Still severely affected by COVID-19 more than four months after contracting the disease, a young woman in her twenties condemns the actions of some young people who do not hesitate to come together and party.
Camille Grégoire-Doré, 22, cannot get over seeing so many young people careless about COVID-19, whether on the street or by appearing in groups on social networks.
“I find that really irresponsible and even disrespectful of them. I think that the majority certainly did not work in the health centers. They have not seen people die of the disease, ”laments the nursing student at Cégep Limoilou, who notably worked at Jeffery Hale Hospital during the first wave.
Struggling with several symptoms such as stomach aches, fever, cough and shortness of breath since her positive diagnosis on May 2, the young woman would like to see fewer groupings among young people. “I find it really frustrating that people do not take healthcare workers seriously and continue to do what they want. ”
Rub shoulders with death
Last May, the young woman went to lend a hand as a beneficiary attendant at Jeffery Hale Hospital, where she was close to death. “There were about 20 patients on my floor and in just two weeks at least half had died,” she says.
With only one year of nursing school in her pocket, she quickly found herself having to “wrap up” the bodies of the deceased. “I rather expected to change panties and give them psychological support, but not pack them,” says the one who has a “traumatic” memory of her brief stay in the hospital.
Then, two weeks after starting her job, she contracted COVID-19.
About twenty days later, she took another test which turned out to be negative, before returning to work in two other private residences for the elderly.
But her health, which had become precarious as a result of the illness, forced her to be absent several times. Fever, cough, shortness of breath, stomach aches, she says she was weakened by these symptoms at least four times during the summer.
She was forced to see the clinic and emergency room several times for respiratory problems. In total, she underwent seven tests for COVID-19. Each time the result was negative.
“Doctors have told me these are residual symptoms of COVID, but they are unable to explain exactly what it is. I don't have the virus and I don't know when this will all end. It worries me a lot, ”she adds.
Even today, the young woman admits to being “very tired” and must take pumps daily to help her breathe.
The effects of COVID for six months
It is not uncommon to see patients with COVID-19 struggling with recurring symptoms of the disease for several months, says a pulmonologist.
According to Dr. Mathieu Simon, pulmonologist and head of intensive care at the Institut universitaire en cardiologie et pneumologie de Québec (IUCPQ), patients with COVID-19 usually take four to six months to “recover all of their state ”regardless of their age.
Dr Mathieu Simon
They can also develop other health problems that would have been “started” by the disease. “It's a stressor on the system. If there is a weak point, it may unmask it, ”he illustrates.
Thus, the case of Camille Grégoire-Doré is nothing “unusual”, he says.
The inflammation linked to COVID-19 weakens the immune system, making the person more vulnerable to other, more common bacteria, he says.
“COVID-19 can create areas less well defended against standard infections […] It could lead to the emergence of another health condition such as asthma for example, which would not yet be taken care of”, explains the specialist.
The problem, he says, is that the current healthcare system is so overloaded, that these patients consult, but get little or no response on their post-COVID health status. “Just because the person does not have COVID does not mean that they are not sick […] Other illnesses are a little poorly served in times of pandemic. ”
“Troubled” and “shocked”
In addition, the specialist also says he is “troubled” and “shocked” by the “global carelessness” of the population in the face of COVID-19.
“No age group should feel immune to this disease, even young people. […] I myself intubated in intensive care young people of 19, 20, 21 years who had supra normal physical conditions, athletes. ”