A Winnipeg science teacher recovering from COVID-19 is sharing her experience in hospital and urging Manitobans to get vaccinated.
Maria Nickel, 50, tested positive four weeks ago and spent a day in the hospital last weekend.
She said it was obvious how busy front-line workers are.
“These nurses are running ragged, the doctors are running ragged,” Nickel said.
Nickel said she spent her time in an isolated area where she couldn’t interact with anyone but the healthcare workers treating her.
“The curtains are lined with plastic, like you’re basically in your own little cubical,” she said “Once you’re in this room they bring a commode to you and you go to the bathroom in the commode.”
At times, she said she was even able to hear patients in the neighbouring beds.
“One of them expressed, ‘Am I going to die?'” she said.
Last month, Nickel’s husband caught COVID-19 from a worker at a job site.
Nickel said she wore PPE around the house, including a mask and gown, but still caught the virus herself.
Shortly after testing positive, Nickel said Health Canada called her to let her know she had a variant of concern, but they didn’t say which variant.
Nickel said she had a much more severe case than her husband.
“Lots of vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea,” she explained.
“I had a two-hour sleep because I was so exhausted from just trying to dry my hair.”
When the symptoms became too much for her to handle, Nickel said Health Links advised her to go to the hospital.
Although the worst of her symptoms are behind her, she is still feeling sick and unable to return to work.
She hopes to convince others to follow public health orders and get in line for a vaccine.
“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,” she said. “It’s really debilitating when it hits you.”
Manitoba’s third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting harder than predicted and will get worse before turning a corner, Dr. Jazz Atwal, the deputy chief public health officer, said at a press conference on Friday.
“What’s driving this extreme scenario is people’s behaviours. It’s about those interactions. It’s about not adhering to the orders to its fullest degree,” Atwal said.
“We have people … who are saying, ‘Yes, I went to a bonfire, yes, I went to a sleepover.’”
Atwal said 50 per cent of recent hospital admissions have been under the age of 50.
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