Most likely everyone remembers the scandal with Iranian students who were accused of violating quarantine rules and later expelled from Hungary. Following this, many foreigners wondered whether Hungary really treats locals and foreigners equally. I turned out to be the one who got tested positive right after Hungary was hit by the second wave of the pandemic.
Story from Ibrakhim Saifullaiev
I am a 23 years old guy, a foreign student living in Budapest. I do not smoke, I constantly lead a healthy lifestyle, it literally seems to be an ideal picture of a patient whose COVID-19 should pass without symptoms, but it wasn’t. Therefore, let me tell you the story from the beginning.
After the first symptoms appeared such as persistent dry coughs, high fever, scratchy throat, and shortness of breath upon I immediately reported to my international coordinator. Soon he informed me of the procedure and order of treatment of COVID patients in Hungary. Then I called an ambulance, which was on time. Shortly thereafter, I was checked and subsequently, they took me to the hospital. I stayed there all night with a high fever and non-stop dry coughs. The following day I got tested, which turned out to be positive. Due to my symptoms, I was immediately hospitalized and transferred to the hospital with maximum isolation of COVID-19 patients. No one was allowed to visit me. Quite honestly, I have never been in such a situation before in my entire life. I was also so scared due to the uncertainty of the disease, being far from home. I was tormented by a variety of questions. However, the one thing was pretty clear, if I will not survive, I never see my loved ones.
It was noticeable that Hungary was very well prepared for the second wave of coronavirus. During the first days, I was tormented by insomnia, fever, and fear of losing the ability to breathe. However, the competence and professionalism of the Hungarian doctors made me feel so safe in spite of my sickness. A physiotherapist was giving breathing exercises in order to make my lungs strong to fight COVID-19, while the nurses were checking oxygen levels, temperature, and blood pressure several times a day. What surprised me the most is that there were so many young people in the ward. A week after being treated for coronavirus, I had no symptoms that led to my transfer to a rehabilitation center for patients of COVID-19, where I stayed almost a month. Well, I would never have thought that the COVID-19 could put me to the hospital for treatment for almost a month. I was also labeled “Normal” which basically meant there was no threat to my health anymore. There I was having last exercises and rehabilitation treatment before being released from the hospital.
The situation stood as follows. Doctors treat foreigners and locals exactly the same as long as you follow all the rules. The hospitals for COVID-19 patients are in very good condition, the treatment was really professional. All doctors are able to speak English which is so important in order to communicate with foreigners. Coronavirus treatment cost is free if you have health insurance. Doctors and nurses do their best and deserve great respect. There are basically no words strong enough, no actions big enough, to say how truly thankful we are for what they are doing. They are just heroes!
To sum up, what is the message that I am trying to get across? I want to take advantage of and call on young people separately who believe that nothing will happen to them. This phrase also may sound like mere jargon, but wear a mask, follow all the instructions, please. This literally can save many lives and also can help us all safely reopen our communities!
By Ibrakhim Saifullaiev (Guest author)
Young European Ambassador (YEAs) to Ukraine;
IR master student in BGE; Representative of ESTT to Hungary