By Safie M. Gonzalez
HAVANA TIMES – I often listen to the daily briefing that’s broadcast at 9 AM. It gives us an update about the current situation of the pandemic in our country. TV news shows talk about research, isolation centers and medical assistance for patients suspected of having COVID and testing positive.
Until now, I hadn’t had the misfortune of knowing a suspected or positive case amongst my closest circle or family. But it finally happened, and when you have a close experience of something it’s always very different. I would like to share my brother’s story in this article, who hasn’t been feeling well for some days now.
He is 23 years old and he woke up with a headache and a slight fever last week. He went straight to a health clinic, accompanied by my father. The doctor checked him over. Then he sent him off to be admitted, as any patient presenting a fever must be admitted. The doctor explained he probably wasn’t feeling well because of dengue or zika. However, he said the admission into an isolation center is the current protocol.
This happened at around 5 PM, and the vehicle responsible for picking up “suspected COVID-19” patients, was informed. My brother was there waiting, along with two others, until the transport arrived at 9:35 PM. The three of them were taken to an isolation center and he was put in a cubicle alone. The following day, he was given a COVID-19 test and nothing else. Two other people were admitted into his cubicle on that day.
After 5 days in the center, he finally found out that he had tested negative and he was sent home. But we still don’t know whether my brother has dengue or zika. Today, he was given a “platelet count” at our doctor’s. He is droopy, he’s lost weight and has a huge rash.
We all know taking care of COVID-19 patients is a priority across the globe. But does that mean that other diseases, which are also debilitating and dangerous, have to wait? It makes me wonder how much truth and efficiency there really is in the news broadcast every day?