"Things will be different in future, and we will change them ourselves"

Miguel Gómez.
Miguel Gómez. / SUR
  • Jeweller Miguel Gómez Molina suspects he caught the virus from a client who had just arrived from Madrid; his love of painting helped him pass his six days in hospital

Businessman Miguel Gómez Molina considers himself a fortunate person, although the way he believes he contracted the illness would seem to contradict that. On 14 March, the day he decided to close his jewellery shop in Puerto Banús, one of the last customers to come in had just arrived in Marbella from Madrid. On that day numerous people travelled from Madrid to spend the coronavirus lockdown in the town. Miguel is almost 100 per cent sure that is how he caught it.

Two days later the symptoms began. "On the Sunday my temperature was up and I had a cough and I thought it was a touch of flu, but the fever got worse, coming and going, and my muscles ached like I had been beaten up," he says. "After eight days, I got up in the morning and nearly collapsed. I couldn't keep any food down, and my wife took me to the Quirón Hospital in Marbella".

There, doctors carried out tests and admitted him. Two days later he was diagnosed with lateral pneumonia due to Covid-19. He wasn't intubated but was given oxygen to increase the level in his lungs.

"You feel awful at first, helpless because your body wants to fight the virus but can't, and you feel it is consuming you."

After four or five days, the tests began to give better results. Although he tried not to spend too much time looking at the news, he did read a paper and listened to the radio every day.

Miguel loves painting and he found art was a form of escape. "Luckily my wife brought me my watercolours and I spent a lot of time painting and listening to music," he says. He tried to use painting as a way of forgetting the virus, but seeing that the nursing staff rarely came in and left his meals outside his door, aroused his worst fears. "There comes a time when you start to feel well again and you really just want to go home," he says.

Although he agrees with the decision to go out onto balconies every evening and applaud health workers, he warns that in future there will have to be a reflection on the situation. "If there had been more tests available, I'm sure a lot of people would not have been infected," he says.

He believes this crisis will result in profound changes. "All the paradigms will have to change and this is something we will make happen ourselves. Nobody who hasn't been through this can imagine how much it cheers you up to receive a phone call from someone you love, or a message. I appreciate every word, and every emoji," he says.