COVID-19 The Reality For Those Close To Hospitalised Patients

COVID-19: The Reality For Those Close To ICU Patients

COVID-19 in South Africa brought a harder lockdown with the amended Level 3 regulations. Many people complained about the lockdown, feeling that the second wave is being hyped up to control people. But, as one of our regular writers noted, it’s real, it’s deadly, and people should respect social distancing. Some comments on social media suggested that she just helped the government impose more draconian rules. But you see, the day after she wrote that, she fell very ill and ended up in a COVID ward. The reality is that when people are close to severely ill patients with the virus, it’s way easier to believe it’s much more than “just a flu.”

COVID-19 Is scary And hospitalised patients can’t see their family

Our article highlighted that “each individual needs to play a part.” Instead of whining about closed beaches, people should rather take social distancing seriously. COVID-19 can strike anyone, at any time. Initially diagnosed with a sinus infection, our writer fell very ill rather suddenly. The positive test came the next day. Lowering oxygen levels meant admission to the ward the next morning. For a week, physiotherapists tried clearing her lungs. She remained on oxygen most of the time as she couldn’t get enough oxygen without help.

But, slowly and surely, she became progressively less able to cope. A build-up of fluid and an inability to get rid of it saw her moved to ICU. A day after, under full sedation, she was attached to a ventilator. Now, her life lies in “God’s hands,” say doctors. What I can’t stress enough is the unknowing. Information about COVID-19 patients comes in little bits, and so each night brings the dread thought of bad news tomorrow. Family can’t comfort their loved one. They can’t hold their hand and encourage them or tell them they care.

All you can do is pray

For those families with ICU admitted loved ones, all they can do is pray. No amount of tears or handwringing or trying to find out where they got the virus from helps. Nothing can ease the pain of feeling helpless. So, this article is in tribute to our writer who fights for her life far away from those who love her. She tried to tell people to respect this virus. And now, hopefully, she lives. But if she doesn’t then hopefully, the next time people feel inclined to party with friends during this pandemic, they might pause and think again.

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