Remote View
Remote View
COVID? It saved my life!

COVID? It saved my life!


Bob    Hi, my name is Bob Greenyer, and welcome to RemoteView.ICU

 I'm here with my good friend,

Ema    Hello

Enjoying life and fine Italian cuisine with my friend

Bob    Emanuel Ruggerio. He's my Italian friend. I share an office with him. And he was reluctant to take the vaccine last year because you had some blood pressure issues or something.

Ema    Yeah, yeah. Blood pressure issues and problems with my heart. Not so big, but it's OK. So I didn't take any vaccine still.

Bob    And you managed to avoid by basically imprisoning yourself for a large portion of 2020 actually getting the original wave, didn't you?

Ema    Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. My wife had COVID in mid-August and.

Bob    2021

Ema    2021, yes, but nothing happened to me or my son, which.

Bob    Is bizarre because you were in the same house, aren't you?

Ema    Yeah, she was trying to, to live by herself in a room, you know? But it was it wasn't. It wasn't tough. She was tired, for sure, but the normal, normal flu, so...

Bob    Yeah. And so you actually caught Delta in November, right?

Ema    It was, it was mid-November. Yes, because I'm a filmmaker, I went to a big conference three days. There were like 120 people there.

Bob    They were all vaccinated and....

Ema    All vaccinated, all with, the GP, how do you call it, you know...

Bob    the, the Code, the QR code.

Ema    Yes, yes.

Bob    And you had a test as well, didn't you?

Ema    Yeah, it's PCR tests. Yes, yes, yes. But obviously when I came back, I had Delta...

Bob    Right.

Ema    So obviously I had to stay for two, two weeks at home. Let's say alone, uh, but it was like a very strong flu, for sure.

Bob    I mean, you had some moments where you were feeling sorry for yourself, I seem to recall.

Ema    Yeh well yeah, we can say yes, not too much.

Bob    And how did you treat yourself? What did you use?

Ema    I really took a lot of vitamins, vitamins, that's all. And I didn't take any, how do you say, paracetamol and.

Bob    Vitamin D. Z...

Ema    Zinc

Bob    Zinc. And your wife actually uses, is it chlorine dioxide or something?

Ema    Yes.

Bob    Yeh, so apparently, with these conditions and in fact with normal upper respiratory tract infections, there's a recommendation because it infects the kind of villi and the surface mucosal layers - anything that is able to disinfect these areas. And so some people use what I think it's called povidone-iodine, and you put a dilute solution of that and you snort it up your nose and spit it out of your mouth so it goes all the way round. I don't know how you use it. I think you just gargled with it or drank it right? Yeah, yeah. OK, so so basically...

Ema    Very small quantities?

Bob    And I was actually thinking about this the other day because quinine, I think it's in the same sort of family is hydroxychloroquine. It used to be taken as an anti-malarial and gin. If you take gin, of course, gin is a high strength spirit. And so if you gargled with gin, then maybe that would improve, you know, the sterilization of the back of the throat. So I was just thinking this the other day. You know, these gin and tonics that people used to take - it's actually my favorite drink when I was living in India. It's kind of like was was that protecting people from all the kind of bugs that were going around in these third World countries more than just malaria?

Bob    I don't know. But with that little aside, so you were using something to basically sterilize your your throat area. Vitamin D, vitamin C and zinc and basic, just just food. When you wanted food, basically.

Ema    Yeah.

Bob    So you were there for how long? How long was the whole sort of nasty part of the disease?

Ema    Oh, ok, the nasty part was like seven or eight days, but after ten days, I was kind of OK. But on the second week, somebody started on my face...

Bob    Yeah, you sort of sent me these horrendous pictures, which you can see in the blog here. This is one example. I don't think you need more. And he says, What's happened to my face?

Ema    I don't know, in Italian It's called psoriasi or something like that, I don't know in English

Bob    Psoriasis, yeah, around...

It looked like this and then fell off, over and over

Ema    it's like being, on, you know?

Bob    Yeah. Yeah. It's kind, it looked like you had a really bad beard glue and you'd been playing Santa or something and you ripped off the beard.

Ema    You lose the skin, you know?

Bob    Yeah.

Ema    And and I called my brother because he has this problem since the beginning, not the beginning of Covid, this is like in the last 20 years.

Bob    Right, right, right.

Ema    And in very smaller parts, you know, and he said, Oh, you need this, this, this, this and this, and I said....

Bob    And it's actually very relevant. You saying your brother because he's your identical twin?

Ema    Yeah, exactly.

Bob    Yeah. So this might be a condition that you genetically have suppressed

Ema    Exactly

Bob    In his case, he's less able to suppress it, but because you had your immune system may be fighting the disease. Delta in this case then presented itself. And you were really upset, weren't you?

Ema    Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So he say, you know this, that I'm using, it's with a lot of cortisone. Yeah, I say, OK, I went to my doctor. She didn't want to give me such things. So I called a friend, this Italian friend who lives in Vienna, and he was going to Trieste and I said please go to the pharmacy, buy this and take it to me because I wanted to go to some dermatologist and they didn't have, didn't have have time, you know? So he came to BRNO, my friend and I use it for one week. Obviously, it was very strong, like a lot of cortisone on my face, but then they disappeared totally. So after I went to the dermatologist and...

Bob    So you went to the dermatologist when you had largely cleared up the initial signs of it.

Ema    I showed the pictures.

Bob    So why did you go to the dermatologist then, specifically?

Ema    Because I wanted to solve this problem, but I solved it by myself, but I wasn't sure, and she said, Oh, you took too much. I give you something that is not so strong for two weeks.

Bob    Right.

Ema    So I was there, I said, oh, you know what? I never checked my, how do you call it my...moles

Bob    Moles and nubbins and.

Ema    I can't you check it.

Bob    So what we're talking about here is Emanuele has a family house in Sardinia, and he likes to go there and bathe in the sun.

Ema    Exactly, exactly.

Bob    And so.

Ema    For all my life since I was six months old.

Bob    Yes. Yes, for every summer, I get a picture back of Emanuele very many shades darker.

Ema    Exactly, exactly.

Bob    So what happened when you were there? So you said, Look, I've got these like moles and stuff on my skin.

Ema    Just have a look.

Bob    Just, you know, whilst I'm here and you've given me this prescription for a less intense cortisone treatment for my face so that I can finish this. Please have a look at my body. So what happened then?

Ema    Well, she found a melanoma

Bob    Well, she found a large mole.

Ema    Actually, more like two centimeters for one.

Bob    Yeah, and you were quite shocked because I don't know whether you hadn't seen that part of your belly for a while, but oh.

Ema    I saw this thing, like, I don't know when, like six months before or maybe one year maximum and there was, Oh, OK, OK, who cares?

Bob    And do you think it had grown since then? Or...

Ema    When I, when I noticed it, it was big as it was.

Bob    Oh, right. So it's kind of like it wasn't there. And then it suddenly it was

Ema    Maybe

Bob    OK. And so that was how many months before.

Ema    Maybe six months, maybe one year, I don't remember.

Bob    So basically, you saw it and you were not going to go to the doctors?

Ema    Yeah, I didn't give a shit.

Bob    And actually, this is a thing that...

Ema    All my family, we're Italians and my family is always saying, you have to go every six months and check these things.

Bob    And men don't, and then this is the problem. All over the world, women, if they have the slightest medical problem, because they have it, I think it's because, because of women's cycles and because of the pregnancy, whole thing about that, women have a much more engaging relationship with doctors, and they're much more ready to go and get things checked out than men - and men often, for instance, have to be checked for testicular cancer and, and these things because men, I guess, is part of culture, where men think they shouldn't cry. They should be strong and no disease is going to get them and actually ultimately ends up in a shorter life span for men. So you have....

Ema    I do know that after sometimes, like after the fifties, you should do something.

Bob    Yeah, I think things are starting to fall off at that age. Yes, so, so, you'd basically had seen this may be a year before and you basically didn't act on it?

Ema    Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And when she saw it, she was really, like, frightened. She said, Oh my God, this is a melanoma. We have to take it so.

Bob    So when, how did she determine that? Did she have some sort of equipment she used?

Ema    Yeh, they have this special equipment, I don't know [jesutures as if holding a telescope].

Bob    It's like an eyeglass with.

Ema    And it uses... special...

Bob    Special frequency of UV light? Yes. Yeah, yes. Yes. Yeah. So you can I think they actually have these LEDs, which you can get, but there's also other ways of producing it. It's a very specific frequency of light, and then it somehow illuminates the, the thing and they get, they get some understanding... Oh this is just a normal mole... Oh my god, what's this? So she was really shocked. You're saying.

Ema    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, she said. We have to take it this out now and now was before Christmas and obviously before Christmas, nothing happened. We should have waited for two weeks.

Bob    So she was so concerned she wanted to take out immediately.

Ema    Yeah, yeah.

Bob    So what was the time between you visiting her and having the operation?

Ema    Four weeks,

Bob    Four weeks. But she actually wanted to take it out in a few days because I remember you saying, Look, I might...

Ema    It was before Christmas.

Bob    You said to me, you might want to have an operation in the next few days, and I'm really concerned. OK, so four weeks.

Ema    And she called, she called how do you say, umm, the best, errr, hospital here for oncology, oncology...

Bob    Right, yeah.

Ema    And uh, yeah. She said that first day, well the first date was the fifth of January, so she fixed the appointment because the commission should be there and then we check it and blah blah blah.

Bob    So so that was on what date?

Ema    The fifth of January

Bob    Fifth of January. And now we are looking at the 20

Ema    weeks ago, something like that.

Bob    It's kind of about that, yeah. So around about that. And so today you got the results back and so, hold on. How big was the section they took out before we get there?

Ema    It was fucking big, man.

Bob    So you're saying that the actual, the, what was presenting on the surface, was about two centimeters.

Ema    1.8 and one,

Bob    OK? And so how

Ema    It was like a 'cuneo' how do you say? Like a form the form.

Bob    Yeah, it's kind of like a, I don't know, water droplet with the tail or something like that.

Ema    It's not like a typical mole. I will use a 'francisismo' [frenchism]. It was like a, a smear of shit, you know?

Bob    Oh yes, so, so like someone had turned on a poo and on the street and wiped it.

Ema    Exactly. exactly

Bob    Like a skid mark type thing, yeah?

Ema    Exactly, So, so I went there. There was like a commission. And uh, yeah, they said, OK, we we take it out next week.

Bob    So how big was the piece that they took out?

Ema    I think bigger because

Bob    Have you got a photo of that?

Ema    Yeah, I have, uh, eight stitches.

Bob    eight stitches, nasty.

Ema    7-8 stitches.

Seven stitches

Bob    Right, right.

Ema    It's crazy.

Bob    So it's like the fastest diet you'd ever been on.

Ema    You know, the Czechs, they do like this. They, they don't wait.

Bob    Yeah, yeah, yeah

Ema    There's some problem, to, to be cured.

Bob    Yeah.

Ema    And they don't wait for informations or biopsies and just say... they do it.

Bob    Yeah, I mean, but she had identified.

Ema    My sister had the same problem. And they took a piece out and they...

Bob    Did a biopsy.

Ema    Exactly. And after the biopsy, they they did the job and now wait a sec. They did the job. And then after the biopsy, they saw that it was like mine and they opened it again to treat it better.

Ema    Right. So the checks they do the contrary, the just.

Bob    So they basically said, here's a lesion...

Ema    If it's a problem, we don't know, if 50/50, we clean it totaly.

Bob    I mean, because it's in the lower part of the abdomen, it's not in an area like,

Ema    yeah,

Bob    like right next to your eye or somewhere where you know it's going to disfigure you in in a much more visceral way. So....

Ema    But I think is good because I lost at least one hundred grams, so...

Bob    Yeah, as I said, I think it's one of the fastest diets you've ever been on.

Ema    Yeah, hahaha

Bob    I said that and COVID, I mean, COVID, they lost weight. How did the weight did you lose during COVID?

Ema    Four kilos

Bob    So, so four kilos during COVID and you got a bonus at the end of it, so....

Ema   Hahaha, right.

Bob    So basically, they they they took this out and then they did a biopsy, and today you got the results back on. What did they say?

Ema    Yeah. And the biopsy said that obviously it was

Bob    Malignant.

Ema    Yeah,

Bob    yeah. So this was a.

Ema    But they said it was totally on the surface and they clean everything. So I should be OK. So the thing is, thanks to COVID, I went to the dermatologist and they found this. So I'm very happy.

Bob    So given the fact that you, you have a history of of skin cancer with you... you're saying your sister had something?

Ema    Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Bob    But I think you're essentially what you're saying is you have a history of not going to the doctors. Right? So and you went to the doctors because of a skin condition that only arose because of COVID.

Ema    Yes.

Bob    And as a result, they found a malignant melanoma on your skin. And so did the doctor have anything to say about what would have happened if you'd had just left it?

Ema    Oh, she said, we have to take it out.

Bob    Yeah, yeah. So there was no chance that.

Ema    99.7% nothing happens.

Bob    Yeah

Ema    But we should take it out.

Bob    Yes. OK, so...

Ema    It was the best gift for Christmas, I guess.

Bob    Yeah. Yeah.

Bob    You weren't tempted to fry it.

Ema    Hahaha

Bob    So yeah, so.

Ema    Obviously, obviously they said to me today that they shouldn't take. I shouldn't [go] sun bathing like being at the Sun. And it is for me, really?

Bob    So that that is the better part of this sweet pill.

Ema    Yeah, but...

Bob    The recognition that you are not going to be able to go and bask in the sun

Ema    But I will, Haha

Bob    But you will. Hahaha

Ema    Yeah! I put 50 or 30, you know, sun cream

Bob    Oh right, OK, so plaster yourself with UV protection, right?

Ema    Yeah, yeah.

Bob    So this is a really....

Ema    Imagine me with a hat and a T-shirt at the sea-side,? No...

Bob    I can imagine you, it would probably be better for my imagination. Hahah, so, so essentially, what we're saying is - if this had been the normal course of events and you'd just let it grow. People know that skin cancer can. It can just flip over to being a system, systemic cancer.

Ema    They said, we took it just at the right time. So,...

Bob    Right, so someone's looking out for you, my friend?

Ema    Hahaha - ooo

Bob    Well, I mean, you know.

Ema    Angels.

Bob    Maybe some angels. I mean, this is fantastic, so I'm really happy for you. It's almost the best of all outcomes because now you've got strong and robust immunity to at least the delta variety, probably not Omicron, but we know Omicron's pretty pathetic. So we don't need to worry about that, but it gave you this gift of potentially your life. And that is great for your family. It's great for me as your friend. So I'm very happy to hear it.

Ema    How do you call this?

Bob    The scar scar, yes....

Ema    I'm happy I will have another sexy scar.

Bob    Hahaha, that's when you go and do those, sort of like.

Ema    Who did this? Well it was some fighting man.

Bob    Yes, I got stabbed. The person looked like a doctor, you know, and I only gave me local anesthetic before they took it out. So actually, they did injections around it. You were awake. Did you look at it when you were having it cut out?

Ema    No.

Bob    So you looked away and just let them get on...

Ema    I was I was afraid my injuries like, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please. Half an hour. But, the sound was not so good.

Bob    Oh, I guess there was lots of sucking.

Ema    I've seen, I've seen all the old old way that they use this, how do you call it, a...

Bob    Incision with it, with a blade like?

Ema    Yeah, yeah, with a blade. I put about that no man to use like lasers and

Bob    Lasers?

Ema    And some

Bob    effectively cauterizing it as they're going. So it doesn't bleed.

Ema    Well, there was some...

Bob    I mean, not not like you're in some sort of Sword battle.

Ema    But it is amazing. I mean, it's crazy. And I was literally like bzzzzzz...pschchck...dzzzzz... schchck

Bob    Did it smell like pork?

Ema    No, nothing. Nothing.

Bob    So, if there are men out there and even women that like the Sun and there are many that do and there's good reasons, I mean, the vitamin D you get from Sun [you] could say have saved thousands of people from dying from COVID itself. And in fact, because you basted yourself in the summer, you may have had a less bad time with Delta.

Bob    I guess the moral of the story is look after yourself, live life to the max and in case of looking after yourself, particularly it's men who tend not to seek out medical treatment. If you think there's something wrong with you, if you can sense that your maybe balance is off, or your vision is off, or you've got pains which are not normally there... Don't pretend they're not there to just be a 'strong person'. Go and get them checked out and don't rely on you having some happy accident occur to get yourself sorted. So thank you for sharing your story on remote view.

Ema Let's cheers. [Celebrate]

Thank you for listening to RemoteView.ICU

Remote View
Remote View
“Remote View” is a technology, philosophy and commentary newsletter and podcast by Bob Greenyer, where he ‘Looks back to the future through insight and critical fiction’.