“We pray to God to heal our city, father, from this disease,” Zapata said on the live broadcast.
Inside the house, looking out the glass front door, was her friend Carla Balderes, who was in quarantine with her 9-year-old son Renaldo because of Covid-19. Carla’s husband, Sammy, was missing. He was fighting the corona virus in a local hospital.
As Zapata moved around the camera to show off his surroundings, more than a dozen cars could be seen parked in front of the house, its occupants trying to protect themselves from Covid after broadcasting live from inside their cars. Took
Zapata reflected on the moment in an interview with CNN, which he described as a cry for mercy in the face of great pain and suffering in his small town of Iran, West Texas, with about 1,200 residents.
“We’ve had Covid before, but never with this intensity,” he said.
It seemed that almost everyone in Iran knew someone who was battling CoVID-19. In a two-week period this month, 119 people tested positive for the virus and 50 tested positive, according to Iran General Hospital CEO Jason Rybolt. This is a positive rate of 42%.
“[I’m] “It’s very concerned about trying to make sure they get the health care they need,” Rybolt said.
Although the city is small, it can be seen as a microcosm of what could happen across the state, as the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continues to rise and Texas Governor Greg Abbott orders masks. The war against the warrant continues.
“Fight for Your Life”
Zapata says he doesn’t know how the outbreak started in his city. But they say Sammy tested positive for the coronavirus before his wife Carla. Carla lost her sense of taste and smell. Sammy was having trouble breathing.
“Every time he moves, he starts coughing,” Zapata said.
Days after testing positive for Covid-19, Zapata said, Sammy was admitted to Iran General Hospital, a 14-bed rural facility. Her condition quickly deteriorated, Zapata said, and the hospital did not have the intensive care she needed. That’s when Zapata started praying for an ICU bed to drop his friend Sammy (anywhere).
“It was hard,” Zapata said with a broken voice. “I remember Carla texting me three times and saying she thought she had a bed. And I’d say, ‘I’m praying.’
For the past few weeks, the number of available ICU beds across the state has been low. According to the latest state data, there are currently 372 beds available in the ICU. The closest medical centers in Iran that offer ICU care are located in Midland-Odessa and San Angelo, Texas, each approximately 100 miles away.
“It could take 12 hours. It could take 36 hours, you never know how long it’s going to take,” Rybolt said of how long it takes for a bed to open.
Sammy was admitted to the hospital on Thursday, Zapata said, and was flown to a hospital in San Angelo on Saturday. Sammy’s family broadcast live footage of him being carried out of the hospital on a stretcher…