Things That Matter

28-Year-Old Nurse Dies From COVID-19 Hours After Filming a Heartbreaking Video For His Family

Credit: GoFundMe/Arturo and Antonio Hernandez

A coronavirus vaccine may be on it’s way, but COVID-19 is still tearing apart families and devastating communities. At this point, the emotional toll the pandemic has wreaked upon people is up there with the physical toll of the virus. Recently, a particularly tragic story out of Mexico made national headlines.

28-year-old nurse Sergio Humberto Padilla Hernandez was in the hospital, placed on a ventilator because of COVID-19. According to his friends and family, he had only 90% of his lung function.

Knowing first-hand the unpredictable nature of COVID-19, Padilla Hernandez recorded a video for his friends and family and posted it to Facebook.

Padilla Hernandez’s sister, Dolores, had already died from complications due to COVID-19 in August, so the young nurse wanted to be prepared in case the worst should happen.

“The moment of truth has arrived,” Padilla Hernandez said to the camera. “I will recover, God willing. We will move forward I will see you again, friends, family. I know you will be praying for me and my health, for my well-being. Whatever happens, you will always be looking out for my best interests, always. I love you and you are in my heart.”

Hours after filming the video, Padilla Hernandez passed away. He left behind his wife, Denise, and young son, Sergio III. His family is devastated.

Padilla Hernandez was eulogized on a GoFundMe page set up by his family.

Credit: GoFundMe/Arturo and Antonio Hernandez

“First and foremost, Sergio was a loving father to his son, Sergio III and a loving husband,” says the GoFundMe page. “Sergio lived life to the fullest. He was a devout Catholic and had a passion for helping others. Sergio was a dedicated nurse at the Municipal Hospital in Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico.”

The post went on to describe how Padilla Hernandez “worked tirelessly” to help others during the pandemic, which had “hit his home state of Chihuahua particularly hard.”

The GoFundMe page goes on to describe the “unimaginable hardships” Padilla Hernandez’s family is facing in the wake of his death.

“Unfortunately, his family has received very little assistance financially,” wrote Padilla Hernandez’s cousins. “Having lost their second child in the past 4 months to covid -19, our aunt and uncle are currently facing unimaginable hardships….They have put the family car up for sale and have sold nearly every possession of value leading up to Sergio’s passing.”

According to the GoFundMe page, Padilla Hernandez’s family is being crippled by lingering hospital bills from two family members having been hospitalized, funeral expenses, and general living expenses.

Padilla Hernandez’s passing is especially tragic because it illustrates how random and ruthless coronavirus is.

Despite the virus primarily being deadly to people with pre-existing conditions, once in a while, stories like this one circulate that throw our knowledge about COVID-19 into question.

This story is also tragic because, like many people who are gravely ill with COVID-19, Padilla Hernandez wasn’t able to say goodbye to his family in person. Due to the contagious nature of the virus, he was forced to say his final farewell through technology.

In the end, we hope that Padilla Hernandez’s family gets the closure and support they need from both their community and generous strangers around the world. Now is the time to come together and support one another.

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The President Of Mexico Has Tested Positive For Covid-19 After A Year Of Downplaying The Virus

Things That Matter

The President Of Mexico Has Tested Positive For Covid-19 After A Year Of Downplaying The Virus

Hector Villas / Getty Images

Since the very beginning of the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has largely downplayed the severity of the crisis. Despite record-setting deaths across Mexico, the president continued to hold large rallies, rarely uses face masks and continues to be very hands on with his supporters. Many of his detractors grouped him in with Donald Trump and Brazil’s Jaír Bolsonaro in his poor response to the pandemic.

Mexico’s President AMLO has tested positive for Covid-19 and is experiencing light symptoms.

In a tweet on Sunday evening, AMLO revealed that he had tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. From his official Twitter account, he said his symptoms were mild and that he was receiving medical treatment.

“I regret to inform you that I have contracted Covid-19. The symptoms are mild, but I am already receiving medical treatment. As always, I am optimistic. We will move forward,” Lopez Obrador wrote.

Despite his diagnosis, the president plans to continue business as usual. He plans to continue with his duties from the Palacio Nacional, which include conducting a planned phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the topic of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine Monday. He added on Twitter, that “I will be conducting all public affairs from the National Palace. For example, tomorrow I will take a call from President Vladimir Putin, because irrespective of friendly relationships, there is a possibility that they will send us the Sputnik V vaccine.”

AMLO has taken a very hands off approach to his country’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

AMLO, 67-years-old, has rarely been seen wearing a mask and continued to travel extensively across the country aboard commercial flights – putting both his health and those around him at risk.

He has also resisted locking down the economy, noting the devastating effect it would have on so many Mexicans who live day to day. And because of that, Mexico has one of the highest death rates in the world. Early in the pandemic, asked how he was protecting Mexico, AMLO removed two religious amulets from his wallet and proudly showed them off.

“The protective shield is the ‘Get thee behind me, Satan,’” AMLO said, reading off the inscription on the amulet, “Stop, enemy, for the Heart of Jesus is with me.”

In November, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, urged Mexico’s leaders be serious about the coronavirus and set examples for its citizens, saying that “Mexico is in bad shape” with the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Mexico continues to experience the worst effects yet of the global health crisis.

Credit: Ismael Rosas / Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Thanks to a lack of national leadership, Mexico is one of the 17 countries that has reported more than one million cases of Covid-19. Since early October, newly confirmed cases and deaths have been reaching record levels, with recent daily numbers some of the highest since the beginning the pandemic.

According to Johns Hopkins University, Mexico has recorded at least 1,752,347 Covid-19 cases and 149,084 people have died from the virus in the country.

In hardest-hit Mexico City, nearly 30 public hospitals report they have reached 100% percent capacity, and many others are approaching that mark. The city’s Mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, has urged residents to not go out unless absolutely necessary. In December, Mexico City and the state of Mexico were placed into “red level,” the highest measure on the country’s stoplight alert system for Covid-19 restrictions. The tighter measures included the closure of indoor dining, with only essential sectors like transport, energy, health and construction remaining open.

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Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

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Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

Love him or hate him, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has long called himself the voice of the people – and many Mexicans agree with him. That’s why his latest announcement against social media companies has many so worried.

In the wake of Twitter and Facebook’s (along with many other social media platforms) announcement that they would be restricting or banning Donald Trump from their platforms, the Mexican president expressed his contempt for the decisions. And his intention to create a Mexican social network that won’t be held to the standards from Silicon Valley.

Mexico’s AMLO moves to create a social media network for Mexicans outside of Silicon Valley’s control.

A week after his United States counterpart was kicked off Facebook and Twitter, President López Obrador floated the idea of creating a national social media network to avoid the possibility of Mexicans being censored.

Speaking at his daily news conference, AMLO instructed the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) and other government departments to look at the possibility of creating a state-owned social media site that would guarantee freedom of speech in Mexico.

“We care about freedom a lot, it’s an issue that’s going to be addressed by us,” he told reporters. He also added that Facebook and Twitter have become “global institutions of censorship,” sounding a lot like the alt-right terrorists that stormed the U.S. Capitol.

“To guarantee freedom, for freedom, so there’s no censorship in Mexico. We want a country without censorship. Mexico must be a country of freedom. This is a commitment we have,” he told reporters.

AMLO deeply criticized the moves by Twitter and Facebook to ban Trump from their platforms.

Credit: Hector Vivas / Getty Images

AMLO – like Trump – is an avid user of social media to connect with his constituents. He’s also been known to spread falsehoods and boast about his achievements on the platforms – sound familiar?

So, it came as little surprise when he tore into social media companies for ‘censoring’ Donald Trump, saying that they have turned into “global institutions of censorship” and are carrying out a “holy inquisition.”

Nobody has the right to silence citizens even if their views are unpopular, López Obrador said. Even if the words used by Trump provoked a violent attack against his own government.

“Since they took these decisions [to suspend Trump], the Statue of Liberty has been turning green with anger because it doesn’t want to become an empty symbol,” he quipped.

So what could a Mexican social media network be called?

The president’s proposal to create a national social media network triggered chatter about what such a site would or should be called. One Twitter user suggested Facemex or Twitmex, apparently taking his inspiration from the state oil company Pemex.

The newspaper Milenio came up with three alternative names and logos for uniquely Mexican sites, suggesting that a Mexican version of Facebook could be called Facebookóatl (inspired by the Aztec feathered-serpent god Quetzalcóatl), Twitter could become Twitterlopochtli (a riff on the name of Aztec war, sun and human deity Huitzilopochtli) and Instagram could become Instagratlán (tlán, which in the Náhuatl language means place near an abundance of something – deer, for example, in the case of Mazatlán – is a common suffix in Mexican place names.)

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