In mid-October last year, doctors working in Bucharest public hospitals published an open letter to the public entitled “Cry of despair». Among the many things the doctors said to their compatriots was the following: “Low vaccination rates reveal the failure of the relationship of trust between doctors and the population. We are desperate because every day we lose hundreds of patients who die. We are desperate, because, unfortunately, we have heard too many times: “I can not breathe… I have not been vaccinated”».
In fact, at this stage Greece seems to be just one turn ahead of Romania not only in the many cases of coronavirus – at this stage ours are even higher – but also in the way it prepares to seem to “manage” the group of unvaccinated. For example, the demonstration of a negative rapid test for entering supermarkets, something that is already being implemented in Romania, sounds like it is almost ready to be activated here as well..
Last week, cases in the country of 19,000,000 inhabitants, however, fell to around 5,000 per day the deaths are daily for almost two months, hundreds – from 300 to 600 per day. Greece with half the population of Romania now records 8,000 cases per day but the deaths do not exceed 70. The difference is rather chaotic.
October 12th was a dark day for Romania. Within 24 hours there were 19,000 new infections and 574 deaths. The total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic reaches 90,000. The vaccination level is extremely low, only at 35%, while the European Union average is 74%. In essence, Romania is leading negatively and by a wide margin in this fifth pandemic wave that is “crushing” the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
In the middle of last month, in an effort to manage the growing pressure on the country’s hospitals the government proceeded to the universal mandatory use of the mask, in all indoor and outdoor areas, while vaccination became necessary to enter a series of activities and places that are constantly growing – gym, cinema, shopping malls.
A few days later the images of the country that began to come out became even more dramatic with doctors in Buzau, north of Bucharest, asking patients to stay in their cars in the hospital parking lot to provide oxygen there due to lack of beds.
As a related patient described in the Romanian network Stirile Pro Tv: «We have someone from yesterday at 01:00 in the car and the nurse explained to us how to use the oxygen bottle because they are too crowded in the hospital and can not cope. There is a lot of pressure, there are two nurses for 70 patients».
Doctors, in turn, say that some cases arrive with only 50% oxygen saturation, when their lungs are already severely damaged..
A Greek woman living in the country and studying medicine doing her internship at a central hospital in Bucharest transferred the image she sees every day to the hospitals and the streets of the city. She preferred to speak anonymously (her details are available to Newsbeast). After all, according to her, the strict climate within the country and the logic of “the home, not the municipality” is a remnant that has remained to some extent, in the country that has lived under a dictatorial regime for 24 years.
“I am studying medicine in Bucharest doing an internship at the city’s central hospital. The school is next to the hospital while the students are visiting two other hospitals, at a steady pace. A lockdown took place in Romania in the spring of 2020, which lasted a maximum of two months. It was not a very strict lockdown. Since then, they have not taken action for a long time. The lockdowns that Greece made with all the stores closed, for example, we have not seen here for a number of months.
After that lockdown everything was free. I would say uncontrollably. I remember the time after last Christmas, January and February when the clubs were open all day and until late before the vaccination even started. Of course, in our lockdown you could see all the southern suburbs swimming in Kavouri, but the essence of the measures was much stricter in Greece.
At some point, they started discussing whether the restaurant is only open to the outdoors but since the winter here is very heavy, they abandoned it as a thought. In fact, the first very harsh measures were taken a month ago, after 2 years of pandemic “.
Romania in the spotlight of the fifth wave and pushing the unvaccinated on the sidelines
The great crisis of this wave began to be evident towards the end of October. The door for the unvaccinated had been closing since the end of last September. Now you can not enter a large supermarket in a mall if you have not had the vaccine. And to note that the Romanians are always in the supermarket. When they banned entry to the supermarkets we suddenly started seeing 300,000 vaccinations a day. Then they started falling again. Often, the unvaccinated break out with these restrictions. In an incident where I was in front and they refused to enter the supermarket to an unvaccinated woman, she made a scary fuss, she was in delirium.
In the restaurants, inside and outside, now only the vaccinated sit. Children under the age of 11 who do not have the right to be vaccinated move freely everywhere. For the past two weeks, a traffic ban has been imposed from 21.00. A few days earlier, the ban was at midnight. Everything closes at 21.00. Vaccinated people can, however, go out on the street after this time or visit a friend. The unvaccinated can not go through the door of their house for nowhere.
At school, when the university year started, they allowed us all to be vaccinated by the end of October at the latest. Vaccinated students come with a rapid test.
At the same time, the policing is very intense, every 100-150 meters you see a patrol car. There is no room for disobedience. If you are caught violating the directive you have a problem.
As for the coronavirus tests, which must be performed by those who have not been vaccinated, they are very expensive – PCRs cost € 50 and simple self tests cost € 50 a trio. However, if you want you can do them for free at the hospital “
Panic in hospitals and citizens abandoning their health
“In mid-October, when the cases started hitting numbers such as 17,000 and 19,000 in the hospitals of the capital, there was panic. At the hospital where I do my internship, all the clinics have become covid, while outside the hospital they have set up tents. On the day of the 17,000 cases, the doctors on the hospital board said that we have not yet seen the situation derail. They expect that all these unvaccinated people will put a lot of pressure on the health system. Nevertheless, it is a panic… well tuned. The work is done, but doctors and nurses are incredibly fast and determined.
And while the doctors in Romania are very good and have an international reputation, the public hospitals where they work have significant infrastructure shortages. Images of oxygen bottles outside cars circling the world showed what is happening in a provincial town with a small hospital. It is also interesting that many of the cases we see in universities where students do internships are meta or long covid incidents. Unvaccinated people who have passed the coronavirus and continue to have severe respiratory problems».
Denial of the vaccine, of science, of intubation
«Romanians do not pay much attention to their health. In many cases, people know they are carriers of covid but come to the hospital late. Nor do they easily test to see if they really have coronavirus. There are also several cases of refusal of intubation.
“For a long time they reported a few cases, something that made a big impression on me because you could see through the available data that the vaccination was moving at very low levels. And it is a real pity, because the vaccine was open from the beginning for everyone – young, old, all ages, even for those who are not Romanians but live in the country either because they study or because they work. At the beginning of the vaccination program they came by appointment, they soon changed that as well. That is, you can at any time you want to go to a hospital and get any vaccine you prefer.
Personally I have stuck covid twice. Once on my vacation in Paros, when we still did not have the vaccine. Then, in less than three months, I got stuck here in Romania. I have of course done the vaccine and I am preparing for the third dose.
As to why belief in the vaccine is so low in Romania, many believe that the Ceausescu regime has left a mark on the people.. Citizens have this feeling that someone is conspiring against them, that they want to kill them. The sense of conspiracy theories is not limited to the vaccine. They have no confidence in science in general.
Not that things are better in Greece. Our religion is “clashed” comfortably with the conspiracy theories here. From people I know, in my close circle of friends in my homeland, I have heard things like: “Our Lady cries when we make the vaccine”Or“ mSatan goes inside you with the vaccine “. And these from young people, my peers, only 25 years old “.