Personal experience of coronavirus treatment in Denmark

I am a programmer from Novosibirsk. Since 2017, my family and I live and work in Copenhagen. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, I have been working from home almost all the time.

How i got sick

At the end of May 2021, my child and I needed to fly to Novosibirsk, and my turn for vaccination came only on June 20. We did tests before the flight, upon arrival in Novosibirsk, 4 days after arrival, before flying back at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport and at Copenhagen airport immediately upon arrival.

According to Danish rules (at that time), 4 days after arriving from Russia, you need to do another test, and before receiving its results, be on self-isolation. And in the morning on the 5th day I did a test, and in the evening my temperature rose, a headache and muscle pain began. But the next day, the coronavirus test results were negative.

After another 2 days, I called the doctor, because the temperature and headache did not go away, and the pain in the muscles became even stronger. The doctor asked to do the test again. And this time it turned out to be positive.

The doctor recommended me 2 tablets of paracetamol 3-4 times a day, and call again if new symptoms appear or if these do not go away after a few days.

On the same day I got a call from “Danish patient safety authority”, reported that I tested positive for coronavirus, asked about my health, whether I spoke with a doctor, whether I could isolate myself from family members, asked about contacts in the last 4 days and gave a phone number in the commune (municipality), who will help with a place for self-isolation.

I called the commune, they asked to send the test results and call back in half an hour. I called back and they already gave me the address and hotel number. I called the hotel, said when I would arrive, had lunch, got on my bike and went to the hotel (patients with coronavirus cannot use public transport).

Hotel

The self-isolation hotel turned out to be a 3-star hotel in the city center. Room 9 sq.m., toilet, shower. There is a terrace on the 5th floor, where you can, keeping your distance, sit in the fresh air and a courtyard 10×15 meters where you can take a walk. Breakfasts are brought under the door, and for lunch and dinner you need to go up to the 5th floor. Self-isolation can be completed 48 hours after waking up without symptoms.

The next day, I received a call again from the Danish patient safety authority. They said that detailed results had come and that I had a variant of the Delta coronavirus. It is more contagious, and therefore it is necessary to send those who came into contact with my contacts for self-isolation. This time they called my wife and for this they invited an interpreter into Russian. In general, they sent a group in a kindergarten and a group in a language school to self-isolation.

I was just lying in the hotel. Slept or walked in the courtyard. Sometimes I watched TV or YouTube, but the headache did not give.

On the 8th day from the beginning of the temperature, I had a barely noticeable cough, and it felt that it became harder to breathe. On the 9th day, I called 1813, they made an appointment with a doctor at the hospital, and they called me a medical transport (sygetransport). I already had severe shortness of breath. I could not walk at a brisk pace, or say 2-3 phrases in a row, I began to choke.

Sygetransport

Sygetransport is a minibus like an ambulance, but without flashing lights. The driver’s compartment is separated by a transparent partition with a small closed window. In the back there were a stretcher, a wheelchair, lockers, an oxygen tank and some other equipment. The doctor also rode behind and was wearing a cape, hat, glasses, mask and gloves. He asked about my health and whether I wanted to ride lying or sitting. I went sitting.

Hospital

At the hospital, I was first invited by a nurse, took blood from a finger, measured temperature, oxygen saturation, pulse, pressure. About 5 minutes later the doctor invited me, asked about my health, listened with a stethoscope, called somewhere, went out somewhere for a few minutes. And when she returned she said that she was sending me to the pulmonary department. Some hospital employee (an orderly?) Came for me and escorted me to another building. There we went up to the 5th floor, where the nurse took me to the ward.

A couple of minutes later they rolled my bed (in a plastic wrap right along with the bed), a nurse and a resident came, they began to measure everything, even a cardiogram. They communicated very attentively. The nurse even apologized that in an hour and a half they would transfer me to another nurse, since her shift was about to end.

The resident took blood from a vein in two small cones and 4 larger bottles. I put a catheter on my left wrist and an IV into it. They also gave me 2 tablets of paracetamol.

Later, two other employees rolled over some kind of apparatus, and took a picture of the lungs right in the bed.

Some time later, the nurse came again and said that the test results were ready and passed on to the doctor, and that the doctor was now dealing with other patients, and would come to me later. In the meantime, she invited me to dinner. There was tomato soup, elderberry lemonade, bread, butter, a couple of marzipan bars, and a bag of peanuts. And they also brought me a hospital gown. Very handy, since I was sweating through mine.

After a while the doctor came in. She introduced herself, asked how I felt and said that she was prescribing steroids and antiviral drugs for me, but first I had to wait for some final analysis.

About an hour after dinner, the nurse came with the resident, gave me 2 pills and changed the IV for a small bottle. And right on the bed they rolled me to another floor, into a ward where two men were already lying.

At night they changed my IV again. At 5, 7 and 9 in the morning bed linen and clothes were changed. At about 8 am they put on the last IV and at 10 am they gave the last two pills. Then the indicators were measured only. After lunch, the doctor came in (another, not the one who prescribed the treatment), said that the treatment worked well and that they would watch me until the morning, then they would be discharged. I will need to stay in self-isolation for another 48 hours and then I can return home.

At about 11 am the next day, Sygetransport came for me (but this time without a doctor) and took me to the hotel to continue self-isolation. In total, I was in the hospital from 5 pm Saturday to 11 am Monday.

Protective suits

Every time someone came to my room, they wore a mask, gloves, a cape, a transparent eye mask and often a cap. At the exit, they took it all off and dumped it into a large urn with a sack. They entered the corridor already in their hospital suits.

Everytime! Even when they were just bringing food. When the apparatus was rolled in to take a snapshot of the lungs, the employees were also in protective equipment, and the apparatus was in some kind of plastic covers. At the exit, they took off these covers and threw them into the trash can along with their protective equipment.

Recovery

After the hospital, I spent 2 more days in a hotel on self-isolation and returned home. The first week my taste was strongly distorted and I had no strength at all. Then it got better, but for another week there was severe shortness of breath, which then began to gradually disappear. Overall, I think I got off easy. The only thing that is scary is the speed of how quickly the lungs suffered. Shortness of breath developed within 1 day. I don’t know how things would have been if I had not immediately got to the hospital. I’m also glad I didn’t infect anyone.

Cost and bureaucracy

When we flew to Novosibirsk, I filled out some paper on government services. I paid for tests in Novosibirsk about 1,500 rubles per test. Two times for two people. And in Moscow about 3000 rubles 1 time. In Novosibirsk, he filled out and signed some kind of contract to make tests. In Moscow, I also signed something so that the results would be sent by e-mail.

All tests that we did in Copenhagen are free. You don’t need to fill out anything, just sign up on the website and show a yellow card sundhedskort

To get a hotel for self-isolation, I downloaded the positive test results from a medical portal and sent them to the commune via a special e-mail.

At the hotel, I only gave the name and immediately received the key (but I called them beforehand).

At the hospital, I verbally allowed my medical data to be sent to the family doctor, and said my wife’s phone number.

I didn’t pay for anything else and didn’t fill anything. The hotel, hospital, sygetransport and a Russian translator (when the wife called) are all free.

Everyone spoke to me in English.

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