Epidemic in Wuhan: Mama Passed Away in a Wuhan Hospital Isolation Room

This account by a Wuhan woman Qingqing (as told to Li Yuamu) who suddenly lost her mother after surgery when the coronavirus epidemic suddenly erupted with no prior mention in the local press is very popular on Chinese social media today. Chinese title 妈妈在武汉隔离病房去世 One might imagine if news of the epidemic had been allowed to spread when eight Wuhan physicians were severely reprimanded for mentioning it on social media, her mother wouldn’t have had this elective surgery and perhaps would not have passed away. The answer lies somewhere in the intersection of public health, dissemination of information to the public about potential threats, and Chinese politics of course the Chinese Communist Party’s laser-like focus on social stability and suppressing “rumors” that might make the public uneasy.

Mama Passed Away in a Wuhan Hospital Isolation Room

https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/1j1slHd58tG-h2DQ_Rp0fA

by Qingqing as recounted to Li Yuanmu

I contacted Qianqian on the 29th of the lunar month. At 10 AM that same day, Wuhan was sealed off because of the new type of coronavirus pneumonia. She was anxious since her mother and father had been put in isolation in different hospitals. Her mother was in serious condition and her father had a mild case. My brother was also diagnosed with the coronavirus but the hospital did not admit him. He was isolated in a hotel room. Qianqian worried athat her frail mother would get little care in the isolation ward.

When we spoke again on the eve of the Lunar New Year, she was feeling more cheerful. Her mother had told her that a nurse had been found for the isolation ward. She spent a day running around to buy some immunoglobulin for her father. She rushed all the way and ran home from Hankou, where she had bought medicine. At 12 o’clock that night, Wuhan planned to close the bridge over the river.

At noon on the first day of the Lunar New Year, she sent me a WeChat message to tell me that her mother had died. She cried, “I don’t have a mother, I don’t have a mother, what should I do?”

The River City (Wuhan’s nickname) is cold and rainy. On the first day of the Lunar New Year, Qianqian ran around and said farewell to her mother. The outbreak hit the family suddenly. The one must to blame was her father. Worried about a small tubercle in his wife’s lungs, he had her undergo an operation in mid-January. She was then infected with the new coronavirus while at the hospital.

In just a few days and nights, the epidemic suddenly became severe. Noisy Wuhan gradually came to a stop. According to official statistics, as of January 28, 100 people in Hubei had died.

The is what Qian Qian told me.

Part One

Mama is gone. Everything seems so unreal.

On the morning of the first day of the Chinese New Year, my father called and asked me to get him medicine. I left home with ten bottles of immunoglobulin to give to my father and mother.

I left the medicine in a spot in the lobby of the isolation building and walked away. Dad came and got the medicine. Before leaving, he shouted “Mama might not be able to make it.” I was shocked. Later, he sent a text message and said that the hospital called ten minutes ago to inform his mother was in organ failure and was getting emergency treatment. I worried. I wanted to contact my mother’s nurses but couldn’t reach them.

I texted my dad again to comfort him, “She couldn’t be having organ failure. They will certainly be able to revive her. Mama is very strong, we must believe in her.”

He replied: “I am afraid not. The revival attempt is really just a routine procedure.”

On January 17, when my mama’s lung surgery was finished, I brought her a bouquet of flowers. She was very happy.

I asked my Dad for the phone number I could call to get information. I called and the person who picked up the phone hinted that my mother wasn’t going to make it. All I could do was cry and beg “, “I don’t want anything for myself. I don’t care how much it costs, please use the best medicine and the best equipment to save my mother. I can’t live without my mother.”

Within a few minutes, the phone rang again. The doctor solemnly introduced himself. I knew it was over. The doctor said that the funeral home had been notified and the mother’s body would be taken away in a moment. I begged the doctor to wait for me, saying I’ll be right there. He agreed, but did not let me get close to my mother.

After making my first phone call to the hospital, I called my elder brother. I pretended to be relaxed, and as usual asked about his progress. My brother had gone to the hospital at 5 AM to stand in line waiting for a check-up. This was the third day. My elder brother didn’t get to see the doctor until half past two. I resisted telling him about that mother was getting emergency resuscitation. My brother loves Mama very much.

After getting the second phone call from the hospital, I cried for a few minutes and then thought for a few more minutes. I felt that my brother should know about this. Besides, I was at a loss. I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid I couldn’t manage it.

I called my brother and asked him, “Would you like to come to see Mama?” He asked what’s wrong. After having spent all morning in line, he was now afraid it would all be wasted.

I told him word-by-word, “Brother, you have to be calm, you must not get too excited. We have no mother now.” Brother was frightened. He didn’t believe it. I don’t say anything. I couldn’t open my mouth, I would start to open my mouth but then I would start to cry. For a moment I cry when I open my mouth. In just a moment, my brother collapsed and wept terribly. He had never cried like this before. I wanted to cry too but with my brother like that, I didn’t dare cry. I kept soothing him.

We wanted to go see Mama one last time. My sister-in-law and Dad kept calling to tell us not to go because it was too dangerous. But we had to go.

Caption: ■ The lower building on the right is where my Dad’s isolation ward. I had to travel two hours each day back-and-forth to get him his medicine.

I was the first to arrive at the hospital, my hands and feet shaking. My brother arrived a while later. With only a mask to protect himself, he rushed to the ward. I couldn’t stop him. Mom was still warm. Elder brother leaned over Mama’s chest and shouted, “There is still a heartbeat, doctor, there’s still a heartbeat.” The doctor looked towards the monitor and with two zeros on its screen. There of my mother’s friends were in the room, wiping their tears. On the table was the meal that we had brought for her that day, untouched.

My brother cried until he was out of breath. This was an infectious disease ward. Worried about his safety, I pulled him out of the room.

The doctor was reluctant to tell us anything. He gave us a death certificate stating that the direct cause of death was “respiratory failure” caused by “new coronavirus infection”. He said that if there was a problem, we could contact the hospital. Now Mama’s body had to be sent to the funeral home.

All we could do was leave and wait outside in an empty parking lot. It had started to rain. Half an hour later, someone pushed out a corpse bag. After confirming that it was my mother, we followed them to the morgue. My brother and I have knelt at the door and kowtowed in respect. That area hadn’t been disinfected place hasn’t been disinfected. Worried about my brother, I got him out of there.

The funeral home called. I begged them to wait for us. We sped all the way and arrived in twenty minutes. They handed us a pledge to dispose of the remains. The document noted that “the deceased was suspected of having or died of severe pneumonia.”

The people in the funeral parlor did not allow us to go in. They had us sign our names and leave. They complained that the place was all packed inside. The situation was much worse than we thought.

Several cars were parked there. We identified the one Mama was in, knelt down, and kowtowed in the direction of the car. Next to us were three or four men beside, also kneeling and crying.

The car drove away. I ran behind. It went faster and faster, I couldn’t catch up so I stopped and stood there, panting. It’s cold and I feel hopeless and alone.

My brother couldn’t stop crying. I calmed down and said calmly to him, “Let’s go now, we have to hurry to get Dad his medicine. I kept telling him that “The rest of us have to get better. We can’t afford to lose anyone else.”

Part Two

In mid-January, Dad worried about Mama’s health and called him back to Wuhan for surgery. My mother had been out of town with her mother-in-law. I never imagined that the virus would infect her after her surgery. The hospital did not give her any special care. We got very worried.

During the half-hour drive to see my Dad, I kept telling my brother that you can cry with me, but you can’t cry to with Dad and sister-in-law. You also can’t be getting excited over every little detail. If you blame yourself, Dad will blame himself even more. None of us did anything wrong. We wanted mother to have the operation so that she would be healthier. There hadn’t been any news reports. We didn’t know that that there would such a serious contagious disease.

Dad came down but stayed far away from us. He didn’t say anything. I suppose that if he had opened his mouth, he would have cried and just broken down. My brother kept yelling, “Dad, take off your face mask so we can see you.” Dad ignored him.

We put the things on the table and walked away. Then Dad came to pick things up and left. After Mama’s diagnosis, he had always kept me away from him. The two of us could only meet by staying 20 meters apart. I would take a step closer and he would take a step back. He would very gruffly order me to leave. If I don’t leave, he would get all agitated and make me nervous so that I would hurry up and leave. I have always been very attached to Dad. He had never treated me that way before.

Dad also loves Mama. After the operation on the 17th, my mother was in a lot of pain every day. She couldn’t sleep day or night. My father took care of her and didn’t get much sleep himself either.

On January 21st, my brother and I had driven a long way to see my maternal grandmother. As soon as I arrived, I received a call saying that my mother was suspected to be infected with the new coronavirus. We were surprised since my mother’s hospital was not in Hankou and our family had never been to the South China Seafood Market.

We quickly drove the two hundred kilometers back to Wuhan. But Dad insisted that we not see them. That afternoon, they moved from a triple room in the inpatient department to a single room. The diagnosis was confirmed on the 22nd. At noon, the doctor said that he would be transferred to Jinyintan Hospital. Three hours later, when I went to see him, he told me that he couldn’t be transferred since Jinyintan Hospital was full. I panicked. The doctor comforted me and said that this hospital will also be supported by experts from all across the country.

I was still very anxious and wanted to go see them. I had a feeling that I had to go see Dad and Mama to make sure that they were there. I just didn’t know what was going on. We had only been gone for a day and things had already changed so much. When I thought how I wouldn’t be able to see my mother when she was in isolation, I became very afraid that I would never be able to see her again.

I begged the nurse if I could get closer and look through the glass into the isolation room. The nurse was kind. She kept reminding me that I couldn’t go in, that I couldn’t stay long, and I needed to be well protected. I saw my Dad though the glass door. He was very angry, gesturing to me to hurry up and go away. Mama’s bed was against the wall so I couldn’t see her clearly. The nurse helped her up, and she waved to me very weakly.

I keep on crying, my father kept on driving me away. I could only go, crying and telling them to take eat well and take care of themselves.

We later learned that Dad had not been diagnosed with the coronavirus then but he took the initiative to accompany Mama. During those days, we faced cruel choices every day. If dad was not infected at the time, could we allow him to take care of Mama? How could we decide? After Mother had just had the operation, if Dad did not take care for her, she might not be able to go to the toilet or eat. After mother was quarantined, the hospital stipulated that it could not accept take out food and could not provide food. If brother sent food, he would be at risk of infection. If we don’t then Mama will get hungry.

We can’t worry about that. We can only give my brother the maximum protection possible. When he brought food he would wear a disposable raincoat, a face mask, shoe covers, and medical rubber gloves and then tape all the gaps in his clothing.

There were four patients in my mother’s ward, and my Dad had nowhere to sleep, so we bought a stool that was integrated with a commode, which he would sit on overnight. On the night of the 22nd, Dad took the test.

The next afternoon, the infectious ward would not let my Dad stay to help Mama. Dad took the test results and sat in the hospital building, not wanting to leave Mama. I I told him that I would get him a room in the hotel just opposite the hospital. From he could look and see Mama’s quarantine building directly opposite two or three hundred meters away. I went to the hotel. They told me that they were closed.

On the evening of the 23rd, my Dad and I sat in two and talked on the phone. I photographed him in another car through the window.

Dad read the test results and said the result was negative. I want to drive him home to rest. He didn’t want to take my car because he was afraid there might be some virus on him. We could only drive one after the other. On the way, he sent me a text message saying he hadn’t read the results right. It turned out that he had tested positive.

He was very sad and was even more afraid to live with me. He kept asking me what to do and where he should go. I panicked too. I didn’t know where we should go.

First, I gave him a 500 ml bottle of alcohol that I had bought at the pharmacy that morning. I also had bought a bottle of spray toilet water. My Dad poured the toilet water out of the bottle and then poured alcohol into it, Then I could use it as a spray can. But I had only bought one bottle, and my Dad insisted that I share some alcohol. Our car was parked in a dark alley, one left and one right. When I walked over, he brought down the window and didn’t speak, using his eyes to carry his meaning as I reached out. I guessed what he meant. I took off the rubber gloves. He sprayed alcohol into my two hands and then handed me the remaining alcohol bottle. He had sprayed the bottle all over. After handing it to me, he sprayed the alcohol on the place where he had touched it. With his eyes, he indicated that I should hurry.

Back in the car, we continued to talk on the phone, spending half an hour discussing what to do and where we should go, and just over half an hour. I later told my friends that we were so close to each other and so apart. We could only sit in two separate cars. I didn’t know where to go. It was really sad.

Dad finally decided to go to the hospital. He lined up at a hospital in the middle of the night. At dawn, he was given the test. He delivered breakfast to Mama that morning and then he went back to that hospital to be admitted.

Part Three

Dad took his medicine and a bucket of salted mineral water and walked away. My brother and I shouted to him “Good luck, Dad. Stay strong!”

He looked back to look at us but still didn’t speak.

On the way back from the hospital, I felt very upset. Several times, my brother had to remind me to put on the brakes. We decided to let him check out the hotel and return home. Mama is gone, we need each other.

When we got home, we threw out all the clothes we had worn that day. Fearing that someone would come along and take the clothing, I took out some scissors and cut them up.

At 9:30 in the evening Mama had gotten her diagnosis, my brother went in for a check alone. He drove home at 3 AM and slept alone in the parking lot overnight, fearing to infect his sister-in-law and nephew. The next day, his diagnosis came out, but no hospital would accept it.

The olive oil Mama made for me. I want to keep it forever.

I said to my brother, if we live together, I can cook for you. I will be able to eat well too. We need to be strong, we can’t give up.

My mother came to my house in November to help me clean up the house and left a note for me to let me live alone.

The next day I cooked for my brother. There was no more oil in the oil drum. I rummaged out a bottle of olive oil that my mother had given me. I live alone and so she would often visit me. When she visited me in November last year, she bought me a lot of spices, left me a note telling me that I should carefully plan ahead to live a good life. She also helped me throw out some baking flour that had expired flour. My mother is really beautiful.

My Mama really is very pretty. She was famous in the hospital for her beauty. My friends all envy me for having such a pretty and loving mother.

I want to keep this bottle of olive oil and go to the supermarket to buy another bottle of oil. On a shelf, I saw my mom’s favorite hot and sour powder, knelt down and cried.

On the evening of the 23rd, her mother sent me a WeChat message saying she wanted to eat hand-ripped bread with hot and sour noodles. I went right out to get it, but the supermarket was closed. I was felt very worn out. Mama was weak and but even so managed to ask for something to eat. But I couldn’t get her what she wanted.

All I can do every day is to constantly call the Mayor’s hot-line to explain my mother’s special situation. But no matter how many times I make a call, they will only say that they will inform their superiors get back to me as soon as possible. I called for three days but never got any response.

After my mother passed away, I learned that she what she had said that finding a caregiver was a lie. After she was isolated, we worried and asked everywhere for help. Once when I called my mother, she was moaning, crying that the wound hurt, and begged the nurse to help her open the lunch box. The nurse spoke to her harshly. My mother is very kind, she always tole me that there is only one doctor and one nurse for twenty more than twenty patients. They also suffer a lot and have a lot pressure on them.

Before I took my Mama for granted. But when I couldn’t have her ever again, it was like a quilt had been ripped off me in a dark night and I was exposed to an endless snowstorm.

These pas two days, I often secretly listen to my mother’s voice. One time my elder brother walked by from behind, heard it, and gave me a hard slap on the back of my head. But I know that he himself was crying secretly at night.

On the night of my mother’s death, my Dad kept sending me and my brother messages telling us the bank card password, mobile phone password, and what insurance they bought. He explained a whole mass of things very carefully. Sometimes when he suddenly remembered something, he left me a long voice mail. I really had a breakdown. I’m particularly afraid that Dad will blame himself. They were deeply in love.

They also loved me very much. After my mother was diagnosed, she would not let me approach her isolation ward. On the morning of January 24th, I wanted to give my mother torn bread and hot and sour noodles. My sister-in-law got very excited. She was determined not to let me go. She said that she already had some symptoms of discomfort, and if I was isolated, I had to help her take care of her children. What if all five adults were to get infected? What would the children do?

Finally I told her that I also had a fever of over 37 degrees Celsius. She broke down and kept on crying. I started calling various places to find out what the government has to help. I finally got through to the Mayor’s Hot-line. They said that they had made a record and would report to their superiors. I called the Women’s Federation where there was only one person on duty. He was also not sure. The Red Cross phone number could not be reached. The health and health committee also said that have the right or the authority to intervene. They all told me to call the Mayor’s Hot-line. We panicked so much that we even called the 120 and 110 emergency numbers. All my phone calls that morning were useless.

My sister-in-law spent all day from morning to night disinfecting our home with 84 disinfecting solution. She sprayed alcohol at home all the time. When feeding my nephew, I had spray my hands. The back of my hand got red from some allergic reaction.

The little nephew, who is only six years old, doesn’t understand anything. He is very happy that it is the winter vacation. My sister-in-law used to be very strict with him and didn’t allow him to watch TV. But these days he can watch as much TV as he wants. If the child comes close to her, the sister-in-law avoids him, saying keep your distance.

I have been spoiled sine childhood. This is the first time I feel that this family needs my support. I feel that I am the last line of defense. I want to protect my sister-in-law and nephew. If I were to have a breakdown, my sister-in-law and nephew would have to take care of everything. I don’t want them to face these things. My sister-in-law is really thin.

When speaking to them, I will pretend to be relaxed or tell them some good news, such as what experts have came to Wuhan and how many people have been cured. But after hanging up the phone, alone in my apartment, I often cry myself senseless.

On the evening of the 24th, in by the Fengjiang River, I drove to over to the entrance of the Hankou bridge to buy life-saving medicine.

On the evening of January 24th, I bring hot and sour noodles and bread to the lobby of my brother’s hotel. He brought it over to Mama. Then I drove to Hankou to buy immunoglobulins. The market price of one bottle of immunoglobulins has risen to 800 RMB.

Time is running out. I drove fast so I could cross the Suojiang River bridge before it closed. On the way back, I called my brother and asked him where he was. It just so happened that one of us was on an elevated highway while the other was down below. I looked at my watch. It was exactly midnight. I just realized that the Year of the Rat is here.

In Wuhan there is no Chinese New Year atmosphere at all.

I said Happy New Year to my brother. I looked at the back seat of the car and felt very happy. I thought that we had had a good year. My Dad wanted that medicine that was so hard to buy. I had bought a lot of it and my mother said she had told us that she had found a caregiver.

I think our family will reunite soon.

Shared on January 29, 2020

Chinese text:

在武汉隔离病房去世

(转自在人间living)
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/1j1slHd58tG-h2DQ_Rp0fA

联系上倩倩是腊月二十九。当天上午10点,武汉因新型冠状病毒肺炎封了城。她很焦急,她母亲和父亲被隔离在不同的医院,母亲严重,父亲轻微。哥哥也确诊了,但医院不接收,自己在一个酒店房间隔离。她担心虚弱的妈妈在病房里缺少照料。

除夕夜里,我们又聊了一次,她的情绪明朗了些。早些时候妈妈告诉她,在隔离病房里找到了护工。她奔波一天,帮爸爸买到了免疫球蛋白。她一路飞驰,从买药的汉口奔回了家。那天夜里12点,武汉要锁江。
大年初一中午,她发来微信,告知了妈妈去世的消息。她哭着喊“我没有妈妈了,我没有妈妈了,我该怎么办”。
江城冬日阴冷,时常飘雨。农历新年第一天,倩倩四处奔波,送别母亲。疫情给了这个家庭突然的重击。最内疚的是她父亲。因为担心妻子肺部的小结节,1月中旬,他让她动了个手术。随后她在医院感染新型冠状病毒。
短短几个日夜,疫情陡然严峻,喧闹的武汉逐渐停转。截至1月28日的官方统计数据显示,湖北已有100个人感染去世。
以下是倩倩的口述。

一、
妈妈走了。一切都太不真实了。
大年初一早上,爸爸打电话让我给他送药。我拿了10瓶免疫球蛋白出门,想分别给爸妈送一些。
我把药放在隔离楼大厅的一个地方,走远。爸爸来取走了药,临走时,喊了一句“妈妈可能不行了”。我很震惊。后来他发短信来,说十几分钟前医院打来电话,告知妈妈器官衰竭了,正在抢救。我很着急,想联系妈妈的护士,但一直联系不上。 
我又给爸爸发短信,安慰他“哪里衰竭,不会的,肯定可以抢救回来。妈妈那么坚强,我们要相信她”。
他回复:“不会了,现在抢救只是走形式”。

■1月17日,妈妈做完肺部手术,我给她买了花,妈妈很高兴。

我向爸爸要了告诉他消息的电话号码,打过去,对方一直暗示,妈妈要不行了。我只能哭着求他,“我什么都可以不要,多少钱都不在乎,求你用最好的药、最好的设备救救妈妈,我不能没有妈妈啊”。
没几分钟,电话又响了。医生很郑重地介绍了身份。我就知道,完了。医生说已经通知了殡仪馆,一会就要把妈妈的尸体拉走。我求医生等等我,我马上就到。他答应了,但让我不能靠近妈妈。
第一次跟医院打电话后,我给哥哥打了个电话,故作轻松,像往常一样打听他的进展。哥哥早上5点就去医院排队做检查,这是第三天去了。哥哥说得要两点半才能看得上医生。我忍住没跟他说抢救的事。哥哥最爱妈妈了。
接了医院的第二通电话后,我哭了几分钟,又想了几分钟,觉得这件事哥哥应该知道。何况我自己也懵了,不知道怎么处理,我怕自己扛不住。
我打给哥哥,问他,“你要不要来妈妈这边”。他问怎么了,排了一上午队,他怕现在走就白排了。
我一个字一个字告诉他,“哥哥你要冷静,绝对不能冲动。我们没妈妈了。”哥哥被吓到了,他不相信。我不说话了。我张不了嘴,一开口我就会哭。一瞬间,哥哥崩溃了,哭得很惨。他从没哭成这样过。我也想哭,但哥哥已经这样了,我就不敢哭了。我一直安抚他。
我们想去看妈妈最后一眼。一路上,嫂子和爸爸一直给我打电话,让我们不要去,太危险了。但我们不能不去。

■ 右边这栋矮搂是被爸爸被隔离的地方,我每天往返两个小时给他送药。

我先到了医院,手脚发着抖。过了会儿,哥哥也到了。他只戴了口罩,踉踉跄跄冲去病房,我抓都抓不住。妈妈还有体温。哥哥趴在妈妈胸口抽噎,大喊“还有心跳,医生,还有心跳啊”。医生过来看了下监视器,上面是两个0。病房里还有三个阿姨,她们都在抹眼泪。妈妈的桌子上摆着这么多天来我们送来的饭,好像一动都没动过。
哥哥哭得喘不过气。那是感染科病房,我担心他的安全,只能使劲拉他出去。
医生不愿意跟我们多说什么。他给了我们一张死亡证明,上面写着直接死亡原因是“呼吸衰竭”,因“新型冠状病毒感染”引起。他说有问题回头再来找医院,现在要先把人送去殡仪馆。
我们只能走了,在楼下一个空旷的停车场等着。天开始下雨。半小时后,有人推着一个尸袋出来。确认是妈妈后,我们跟着来到了太平间。我和哥哥一直在门口跪着磕头。那个地方没消过毒,我担心哥哥,只能又拉着他走了。
殡仪馆随后打来电话。我哀求他们,一定要等我们。我们一路加速,二十分钟就赶到了。他们递过来一份遗体处理承诺书,上面写着“逝者疑似或患重症肺炎死亡”。
殡仪馆的人不允许我们再进去,让我们签了字就直接走。他也在抱怨,说那里已经都是人了,情况比我们想的严重很多。
几辆车停在那。我们确认了运妈妈的车,跪下,向着车子磕头。旁边还有三四个男人,也跪着哭。
车子开走了,我一直追在后面跑。它越开越快,我实在追不上,停了下来,站在那儿,气喘呼呼。天很冷,我感觉很无助,很绝望。
哥哥哭得收不住。我平复了心情,特别冷静地跟他说,走,我们现在要赶紧把爸爸的药送过去。我一直在和他说,我们剩下的人一定要活得更好,不能再失去任何一个人了。

二、
一月中旬,爸爸担心妈妈的身体,把她叫回来动了手术。妈妈之前在外地陪外婆。没想到术后感染了病毒,但医院没对她做什么特殊护理。我们很着急。
去找爸爸的半个小时车程里,我一直和哥哥说,你可以在我这哭,但不能对爸爸和嫂子哭。你也不能钻牛角尖,你说自责的话,爸爸会更自责。我们所有人都没错,我们都是为了妈妈的身体才让她做手术的。新闻之前没报,我们完全不知道这个传染会这么严重。
爸爸下来了,离我们远远的,不说话。我猜他一开口就会哭,会崩溃。哥哥一直喊,爸爸你把口罩摘下我看看。爸爸没搭理。
我们把东西放在桌子上,走远了,爸爸才来拿东西,拿了就走。妈妈确诊后,他一直不让我靠近他。我们俩见面,要隔开20米。我走近一步,他就退后一步。他会很凶地喊我走。如果我不走,他就着急,急起来他会吼,让我赶紧滚。我一直很黏爸爸,他以前从不这么对我。
爸爸也很爱妈妈。17号做完手术后,妈妈每天都很痛苦,日日夜夜睡不好觉,爸爸贴身照顾她,每天也几乎没怎么睡。
1月21日,我和哥哥开了很久的车去看外婆,刚到不久,就接到电话,说妈妈疑似感染了新型冠状病毒。我们很吃惊,妈妈的医院不在汉口,我们一家也没去过华南海鲜市场。
我们又赶紧开了两百公里车,回了武汉。但爸爸很强硬,不让我们去找他们。那天下午,他们就从住院部三人间转移到了一个单人间。22号确诊了,中午,医生说要转到金银潭医院。但过了三个小时,我再找他,他就说转不了了,金银潭那边满了。我当时就特别慌。医生安慰我,说这家医院也会有全国的专家来支援。
我还是很着急,很想去找他们。当时有一种心情,想一定要看到爸爸妈妈,确定他们在那里。因为我不知道到底发生了什么,我们就一天不在,事情怎么就成了现在这样。想到隔离就看不到妈妈了,我很害怕,怕会不会以后再也看不见了。

■ 爸爸拍给我看妈妈的病床。

我求护士,能不能让我走近一点,隔着玻璃看一眼。护士挺好心,她一直提醒我不能进去,不能待久了,要做好防护。我隔着玻璃门看到了我爸,他当时就很生气,用手势比划,让我赶紧走。妈妈的床靠墙,我看不清她。护士把她扶起来,她特别虚弱地跟我招了招手。
我一直哭,爸爸一直赶我。我只能走了,哭着嘱咐他们好好的,好好吃东西,好好看病。
后来我们才知道,爸爸当时没有确诊,他是自己主动要去陪护妈妈的。这段时间,我们每天都面临很残忍的选择。如果爸爸当时没有被感染,让不让爸爸去照顾妈妈?这怎么选。妈妈刚做完手术,爸爸不去照顾,她可能就没有办法上厕所,没办法吃饭。妈妈被隔离后,这家医院规定不能收外卖了,也不提供伙食。让哥哥送饭他会有感染的风险,不送,妈妈又会饿肚子,送还是不送?

■ 1月20日,我们给爸妈送去饭菜和一桶鸡汤。哥哥带着年度优秀的奖状,妈妈旁边两个床的婆婆都说羡慕我们一家子。

我们没时间想这些。我们只能给哥哥最大限度的防护。他去送饭时会穿上一次性雨衣,戴上口罩、鞋套和医用橡胶手套,再拿胶带把身上有缝隙的地方全部都封牢了。

■ 在妈妈的病房,爸爸就是在这张椅子上坐着过夜的。

妈妈的病房有四个病人,爸爸没地方睡,就让我们买了那种和便桶一体的凳子,他在上面坐一夜。22号晚上,爸爸也做了检测。
但隔天下午,感染科病房就不让爸爸陪护了。爸爸取了检测结果,在医院大楼里坐着,不想离开妈妈。我说那我去医院正对面开一个房间。那里从窗子可以直接看到妈妈隔离的楼,直线距离两三百米。我去找酒店,他们说不对外营业了。

■ 23日晚上,我和爸爸坐在两辆车里打电话。我隔着车窗拍下了另一辆车里的他。

爸爸看了检验报告,说结果是阴性。我想开车接他回家休息。他不愿意坐我的车,怕身上有病毒。我们俩只能一前一后开车。半路上,他给我发信息,说他眼花看错了,结果是阳性。
他非常难过,更加不敢跟我同住了。他一直问我,怎么办啊,该去哪儿啊。我也慌神了,也不知道我们应该去哪儿。
我先把那天早上在药店买到的一瓶500毫升的酒精拿给他。我还买了一瓶喷雾式花露水,爸爸把花露水倒掉,灌进酒精,就能当喷壶用了。但我只买到了一瓶,爸爸坚持要把酒精分我一些。我们的车停在一个黑了灯的巷子里,一左一右。我走过去,他把窗子摇下来,不说话,使眼神,暗示我把手伸出来。我猜出他的意思,把橡胶手套脱了。他对着我的两只手喷酒精,递给我剩的酒精瓶子。瓶身整个都喷过了,递给我后,他又把上面他捏过的地方又喷了一遍酒精。他使眼神让我赶紧走。
回到车里,我们继续用电话交流,又商量了好一会儿怎么办,去哪里,就这样过了半个多小时。我后来和朋友说,我们隔着这么近,却只能分坐在两个车子里,不知道该往何处去,真的非常心酸。
爸爸最终决定去医院。他连夜到另一个医院排队,排到凌晨,做了检查。第二天早上他给妈妈送了早餐后,又去那个医院排队住院了。

三、
爸爸提着药和一桶加了盐的矿泉水走了,越走越远。我和哥哥朝他喊,爸爸加油,要坚强。
他回头看了看我们,还是没说话。
从医院开车返回的路上,我很恍惚,哥哥多次提醒我刹车。我们决定让他把酒店退了,回我家住。妈妈走了,我们需要彼此。
回家后,我们把当天穿的衣服都丢了。又怕有人会捡去,就拿剪刀都剪烂了。妈妈确诊那天晚上9点半,哥哥一个人去做了检查。凌晨3点他开车回家,在停车场睡了一夜,他怕传染嫂子和侄子。第二天,确诊结果出来了,但没有医院收。

■ 妈妈亲手为我做的橄榄油,我想一直保存着。

我和哥哥说,我们住一起,我还可以给你做饭,我自己也能好好吃饭了,我们一定要坚强,不能倒下。

■ 妈妈11月来我家,帮我收拾屋子,给我留了字条,让我一个人仔细生活。

第二天我给哥哥烧饭,油桶里没油了。我翻找出一瓶妈妈之前给我的橄榄油。我一个人住,她时常来看我。今年11月,她给我买来很多调料,写了一个字条,嘱咐我过日子要精打细算。她还帮我扔了做蛋糕的过期的面粉。 妈妈真的很漂亮,是院里非常有名的大美女,朋友都羡慕我有这么好看这么爱我的妈妈。
我想一直保存着这瓶橄榄油,就去超市买其他油。在一个货架上,我看到妈妈爱吃的酸辣粉,蹲下哭得不成人形。
23号晚上,妈妈发微信来,说她想吃手撕面包和酸辣粉。我马上出门去找,但超市关门了。我当时很崩溃,妈妈这么虚弱,好不容易提出要吃一点东西,我却不能满足她。
我每天能做的只是不停打市长热线,反映妈妈的特殊情况。但不管我打多少次电话,他们都只会说会向上面反映了,尽快回复。打了三天电话,没有任何回应。
妈妈去世后,我才知道,她说找到护工是骗我们的。她独自隔离后,我们很担心,四处在求助。有一次我给妈妈打电话,她在呻吟,喊伤口疼,央求护士帮她打开饭盒。护士语气严厉。妈妈很善良,她反而一直在劝我,20多个病人就一个医生一个护士,他们也遭受了很大的委屈和压力。
以前不觉得妈妈在有什么,但当我再也得不到了,感觉就像在黑暗的寒夜里,突然被撤去裹身的棉被,暴露在无尽的暴风雪里。
这两天我经常偷偷听妈妈之前发的语音。有次哥哥从背后走过,发现了,往我的后脑勺很用力拍了一下。但我知道,他自己晚上在偷偷哭。
妈妈去世的那天晚上,爸爸一直给我和哥哥发信息,告诉我们银行卡密码、手机密码,以及买了什么保险,乱七八糟的事情都交代得很仔细。有时候他突然想起来了,就发来一段很长的语音。我真是崩溃了。我特别怕爸爸自责。他们实在是太相爱了。
他们也很爱我,妈妈确诊后,不让再我靠近她的隔离病房。1月24日那天上午,我想给妈妈送手撕面包和酸辣粉,嫂子情绪特别激动,她坚决不让我去。她说自己已经有一些不适症状了,如果隔离了,我得帮她照顾孩子。如果我们家五个大人都感染了,孩子怎么办?
最后我跟她说,我也烧到37度多。她一下就崩溃了,一直在哭。我开始给各个地方打电话,打听政府对此有什么帮扶措施。市长热线好不容易打通了,他们说做了记录,会向上反映,打给妇联,只有一个值班人员,他也不清楚,红十字会的电话打不进去,卫健委又说这事他没有权利和权限。他们又都让我打市长热线。我们实在太慌了,连120和110都打了。一上午没有一个电话是有用的。
嫂子从早到晚在家用84消毒水做清洁,还时时刻刻在家喷酒精,给侄儿弄吃的,一定要拿酒精喷手,手背都喷的过敏发红了。
只有六岁的小侄儿什么都不知道,他是正儿八经地过寒假,很开心。我嫂子以前对他管的很严,不怎么允许他看电视。但这几天他可以随意看电视。如果孩子黏过来,嫂子就躲开,一直说你走远点,走远点。
我从小是被宠大的。这是我第一次感觉到这个家庭需要我来支撑了。我觉得我就是最后一道防线,我要保护我嫂子和侄儿。如果我倒了的话,我嫂子和侄儿就得站出来了,我不想让他们面对这些东西。嫂子实在很瘦弱。
在跟他们说话时,我会故意装作轻松,或者告诉他们一些好信息,比如武汉又来了什么专家,又治好了多少人。但挂完电话,我常常一个人在家里哭到崩溃。

■ 24日晚上,赶在封江前,我开车跑到汉口硚口买了救命药。

1月24日晚上,我把酸辣粉和面包放到哥哥酒店楼下,他给妈妈送去了。我又开车去汉口买免疫球蛋白。市面上一瓶已经涨到了八百元。
时间很赶。我开得飞快,赶在锁江前奔回家。回来路上,我给哥哥打电话,问他在哪儿。我们俩竟然就在一座高架桥的上面和下面。看了表,正好零点。我才意识到,鼠年来了。
武汉一点也没有过年的气氛。
我向哥哥说新年快乐。我看看车后座,很开心。我想我们也算了过了一个不错的年,爸爸要用的那么难买的药,我买了很多很多,妈妈也说她有护工了。
我想我们一家马上就要团圆了。

 31

 分享 2020-01-29

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

After retirement translated,with wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and have been studying things 格物致知. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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