The Comfort Of Staying Ill

Covid through the eyes of a 15 year old.


lauren borchelt

medical supplies that are a most have for this time.

A 15 year old ended up in the intensive care unit in a life-threatening situation, all because of the fear of catching the Coronavirus. It was April of 2020, and during the early stages of the Coronavirus pandemic, many doctors and patients were so fearful of the pandemic, they were avoiding treatment for preexisting conditions and health issues that require monitoring and treatment. My doctors were aware of the tenuous nature of my condition and were monitoring me via phone and daily charting via email. Doctors told me to continue my home treatments and regimens in the hope my declining medical condition would improve, yet, as the week progressed my condition only declined. We traveled to urgent care for labs and fluids, and they immediately called an ambulance to transport me to the hospital as my labs and heart monitorings were considered critical, and my health suddenly became a life or death situation. While we worked so hard to keep away from the hospital since catching the Coronavirus could be deadly to people with preexisting conditions, it ended up almost killing me as I did not get the care I needed in order to survive. When we arrived at the hospital, a crash team escorted me to the Intensive Care Unit for extensive monitoring and treatment, as my potassium level was only 1.5. A normal potassium level should be 3, and anything under 2 can kill you. While being careful during the pandemic is the most important thing, it is also important for patients to listen to their bodies, and seek medical care when needed. We were told we would be comforted at home knowing I was safe from the pandemic, but in reality, the “comfort” of staying ill, truly ended up putting me in a scary situation far from comfortable. During the pandemic, many healthcare professionals are advising people to stay away from hospitals, surgery centers, and any other medical buildings, as the risk of catching the Coronavirus is greatly increased where the patients are. While this is important, many do not think of the serious things that can happen in this situation and how much it affects their lives. For example, people who need surgeries are being told to wait until it is safe, even though they greatly need surgery. Patients are being told to stay home during life-threatening situations. The global pandemic is proving to create difficult and sometimes deadly situations, some far worse than had the patient been exposed to the virus itself. Many people choose to ignore this fact, because they look at the virus as the most deadly thing at the time, not thinking about the consequences many other people face because of the spread of the virus. There are so many people in a similar medical situation, not receiving the care they need, and being told they are safer in the comfort of their own homes than in the hospital being exposed to the virus. While yes, this is true and important to reduce the people exposed to the virus, it is also critically important to remember that some people are at a greater risk to stay home and postpone medical treatment or surgery. So while limiting the people exposed to the CoronaVirus is extremely important and necessary to reduce the spread of the virus, there are many other sides to the story that can matter more than an attempt to prevent the spread.