A medical worker pushing an old person in a wheelchair

A mobile vaccination center in Naples

Mariateresa Fichele

An emergency room in downtown Naples.

The door is closed, no one lets us in because the security guards are all busy dealing with a man who had slapped one of them.

We finally get in and notice a woman in slippers and a robe — and without a mask — screaming between coughing fits : "They’ll let me die because my husband fought with the guards! Help me!"


You ask a colleague for clarification, and are told that the woman had arrived at the ER with a cough.

To see the other faces

She was examined, and tested positive for COVID-19. The woman was not vaccinated, but all her vital signs were good, including oxygen saturation. Since there was no emergency, she was told to go back home and talk to her general practitioner.

Hence the aggression.

I keep replaying yesterday’s scene in my mind — all those other patients waiting near this maskless woman screaming and coughing all over the place while her husband attacked the guards.

I wish I could have captured the moment for all those who keep complaining about “a healthcare dictatorship,” to show them what that really looks like — and the faces of those forced to suffer under it every day.

_______________________

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