Op-ed: My hospital experience with COVID-19

Angel Magdaleno, Reporter

Since the winter of 2019 the COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the world. By March 2020 most states in the U.S have ordered a stay-at-home quarantine, California included. I was swabbed for the virus on May 6, and the results came back positive May 8. 

My symptoms had worsened so I went to the emergency room to be treated, at the time I did not know I was carrying the virus. The medical staff was going to treat me as a normal patient, while registering I received a call with the results of the test. 

I notified the medical staff immediately and they asked me to wait outside. After half an hour of waiting out in the heat I was taken in a small room that was about an 8×8 with two chairs inside. The door had a long narrow window at the top center half of it.  

I was locked in a room that needed a code to be opened from the outside, so no unauthorized personnel could enter. 

It seemed as though word had gotten around the hospital hallways as nurses and doctors would pass they would view through the windows. They would stare and widen their eyes when they saw me sitting in a chair. 

I felt like a lab rat that was being experimented on. Everyone’s eyes were on me, and they were curious as to what was in the room. 

The first doctor came in and explained to me what the virus was and that they were going to treat me. 

Then he exited and a nurse came in to draw blood from me. She asked my name and date of birth. 

“You are a baby,” the nurse said. 

She left and another nurse brought in a mobile X-ray to get a look at my lungs. Once they finished she walked out and a nurse came in to do an electrocardiogram (EKG). 

While the nurse was hooking me up to the machine he asked me, “So what brings you in today?”

I told him that I was having difficulty breathing and that I had tested positive for COVID-19. At this point I realized the nurses going in had no idea who they were treating. 

The nurse stopped talking, his breathing got heavier, his hands started shaking, he started sweating, and his face shield got all foggy. He did the test as fast as possible and he walked out as fast as he could. 

While waiting for all the results I needed to use the restroom and decided to step out of the room. As I approached the doctor that I met initially he was yelling at another doctor that I could not be given another room with a bed because I had tested positive. 

When he turned and saw me standing there, his eyes widened and he stood there with no words. He directed me to the restroom and when I exited, he quickly led me to the room I was waiting in. 

Another doctor came in with my results saying I am completely healthy, and that all my results from the EKG, x-ray, and blood draws were perfect. 

She left and the other doctor, who stood in the hallway with no words, came in with all the confidence in the world to discharge me. He gave me a fist bump and led me out of the hospital doors. As I walked every person I passed by stopped what they were doing to stare at me walk out with the doctor with a hazmat suit. 

I was told to go home and rest. This is all I could do for there is no cure or vaccine for COVID-19. They also said that based on the status of my health they expect me to recover from the virus. 

I want to thank all the nurses and doctors who worked to keep me healthy and safe. They are working hard every day for the wellbeing of others, and putting themselves at risk. 

They were terrified of me every time they entered the room, but they did not show it. It was only when I walked out that I saw who they were. They still treated me.  

Not just those who treated me, all those in the medical field working hard to help those who are sick or injured. They all deserve more. 

I was calm the entire time and fear never came to my mind. 

I am now home resting in self-isolation to protect others, and those who live with me. They are also under quarantine to protect themselves and others as they have also been exposed to the virus because of me.