NZ woman’s Covid-19 battle with Delta variant: ‘Bro, this is not the flu’

A woman who said she believed Covid was “just the flu” shared a confronting video as she struggled to breathe 14 days after entering hospital.

“Bro, this is not just the flu.”

In a confronting video where she struggles to breathe while receiving oxygen through tubes in her nose, Karina Haira begs fellow New Zealanders to take Covid-19 seriously.

“I woke crying,” she tells the camera as she sits alone in hospital, 14 days into a nightmare fight against the virus.

“I started coughing a lot and blood started coming out,” she says.

“I was reading an article yesterday and people’s comments on it … and there’s people on there going on about how it’s ‘just the flu’.

“Bro, this is not just the flu. If anybody is still thinking this is the flu, this is not the flu.

“I’m sitting here, this is my 14th day of being sick and nothing’s getting any better. You know, how like a normal flu would be.

“I’m not just sick, I’m crook.”

At one point in the video, Ms Haira takes the oxygen tubes from her nose to show how shallow her breathing had become.

“This here, it burns my nostrils,” she says. “Right now my nostrils are burning but I’d rather this than the big contraption on my face where I feel like I’m being suffocated.

“If I take this out right now, I can’t breathe, at all … It’s like my lung disappeared.”

She laments the fact that she is suffering alone in hospital because she is still infectious and family members are unable to visit.

“You know what would be a perfect ideal day for me. All my kids on my bed, laying on me … my husband … my sisters sitting on the bed with me. My parents. I wish my mum was here. I wish my parents were here. F*** it’s hard when you have to do it on your own.”

The 37-year-old told the New Zealand Herald she is an active asthmatic who has never smoked.

“I just thought, I can beat this. It’s just the flu,” she said.

Her infection deteriorated six days after a positive diagnosis for coronavirus in November.

She said what started as aches and pains — symptoms similar to a flu — worsened quickly.

Soon she was in intensive care unaware of what was happening. Her lungs had collapsed.

“That’s when I realised oh shoot, this is real,” she said.

For five days she remained in intensive care where, according to the Herald, her lungs failed and she was nearly put into an induced coma. Her fever was 39C and not coming down.

“I’m a pretty strong woman … when I put my mind to things I get it done. But this time round I was scared, really scared. Oh my gosh I don’t know if I can fight this,” said the mother of five who works in traffic management.

On day 20, the doctors finally took off Ms Haira’s oxygen mask. She has turned a corner but wants others to know how serious it was.

There were 98 new Covid-19 cases in New Zealand on Tuesday. Of those, 74 were in Auckland, 10 were in Waikato and eight were in Bay of Plenty.

More than 90 per cent of the adult population in New Zealand is expected to be fully vaccinated by the end of next week.

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Author: Shirley