One evening, Natasha announced:

- I have COVID!

It was impossible not to believe Natasha as she is a medic and they are tested twice a week. This "joyful" news meant that I probably have COVID, too. Of course, we immediately began to listen to our bodies like cats for the mouse under the couch. At first, the treacherous COVID lurked. We smelled coffee that smells like coffee. We inhaled the aroma of a veal chop, which smelled exactly like a veal chop. However, soon we showed signs of banal flu like snot and French pronouncement due to nasal congestion. In fact, it's complete nonsense. Haven't we seen the flu? Yes, I'll beat this cold in one fell swoop! Yes, your funny COVID is just scared!

Just in case, I also passed the crown test. We do this in the pharmacy, free of charge, without going inside, in the car service window, and the result comes via e-mail. Naturally, the test confirmed our suspicions.

Actually, for Natasha, all of the COVID fit in four days. And on my fifth day, the black sun exploded inside. From high temperature to my throat being covered with dried dragon scales, I myself fell into the dark. Antipyretic drugs had little effect. In a foggy dream state, someone showed me the same dream: I reach for a bottle of water, take a sip and understand that I dream of water, wake up, drink and again realize that the terrible dream continues.

When I woke up, I saw young paramedics in black uniforms standing above me. Natasha called an ambulance. The guys looked at me skeptically:

"Well, why would he go to the hospital? "The complexion is normal, he’s breathing well. Sir, will you stay at home or want to go to the hospital?” It's always better at home...

Paramedics, I don't know why, clearly didn't want to go to the hospital. Either they were lazy, or lunch was disrupted, or the authorities ordered to take fewer patients, but young esculapes mumbled and professionally pulled rubber.

"To the hospital," Natasha broke them firmly.

"To the hospital," I nodded, trying to stretch a minute of enlightenment. I didn't stretch it. The next moment I found myself in the Ambulance, already connected to the intravenous injection of something useful. It turned out that we had almost arrived.

In the hospital's waiting room, a black guard immediately leaned about my wheelchair, on which I was majestically reclining, and asked in an intimate whisper:

"I hope you didn't bring anything sharp?"

"I brought it, of course," I admitted and showed my mobile phone. "In a word, you can kill."

The guard calmly patted me with her hand in a rubber glove:

-- “Get well.”

And the locker room withdrew into a long bright corridor.

Quite quickly I was assigned to the intensive care unit. For COVID patients, I must say, five upper floors of a huge hospital complex were allocated. Of course, no visits from relatives, strict quarantine, and disposable clothes for doctors. In fact, everything is disposable: every time a new robe was put on at the entrance to the ward, and when leaving, this robe was ruthlessly sent to the trash can to then be destroyed. Outrageous mismanagement!

Eight people accepted me, no less. The whole process was partly reminiscent of a cutting conveyor at a floating fishing factory. I was the fish. Someone was sticking heart rate sensors on me. Someone wrapped their ankles with automatically massaging sleeves. Someone attached ribbed oxygen tubes to my nose. The oxygen turned out to be heated. To my question "why?" They said that my nose was better. I didn't argue. I'm not an enemy to my nose. Let him enjoy it!

An oxygen saturation sensor was tightly screwed to the middle finger of the left hand with tape. The light bulb in it burned day and night with a bright red light, so I loved to point my glowing finger exactly what the staff should do. It turned out very clearly. For example, "cover me with that blanket." And a finger is a poke.

In my opinion, all the medicines that diligent pharmacists managed to find in the warehouse flowed through the tube leading into my vein. There were some supporting mixtures, some antibiotics. On one plastic bag suspended from the rack, the nurse pointed out with undisguised pride:

"President Trump was treated with this medicine!" A very expensive medicine.

I gratefully buzzed with a warm nose. All this wild pharmacological mixture really helped, I felt better and better, and a couple of days later I was honorably taken away from the intensive care unit to the usual, COVID.

The main object in the spacious single room, or, as designers say, the center of the composition, was the bed. It was located almost in the middle and was undoubtedly an example of hospital art. It wasn't even a bed, it was an electric device for sickness. If you master the control panel, the bed began to bend in unthinkable directions, like a circus gymnast, rise, fall, and she also knew how to weigh the body she came across. That's where I lived on this bed.

I moved around the ward, to the toilet, for example, like a diver on the seabed - slowly and smoothly, limited only by the length of the oxygen hose - now simple, plebeian, without any heating. At my request, the hose was slightly increased, and it lay snake rings behind me on the floor. It was forbidden to go outside the door, into the corridor, according to quarantine rules. Even an X-ray was done right in the ward: a square board was placed under the back, and the technician who rolled in an elephant-like device on the cart clicked quietly.

This forced seclusion was brightened up only by telephone conversations with Natasha - both videos and regular ones. I don't know how I would survive without her love and support.

By the way, the nurses were very disturbed from getting sick. They broke in at any time of the day, ignoring my desire to sleep or watch TV - with a constant victorious cry of "Vitex!" which means "vital signs". And to be sure, they will take these readings at all costs: they will measure pressure, oxygen level, put the thermometer under the tongue, and also force some pill to swallow.

The nursing sisters changed often. One of the first to see me was a Chinese chorus girl in my monastery. "My name is a Chinese chorus girl," she said. That's how her tweeting sounded to me. To begin with, the Chinese girl broke the electronic cardio monitor. Then she consistently broke everything her thin fingers reached, burst into tears, and ran away. I haven't seen her again. The devices were replaced the same day.

The doctor also seemed a little strange to me. As soon as he entered the ward, he, equipped with a mask and a transparent visor in the latest COVID fashion, began to silently give me the railway signs of the train stop right from the door. For some time I watched this pantomime with interest until I realized that the doctor was asking me to wear a mask. A mask?! Patient?! On the top floor of the quarantine zone? In the COVID department?

Okay, I'm not proud. I put it on. The healer jumped up to me, poked a phonendoscope in the chest and lightly bounced to the door to the starting position. From there, he indiscriminately buzzed that everything was "alright."

Another doctor, an elderly woman, was not shy. After a thorough examination, she said that if I continue to recover at this rate, I would soon be able to go home. The oxygen dose was reduced once or twice a day. There's no cough. Vital signs tend to be normal.

I begged her to change the hated "everything liquid" diet to normal food. It was a holiday when I got a call from the hospital canteen and asked what I wanted for lunch. "Everything!" I answered without hesitation. And at lunch, chicken soup, ham omelet, pancakes, maple syrup, butter, sausages, fried potatoes, toast, yogurt, ice cream and cherry juice crowded on the tray. Life began to play with new colors. Since then, three times a day I have thoroughly discussed the menu with the dining room on the phone, and even shouts of "vital!" Couldn't tear me away from this serious business.

And they discharged me unexpectedly. It's just that they suddenly told me to go home before dinner. What should I get ready? As they brought me in an ambulance in pajamas with a phone in my hand - so they took me away, in a wheelchair according to hospital customs. Natasha was already waiting at the main entrance. We hugged. I sat down in the passenger seat of our Jeep and sighed joyfully. The week spent in the hospital now seemed like an entire era -- such a past, to which you do not want to return at all.