Italy’s first Covid patient: his doctor remembers

This doctor-patient relationship has now become a friendly one with the Maestri family, to which little Giulia now also belongs. How could it be otherwise, “because such an experience connects a lifetime,” says Malara.

Last summer, Malara was also awarded a medal by President Sergio Mattarella for her merit. However, she herself emphasizes that the award applies to all doctors, hospital staff, paramedics and all those who have done everything to care for and save the patients. “Of course, February 20, 2021 is burned into my memory,” she says. Also because back then, not yet fully aware of the danger, they were all literally fighting the virus with their bare hands.

Incredible luck

“It was the first time I examined Mattia Maestri without a face mask, even though I knew he had viral pneumonia. I only wore gloves. ”In view of the many victims among the doctors, especially the general practitioners, the nurses and all others who were in direct contact with the sick, she was incredibly lucky not to have become infected so far.

She doesn’t even want to think about the initial mistakes, she says. For example, when only those people were tested who had had contact with the Chinese or people who had come from China – or who had a clinical picture that suggested the infection. It took a while to realize that asymptomatic people could also be infected.

The end of the kissing

Today Malara works at Milan’s Covid Field Hospital, which was built on the exhibition grounds during the first wave. Although the daily routine is still arduous and dangerous – some of the victims of the second wave became infected while putting on and taking off protective clothing – she is somewhat confident about the next few months. “I hope for the mass vaccination and for the monoclonal antibodies that are produced in the laboratory.” What she also fears, however, is that in Italy, too, the heartfelt hugging and kissing will be over for a long time.


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