RICO’S DIGEST – It’s been almost a year since the first case was reported last March, we’ve been battling covid-19 in Costa Rica. And although I’ve survived covid, up to now, by not getting infected, many more haven’t.
As of Thursday, January 14, 183,242 people have been confirmed with the virus, of which, 140,751 have recovered, and unfortunately, 2,401 had died.
Of the recovered is Don Aurelio Morales, 82.
He is a neighbor, in Rio Oro (Piedades) de Santa Ana. I don’t know him, but what he and his family went through I wouldn’t wish it on my best enemy.
Don Aurelio was hospitalized for 35 days at the San Juan de Dios Hospital, in critical condition.
He was always in good spirits and attentive to all the indications of the health personnel, who attribute his coming out of this on the right side of the ground, to finally return home, to his attitude and become today part of good statistics.
Although he physically left hospital, he still remains in the mind and heart of the many doctors, nurses, therapists and other hospital staff that baptized him “el señor de los cielos” (the lord of the skies) because his name, Aurelio, is the same as the character in a soap opera.
Don Aurelio his 82nd birthday, in hospital, on December 31.
“This relationship is a clear example of empathy, it is the ability to understand what the patient experiences on an emotional level, which is vital especially in the context of the pandemic,” explained Lady González Méndez, a clinical psychologist at the San Juan de Dios.
“When users are hospitalized without being able to be accompanied by their family members, health personnel become their immediate support network. At a time when there is a lot of uncertainty, fear, providing them with support and trust is essential in the recovery process, ”said the specialist.
While Don Aurelio fought his battle with the virus, his family braced for the worst
Jeimy Vallejos, Don Aurelio’s daughter, said that her father was so sick that they prepared for the worst.
At times, during his being interned in the hospital, she had five minutes to see her father through a window, without being able to hug him. That impossibility impacted her so much, she said, that at the moment she values every second with him and with the people around her.
“My family and I want to express our gratitude to the nurses, medical staff, Nutrition, Mental Health, Cleaning, transportation, and all the people involved who made it possible for daddy to be here at home today … I want to urge all the people to continue the guidelines and especially that they take care of the elderly, so that they do not go through the same thing that I went through. Having a relative in one of these units is very sad,” said Jeimy.
For Thursday, the Ministry of Health reported 577 people are in hospital with covid, 240 of which are an intensive care bed.
The Ministry of Health no longer reports the number of people, like Don Aurelio, in a critical care bed, which for anyone has read up (or worse has had personal experience), is quite different than a regular ICU bed or regular hospital bed for that matter.
Don Aurelio’s story touches me. It reinforces my conviction to continue to take care of myself and of my friends and loved ones, not to give in to the voices of some who say this is all a hoax, the virus does not exit, and more.
As I said before, I do not personally know Don Aurelio or his family, but he is the closest (I typically walk the streets of my neighborhood just about every morning, covering the complete area at least once every week and have uncountably passed by Don Aurelio’s home.
Until this is all over, and who knows when that might be, though there is some light thanks to the vaccine, let’s be careful out there.
I am one of those to be vaccinated in the second group. Until then, and for some time afterward, I will continue to wear my mask, wash my hands and apply gel in between when I am out of the house, and maintain social distancing.