No Bullshit: Corona Diaries

italia.jpg?f=detail_558&h=720&w=1280&$p$f$h$w=1da38a9EMERGENCY state in Serbia since last night! Our premiere said, we are closing our borders, all coronas came from Italy…Milano… he said it several times. NOTA BENE VERY IMPORTANT: not all viruses came from Italy to Serbia, as they didn’t come only from China to Italy. An elderly couple in northern Italy beat up a young local Chinese woman at the beginning of corona outbreak . I wonder if they are alive today and who is beating them! They are proved to be indigenous too…several different types growing and spreading locally.
USA’s Trump is also neglectfully blaming the Other instead of taking care of all. People paranoid about safety, money, supplies…all real issues in wrong order and context.
Racism, selfishness, ignorance instead of solidarity and tenderness. Activism now is less preaching more doing , cut the bullshit!
People in the markets in Zemun, Belgrade don’t wear masks, but they keep a distance between themselves, like they didn’t two days ago. In the bank, the girl at the counter said she only wished they were allowed to wear masks, like in the bank next door which is german. I saw a couple of young hip girls wearing them, plus all the chinese…Men are more disobedient than women, my handyman yesterday who fixed my broken lock, admitted it himself: my wife is imposing a quarantine to all of us including the grandchildren, i dare not admit that she is right but she is, she also didn’t let me go fight the war twenty years ago, made me a deserter hidden under her skirt and here i am now…god bless my wife.

I am dancing and crying with loud techno music, cooking and cleaning, like in the nineties
in Serbia…then banging from the window at a certain hours in a mass protest of noise against the regime of Milosevic. Now it is an invisible menace that separates us, my heart is in italy with my friends who are dancing and singing alone, all of a sudden i am liking Italian pop sings i never did before, emotionally triggering. Opera will be next, and playing good old fashioned piano.
So as day one fo emergency i decided to chill out. My late mom, a doctor, said, let’ s not get sick now that we have no proper care, and we didn’t!
Natasa from Vienna with her newborn is wondering if it is the end of the world, i think it might be the end of some world, hers, but a new one will still be there for her daughter. Not necessarily better but different. Let s take care of it and each others.

Between conspiracy theories of Dr Strangelove versus Nostradamus predictions, i am touching my pulse, it still beats and as Virginia Wolf taught me…it will show me the way…

J from Seattle
Trigger warning, this is worrisome to read, and yet it is what is happening in Seattle. I posted something like this a few days ago about Italy and people didn’t want to believe it. Governor Newsom of CA just closed down all the bars and limited # in restaurants to 1/2 occupancy. Seattle is affecting what leaders are doing across the country, as it is all about the health care system capacities. Staying home is how you serve everyone!
A friend has been in touch with an intensivist at a Seattle hospital with one of the highest numbers of COVID-19 admissions in the US.
They’ve been too exhausted to post much themselves, so I am conveying some of what I’ve been told, which is… eye-opening. To say the least.
The Seattle situation isn’t quite at Lombardy levels yet… but it’s getting there. First of all regarding the clinicians. None are sleeping more than a couple hours a night. Everyone is utterly exhausted. My colleague has seen so many people die as to have become totally numb.
It’s also nearing Status Lombardosus with regard to resources. They haven’t run out of ventilators (yet), but every single ICU bed in Seattle metro is full. And the onslaught shows no signs of stopping. They’ve run out of other things as well.
My colleague saw a patient who had a half-full syringe left attached to her IV line. The syringe had an antibiotic. First thought was that this was some gross nursing error.
It turned out not to be a mistake at all, but rather an accomodation to dire circumstances.
It was a drug that was supposed to be infused over hours. But there were no IV pumps available. So the nurse had given some of it, left the syringe attached, and planned to come by to give more a little later, and then finish it.
Here in the wealthiest country in the world.
They are also at the point of having to ration some kinds of care. For the most severely ill patients, there’s a machine called ECMO — extracorporeal membrane oxygenation — which is basically like an external lung that oxygenates blood when the patient’s lungs won’t work.
Seattle has 12 machines, which is less than what’s needed. So a central committee there is rationing; you can’t go on ECMO if your >40 years old, if you have another organ system failing, or… incredibly… if your BMI is>25. Turns out these are all major poor prognostic signs.
(Note: that doesn’t mean that anybody with a BMI >25 is in trouble if they get COVID. Just that if you’re critically ill from it, that is apparently a poor prognostic marker. Not sure anybody has a clear idea why.)
Meanwhile the combo of exhausted health care workers & no open ICU beds has made a very hazardous health situation for the entire region. If you have a stroke, a heart attack, etc., it will be hard to get the best care. There are patients in ERs for hours waiting for ICU beds.
My colleague told me something else remarkable: COVID patients are not dying of lung disease.
This seems to be a very distinct syndrome, and in severe cases the pneumonia leads to ARDS, or acute respiratory distress syndrome — a condition in which the lungs leak fluid & the patient can’t breathe w/out a ventilator.
But apparently the ARDS is not too severe, and they can manage people through that part of it.
Instead, after several days, the virus suddenly attacks the heart, causing it to precipitously fail. The myocarditis phase is savage and kills people within a day or two.
My colleague has seen a number of cases in which multiple family members were in the hospital and critically ill. Maybe this means there’s some genetic predisposition, but it’s probably too soon to say.
And then there’s the fear that comes with an epidemic. Apparently people shopping wearing the hospital’s logo on their clothing have been asked to leave the store. And some who work in the hospital have been asked to move out of their apartment buildings for a few months.
Restaurants have refused food delivery, with some of them refusing to even leave the food on the ground outside. The hospital had to send the medics to go pick it up. One doc’s housekeeper refused to come clean for her.
In short, this is a nightmare, teetering on the precipice of even worse destruction. The goal of every American city should be to avoid becoming the next Seattle.
Everyone needs to understand not just how bad this could get, but HOW BAD THIS ALREADY IS in one major US city.

S from NY, NY
[6:52 AM, 3/15/2020] : Except I can’t go anywhere or do anything. And worried about my health and our local businesses and institutions going bust and many friends losing jobs and totalitarianism setting in. So partially normal.
By “fine” I mean that we are still alive and not sick.

M from Australia

As a cancer patient, i through i will die of that some day, maybe soon…now i wonder what is going to kill me first, since my new chemo is working really well…

B from Austin, now in Belgrade

I may be kicked out of this country but where do i go then? How?

About jasminatesanovic

Jasmina Tešanović (Serbian: Јасмина Тешановић) (born March 7, 1954) is a feminist, political activist (Women in Black, Code Pink), translator, publisher and filmmaker. She was one of the organizers of the first Feminist conference in Eastern Europe "Drug-ca Zena" in 1978, in Belgrade. With Slavica Stojanovic, she ran the first feminist publishing house in the Balkans "Feminist 94" for 10 years. She is the author of Diary of a Political Idiot, a war diary written during the 1999 Kosovo War and widely distributed on the Internet. Ever since then she has been publishing all her work, diaries, stories and films on blogs and other Internet media.
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