We already thought we could beat the Corona, even be world leaders, only then came the Delta strain that changed the rules of the game. Disease data that was almost nil went back to climbing to hundreds and then to thousands verified every day. If at the beginning of the road the captains of the state kept Passon, because the number of patients is difficult and the dead remain stable, it was the last week that bounced this figure as well. Despite the worsening situation, a year and a half after the virus broke into our lives there is much more information and ways to deal with it. Even the vaccine still does its thing and significantly reduces the symptoms of the serious illness. When the corona virus made an aliyah and arrived in Israel, the situation was completely different. Total uncertainty to the point of blaming some of the first infected for bringing the end of the world upon us.
Against this background we returned this week to patients from 1 to 7, Shalva and Shimon Dahan who were the first to get infected on the cruise ship “Diamond Princess”, Roni Bargil who became a celeb when he was one of the first to recover in Israel and Meir Cohen, from “The Red Pirate” who suffered severe accusations from many With this while he and quite a few members of his family became infected with the corona. “It was a difficult, traumatic experience,” everyone said. The Dahan family recently discovered that their daughter was infected with corona, which made this week even more complicated for them.
The cruise ship that was at the center of the world
On January 20, 2020, thousands of passengers boarded a cruise ship named “Diamond Princess”. On February 4, 2020, when it reached the territorial waters of Japan, ten cases of Corona virus were detected, coinciding with the beginning of its worldwide spread. Pretty soon the cruise ship became a corona incubator that caught the attention of the whole world. Just three days later, the number of virus.infected cases rose to 61 and later the figure soared to more than 700 passengers and crew.
The Israelis on the ship became media stars when they were frequently interviewed by the media and described the nightmare they were going through, while still here in Israel they did not even imagine what crisis was going to explode. Shalva and Shimon Dahan were two of the Israelis who rested on the ship and became infected in Corona. This week they told in a conversation with MAKO that this nightmare seems like a distant dream but one that returns to them, like the rest of the country. “We are fine but are at home waiting for the results of a corona test after my daughter contracted the virus from someone who works with her,” Shalva Dahan said.
So a year ago, Shimon Dahan got stuck on the ship and was taken to a military hospital in Japan. Shalva discovered that she was infected when she arrived in Israel and was hospitalized for a month and a half at Sheba Hospital. “We did not feel anything then. No symptoms. When they told Shimon he was infected, we were in the market we also did not know what it was at all. We did not even know what to feel. When they took Shimon to the hospital I started crying and wanted to go with him but not beyond that. And after three hours I was informed that I was positive. I was in the market and I was afraid for my husband’s family, because they came back with me on the insurance company’s private plane. I was more afraid of my husband’s brother who was asthmatic and was with us on the plane. And I was the first to be accepted in Sheba, “she said.
In those days, when they did not know what a corona was, there were many accusations against the first patients. She was accused of spreading the disease and many social networks wrote about why they brought those patients to Israel. “My daughter called me and said do not open Facebook, do not answer phones and do not call anyone,” describes Shalva Dahan. “I told her that everything was fine, that everyone could speak and write but in the end they would understand. But yes I understand the fear that was because they knew nothing. I got my boom when they hospitalized me and then put us in solitary confinement, received us with space suits. So I realized it was something serious.” –
Dahan arrived in Israel without her husband Shimon, who as mentioned was sent to a hospital in Japan and therefore was not on the private plane. “Just in the last hour before we got off the ship, two people who looked like aliens arrived with the suits,” says Shimon. “I’m sick and need to go to the hospital. Shalva started crying but I promised her I would get home before her. Even the Japanese who came to pick me up started crying with her from the situation and that’s really what happened because she was hospitalized for a month and a half so I came back before her.“
Shimon Dahan goes on to say, “I was in the hospital for two weeks and they approached me from all the media channels and even from American media. The truth is I say thank you, because that’s what kept me there and passed my time. I am a believing person and know that everything is from heaven They did me tests like they don’t do in Israel, where they check everything, five blood test tubes, urine, CT, MRI everything. At the same time I asked God why you sent me to Japan. Give me an answer. To operate on me, but I asked for it to be in Israel, with Professor Maza at Mount Scopus Hospital. So I dropped the token why God sent me to Japan. There were no immigrants on the block in Israel. “Later, after returning to Israel, he successfully underwent the operation. Instead, I had a few days to recover. “
A year and a half after “we do not believe what is happening,” Shimon said. “Now I hope we get the third vaccine that is clear to me that it saves lives. I think we need to learn to live with the corona that will be with us for a long time like the flu. We need to listen to the guidelines and keep to ourselves, the procedures prove themselves.“
The patient who underwent Sheaming is out of place
Meir Cohen, who is known as a blue from the red pirate, is considered the number 0 patient who was lynched on social media and part of the media, after being accused of spreading the disease in Israel. Cohen was apparently infected in Italy and when he arrived in Israel he arrived at Bloomfield Stadium, the place that became the first infection site that put hundreds of Israelis in isolation. On the one hand, he contracted an illness that no one knew about, and quite a few members of his family and acquaintances became infected with all the fear in the situation. On the other hand, see how his name is blackened in public space.
“When I see what’s going on today, there’s some sort of deja vu attack. But today it’s something else. A disease that everyone understands and the fact that relatively everything remains normal and there is no public hysteria,” Cohen describes. He says that in the beginning, whenever there was news about the corona, quite a few would consult with him as a well.known figure in the field. “Today we no longer turn because the story is familiar. But every time you talk about Corona straight they say it’s because of you, you brought it up in a section of laughter and humor. Yes, in the end I’m always there.”
“When I was infected with the virus there was no knowledge and understanding. They did not understand it is not the end of the world and that I am not a leper because people thought that if they approached me something would happen to them and treated me like I was going to die. “I knew what it was, not least because of the environment, the criticism they sent me and the accusations. Today, everyone is sorry about it.“
Cohen says that even today people ask him in amazement how it was that he was interrogated by the police, about the spread of the virus, “They ask me, ‘What really took you for interrogation by the police because you did not tell the truth?’, What were you a month in hospital?”. He goes on to say that a month in the hospital was “a time I do not wish on my haters. It’s like a prison, only there when you go in you know when you will leave. In Corona you also do not see the end. Every day you do tests and wait for their results, so every day waiting for results Without time for what came out and when you will leave the hospital. “
In those days, when Corona patients recovered and left the hospital they became the kind of celebrities that all the media were waiting for. “Out of excitement I did not fall asleep at night. We were a very large group in the hospital, me and my ex and my children, our neighbor and her son and also my employee. We left a very large group.“
His message against the background of the situation today is “that we should live next to each other and not within it and certainly keep the laws which is what will help us eradicate it”.
The first recovering: “Then even the professionals did not know how to give answers”
“The demon is not as terrible as it looks,” said Roni Bar.Gil from Migdal Haemek, as he left the hospital for the huge crowd of photographers waiting for him. Bar.Gil is the seventh Israeli to contract the corona virus and was among the first to recover from the virus he contracted while in Italy. He was hospitalized on February 28, 2020 and when he was released from the hospital he told the media that “the stress is more severe than the disease”.
This week he said in a conversation with MAKO Health, “For me the new situation created is something I take in proportions but of course there masks and respects the law. Not excited about it too much. “As they were in the beginning, when I was sick at the time. The data is completely different, the knowledge is much greater and we are after vaccinations. So they knew nothing and everything was unknown, the knowledge was more extensive and so was the awareness.” He says that “once when it just started they would call me, but today it no longer happens, the numbers after and it is no longer anyone can help us and say what it is. Today I am not as relevant as in the beginning when people searched for every piece of information. There’s a lot of talk around the corona, all the experts on TV and I’m history. “
Bar.Gil recently went out to eat at the aristocratic restaurant in Afula, the same place that was closed at the beginning of the Corona crisis because he was present, when the partygoers and staff members went into isolation. “It was one of those businesses that closed because of my presence. I was sitting there with my son and suddenly it became a kind of funny memory. So it was a big drama with a lot of noise around.
“Patient number seven it was right at the beginning and the echoes around the virus were very scary. It was kind of something dark and obscure. I remember when they did an epidemiological investigation from the Ministry of Health, so she told me ‘listen this is life threatening and you will save lives’. –
Bar.Gil is considered the first recovering corona in Israel. And his departure from Sheba Hospital then looked like a prime minister’s press conference. “Those who were before have not yet recovered, the friends from the Japanese ship and the red pirate also stayed there and I went out first. So when I went out there was a huge amount of photographers and media.“
When asked if there was a connection between the first patients, Noa responds in the negative, “Even when we were there, we were not together. Everyone was isolated in their place with someone passing by our sons to ask what was going on and do tests.
Finally, it is important for him to convey a message: “The first thing to do is to trust the system. I still believe today that it is something that will pass and become the kind of flu that needs to be learned to live with. Once in a while a new virus comes out and we have to live with it.“