Melanie Verwoerd’s personal experience with Covid

Melanie Verwoerd: Why I’m really scared at the moment

Unless you have had personal experience with this virus, don’t tell me that it is just a cold or light flu.

Unless you have looked into the panicked eyes of a loved one who is struggling to get oxygen, while the virus ravages through her/his body, don’t talk to me about mole hills.

Unless you have taken one of your loved ones to hospital, not knowing if you will ever see them again – or will be able to hold their hands while they die, do not tell me that every death is costing us x-billions of rands. (Would you care if it was your child?)

Unless you have seen how sick a middle-class, young person without any underlying conditions, a good immune system and access to private medical care can become, do not try and tell me that this pandemic must run its course, for the sake of herd immunity.

Ten days after my daughter was diagnosed things changed. Even though her (very high) fever had broken a few days earlier, her chest was still extremely tight.

She could not hold her breathe for two seconds.

Lying down was uncomfortable as she struggled to breath and I could see the panic in her eyes. The specialist told us to bring her into hospital the next morning and warned that she might need to be admitted.  

That was the longest night of my life. My daughter’s panicked eyes haunted me as I desperately tried to suppress the images of people dying alone in ICU.

The next day she had to be dropped outside of Mediclinic.

Of course they don’t allow you to go into hospital – so my child was left in the hands of strangers in hazard suits, while I could only pray that I would see her again.    

I do not wish that experience on anyone. 

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