Speaking in Arabic from his hospital bed in Sydney, Khaled Elmasri has a simple message for his community: “Take COVID-19 more seriously.” After being hospitalized one week ago, the 47-year-old from the city’s COVID-struck southwest was on the verge of being admitted into intensive care before his condition improved.
While struggling to breathe, Mr. Elmasri recounted his experience on-camera.
“Of course, I knew and knew COVID-19 is a real disease, but I don’t think that before now, I took it seriously enough,” he said. “I was careful, but I don’t think I was careful enough. It’s a severe, burdensome disease.”
After a few days, it’s only now that I’m able to speak and breathe a bit more normally.
Mr. Elmasri’s plea to family and friends is to follow the official government health advice and get vaccinated as soon as they can. I didn’t take it seriously enough to put my name down for a vaccine beforehand,” the father of four said. In hindsight, I feel like I should have done that. I have learned my lesson the hard way. And now I’m going to get my vaccine.
This video was introduced by Mr. Elmasri’s GP, Dr. Jamal Rifi, a general practitioner in Sydney’s southwest and a prominent figure in the community. “Khalid wants to share the following video so people can take the advice from someone who got very sick,” Dr. Rifi said on-camera in Arabic. “Because we don’t want any of you to go through what he experienced.