Back to the last Saturday of February. In Brabant, the very first Dutch corona infections have just been diagnosed. But life looks very different from now. From the term social distancing we have never heard and it is not yet in our mind to hoard toilet paper.
Ed and Gina are not at all bothered about the corona virus and go to a party that evening. “It was the birthday of someone who’s birthday is only once every four years, on February 29. The birthday turned sixty. There were about fifty guests.”
Positive corona test
Three days later, Ed falls ill: “Headache, coughing, pressure on my stomach. Overall malaise actually.” Another two days later, he is tested for corona by the GGD. And he tests positive. “We were one of the first patients. I therefore would not have thought so 1-2-3. I was shocked, yes. But we did not find it really frightening at the time. Brabant was just at the point that it was said: do not shake hands. But there were no more measures yet. We did quarantine immediately. “
In the days that follow, more people get sick who have attended the same birthday party. Gina, Ed’s wife, also appears to be infected with the corona virus. “It went very fast with her, she is also a bit older. She hardly ate and drank any more. There was a moment when she said: let me slip away. It was quite intense.”
“Will I ever see her again?”
March 16. Gina is not doing well at all. “There was very little life in it. She occasionally suddenly disappeared. Then I called the GGD and said: help, I don’t like it anymore.” Dehydrated and with pneumonia, Gina is admitted to the Amphia Hospital.
What then happens, Ed describes as a ‘miracle of God’. Gina is visibly improving. “She was immediately placed on an IV and things quickly went better.” In fact, the recovery is progressing so well that Gina is released from the hospital four days later. Ed says: “My daughter was not allowed to pick her up, she was also infected. Eventually a granddaughter of us went to pick her up in the hospital.”
And so Ed was able to embrace his Gina at home again: “It was an emotional reunion, with big tears, just like saying goodbye.” But this time tears of happiness flowed. “We are so happy, so relieved. It is really a miracle that we got through it together.”
Ed himself is almost the old one again. And Gina is also recovering well. She is sleeping when her husband speaks to Omroep Brabant by phone. “When she got home, she slept three quarters of the day. Carefully I got her to eat and drink again. Now she sleeps another three hours a day.” Both have now undergone a negative corona test, so the virus has really passed.
As an expert by experience, Ed calls on everyone to follow up the measures that are now in place. Even if it is outside 20 degrees from Sunday. “Stay indoors, or at least away from each other. Stick to those rules!”
Of vital importance, because not everyone has the happiness of Ed and Gina. Although the experience was very radical for the couple, Ed can put it all in perspective again. “If you see on TV now: people who die so suddenly and the family who cannot be there, that is of course much worse than what we have experienced.”