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Young nurse contracts COVID-19, sends warning about the virus

A young Melbourne nurse involved in treating COVID-19 patients has contracted the virus and has taken to Facebook to warn others about the dangers of ignoring health measures.

Dan Collins, who spoke via a video posted on Facebook, put his hand up to undertake emergency shifts in Victoria’s plagued aged care homes and said he experienced some of the “most difficult mental and physical shifts” he’d ever had.

“On that first shift I had two patients die and multiple really sick and unwell patients,” he said.

“It just got worse. The third day was even worse. It was probably one of the most difficult mental and physical shifts that I’ve ever had.”

He described the struggles of treating patients fighting for oxygen and straining for life and the helplessness he felt when there wasn’t anything he and his colleagues could do. Collins described the heartbreak of watching a family say their goodbyes to one patient over the phone and holding the man’s hand as he passed away.

“Fast forward 10 days, I’ve now contracted COVID-19. I’ve seen first-hand how terrible this virus is and I’d be lying if I didn’t say there was a bit of fear and trepidation right now.”

Now in hotel isolation after contracting the virus, Collins has suffered intermittent fevers, loss of smell, cough, sore throat, loss of taste, and he also worries about future chronic conditions that could lead to heart attacks and stroke.

Nurse Dan Collins

Nurse Dan Collins has been on the frontlines of Victoria's COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning, and has caught COVID-19 while in the service of others.It's so important to heed the warnings of our frontline workers in the thick of this pandemic. Please, stay home, practice social distancing, and help save lives.

Posted by Nursing & Midwifery Students on Sunday, 9 August 2020

As of 8 August, 1,835 healthcare workers had been infected with the virus and up to 15 per cent have been infected at work.

And as the situation worsens, Collins has sent a warning to those not following government health advice.

“I just want to say, that COVID is not a conspiracy, it’s a global health emergency. I’ve seen first-hand what it does. It might suck that we have to stay inside or wear masks, but the end goal is that we do reduce the cases and life can return to some semblance of normal and we can go and enjoy a beer at the pub with friends again.

“We have to beat it together first and that means staying indoors, getting tested if you feel slightly sick and wearing a mask.”

“Trust me, I’ve got COVID. I’m young, but it sucks.”

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