The World Health Organisation has failed us all

Carmen Gomez

As a daily routine to get the heart pumping and the knees in shape, having walked down our four flights of steps, I started the uphill climb perusing on those words uttered by so many supposedly knowledgeable people out there; people who have been telling the world that a highly contagious virus was going to descend upon us in the not too distant future. Two questions hammered in my head “How did they know?” and “why did no one pay attention to their warning?”

The Aussie Flu

Later I sat in front of my computer and started ruminating over past years experiences of outbreaks around the world; some epidemic, others very serious, but which could easily have turned the corner and become a pandemic. Not going too far back, I recalled that in December of 2017, there was an influenza outbreak in Gibraltar, the UK, Australia and further afield; one which was given the name of “Aussie Flu;” except that was a misnomer according to the experts.

I recall it particularly, because I was caught up in it. As many others I later learnt were, ending with bronchial pneumonia. I truly believed I was going to die because I had never before been so sick. What I had not realised at the time, until one of the visiting doctors informed us of it, was that a high number of people had been hospitalised locally, who also were very sick; and that was why she could not refer me to the hospital, because according to her, there was no room.

She was from Poland, one of a number of doctors who had been roped in to come and help out. Unfortunately our GP had just retired after many years of service. I saw five different doctors eventually, was prescribed five sets of antibiotics to take; some different, or of higher strength.

Not an Ordinary Flu

When I finally went out in March of the following year, the first person I met said he had found himself at one point out on the balcony, trying to get some air into his lungs because he could not breathe, and he was having a panic attack.

Further on in my walk I met others who like me had said that they had never been so ill in their lives. I felt angry that we had not been forewarned of a serious influenza coming our way; because had we been, we could have taken some precautions, like not mingling so much; for despite the seriousness of the outbreak, no one in charge at the hospital spoke out about it.