Wednesday, June 12, 2024

‘Pay the credit card, feed the dog:’ messages from the coronavirus ward

Coronavirus patients at a government hospital in Mexico City are finding ways to communicate with their loved ones despite being in isolation, the newspaper Milenio reports. 

Their messages, ranging from the practical to the sentimental, are transcribed by doctors and nurses on a piece of paper and then taped to windows of the hospital’s first floor. There, social workers take photos of the messages and share them with the patients’ families, many of which wait outside the hospital each day, hoping for information or the possibility of a visit. 

One patient, Maribel, reminded relatives to feed the dog, pay credit card and utility bills and put gas in the car. She also told her family she loves them and regrets not being able to say goodbye because everything happened so fast. 

Francisco López was admitted to the hospital 10 days ago with atypical pneumonia. His son, Jorge, does not know if he has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, but through messages, they are told he is stable. “I only know that he is alive because of the message the nurse gave me,” Jorge says.

In the message, Francisco tells his children he loves them, and not to worry because he has “been through worse.”

“We answered the message, on a little paper note that goes inside a plastic bag,” Jorge said. “We told him that we are here, that we miss him. We also sent him a bottle of water.”

María García also communicates with her husband Julián through daily messages and sends care packages containing soap, towels, sandals and shampoo. She includes notes telling him she loves him and that he will be able to come home soon. 

But still, she’s anxious and wants to see him, arriving at the hospital every afternoon hoping one of the police officers guarding the door will let her in. It hasn’t happened. “They don’t want us to risk getting sick, too,” she concedes. 

Currently, Mexico is in phase three of the pandemic, with 8,261 cases of the coronavirus and 686 deaths.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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