipient Negligence

As the number of infected grew, the doctors and nurses were no longer enough. The fear that the medical body had to approach those infected with the virus was not enough, but that they became a minority. They also began hiring students, even freshmen. Nurses who had little idea of what they were doing. Some overdosing and others totally ignoring the patients who suffered the most. I remember seeing myself sitting in the most uncomfortable chair in all of Spain. I did not move a muscle and I still had my cap on, even the nurses called me “El de la Gorra”; the one with the cap. Many nurses ignored me while I suffered a temperature of 39. But of course! The one in the cap is surely an athletic and young man. It was until the second day when they changed shifts that a nurse finally injected me with Lomotil; a serum that lowered my fever and I swear one that extinguished my fever. I didn´t have it again.

Being in a hospital suffering a pandemic of this calibre makes you think fast. My first strategy was to sleep during the day and stay up all night, because for some reason it was only at night when more patients came in. Sick, weak, dehydrated and with experimental medicine that caused most of us to have explosive diarrhoea, nobody considered us for a second to let us rest. When my body couldn’t take it anymore, I fell asleep. God willing it be five minutes, an hour or 10 seconds, I saw two paramedics next to me trying to wake me up, “Sir, wake up. We have come to read the vital signs.” I opened my eyes as if I were seeing the same demon, I sighed as if it were the last, for me nothing was real and they just laughed at my reaction. Every time my temperature was taken, I prayed that it was below 38 degrees, that the oxygen was above 94 and my heart was fine.

In the first 3 days, I don’t know if it was the fever or the medication, but my heart was not pumping blood normally. It was beating for a few minutes and suddenly it felt super strong throbbing’s as if it was trying to fill with blood to then spit it out to the rest of the body. I want to think it was due to dehydration.

Self-Survival

Inside the hospital I had to keep hydrated on my own. Experiencing 40-degree fevers and explosive diarrhoea, my body was very weak and very dehydrated. I appreciated that the staff gave us water however, it was only a bottle of water which wasn´t nearly enough sufficient. So, I had to use a vending machine to buy up to 10 litres a day. Otherwise, I don’t think I would be telling this story.

I remember on the second night it was impossible to rest because I was so hungry that I had to go to the same machine to buy a tuna salad with olives and rice. It felt like the best delicacy after eating only cookies and coffee, which looked more to be water than coffee.

Luck changed

Finally, on Saturday night, at 11 at night I was transferred to another place on the second floor of the hospital called “La Bodega”. It was a storage that had been set up as a Covid-19 patient room for 8 people. At least, I was no longer surrounded by noise and light, day and night.

For the first time I was able to breathe deeply and even though my right lung ached as I did so, I knew the medication was working. I don’t know if it was due to the emotions of that night, the transfer, the deep breathing and the calm that was in the new room, that I felt was going to pass out when I went to the bathroom. I told a nurse and she took my vital signs and said everything was fine. It was then that my anxiety attacks began.

Sunday 4:00 pm, paramedics arrived to inform us that they were going to transfer us to a place called IFEMA. In “El País” (Virtual Newspaper) I had read reports that it was not very pleasant since they were wards full of Covid 19 patients. I was a little scared, but at the same time something said to me, “It cannot be worse than this hospital. That cannot exist”. So I informed my wife, she brought me clothes, food and other things and they put me and my sick colleagues in an ambulance for 5 seated people and after a 20 minutes journey we reached our destination.

To my surprise IFEMA turned out to be a paradise compared to the damn hospital. At last, we slept in beds equipped with blankets and oxygen and staff assisting us 24/7. There were clean bathrooms with showers. They gave us a bag full of hygiene products such as soap, shaving cream, and shampoo.

Once I was able to take a shower, I called my wife and gave her an update. I was very excited that I almost cried when the song “Resistiré” was played, a song in Spain that symbolised the fight against Coronavirus. Very tired, but happy to be clean and in a bed, it was at 23:00 that they brought us dinner and medicine. A very decent dinner of rice, chicken, yogurt and juice. Thanks to the universe and all the powers of infinity that I spent 3 nights in that place until I was discharged on April 1st.

Covid 19 Psychosis

The treatment was so fast that the patients seemed more scapegoats than patients. 7 days of medicine, you continue to cough but there is no fever and the oxygen levels are fine, so you are discharged so the bed can be given to another who needs it.

The cough continued for several months, not like when you have the virus but there is always a cough and you feel that something is continually pressing on your chest. I was so weak that on the 7th day after discharge I had a panic attack and I had to call 911 who took 40 minutes to answer and another 30 minutes to get here. I thought I was having a cardiac arrest; however, the doctors took my vital signs, including an ECG and everything looked fine. It had been an anxiety attack so they gave me a diazepam to fix the issue.

A few days later, my family doctor called me and asked how I was doing. I mentioned the anxiety to her and she prescribed Lorazepam 1mg. I asked her how I should take it and she said, “Whenever you need it. When you feel anxiety.”  Wow! I have always been afraid to take things for anxiety because I know that they are very strong addictive drugs.

Well I started with one Lorazepam at night, then half a pill in the afternoon and in a matter of two weeks my body needed more. I had controlled the anxiety but another problem arose, it led me to depression. 7 days in the hospital, alongside everything that had happened, then 14 days of quarantine in my room with a cough and strange sensations in my bronchial tubes and lungs, and little communication with my doctor. It was obvious that it would end with depression and anxiety. By the way, after my discharge, my eyes were not the same; I had constant dizziness and could not focus well or read closely.

It has been 3 months since being discharge and up until 2 weeks ago I started to feel good. I am on a treatment of Citalopram for anxiety and depression and little by little I am reducing Lorazepam. It should be mentioned that at the beginning of the treatment with Citalopram it was a living hell since the medicine takes effect 3 weeks after starting the treatment. In my case, it was 4 weeks! It had to be me!

In conclusion, COVID 19 is not a simple flu. There is scientific evidence that those who suffer mild symptoms is because they received a very low viral load. So, anyone who believes they have a stronger immune system I am sorry to tell you that the virus can return and the symptoms can be the same or stronger. The Covid affects you physically and mentally. Speaking on behalf of most of us who have been infected, we become hyper vigilant disinfecting everything with the belief that it will return to us again very soon. Please take note of cases like mine and don’t leave home if you don’t need to.

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