Arusyak Aleksanyan was scared when the family learned her mother-in-law had Covid-19.
When 82-year-old Hasmik Aleksanyan was diagnosed in June, Armenia was struggling to contain the spread of the virus. At the time, the country, which has a population of just over three million, had among the highest number of daily new cases per million residents in the world.
Pensioners make up a little over half of the deaths attributed to Covid-19 in the country—395 out of 723 as of July 29, according to the health ministry. Over the course of the pandemic, the elderly have been disproportionately affected by the virus around the world.
“When we learned that my mother-in-law was infected with coronavirus, we were very scared,” recalls Arusyak. “The worst thing is that my mother-in-law said that she did not want to go to the hospital; she preferred to be treated at home. We were afraid that in addition to the illness, going to the hospital would cause her greater stress.”
But Hasmik Aleksanyan was one of the lucky ones. She was diagnosed on June 21, a period when the caseload in Armenia was near its highest. But following 14 days of treatment at Nork Infectious Diseases Clinical Hospital, she was declared virus free and allowed to return home, Armenia’s western Aragatsotn Region.
"When I learned that I had to go to the hospital, I was very upset. I did not want to leave our home, to be away from my family, but I must say that the medical staff at the hospital treated me like a relative,” Hasmik recalls.
“I had some problems with my lungs, I was short of breath, but thanks to the care and attention of the medical staff, I overcame the coronavirus. When they discharged me from the hospital, they gave me flowers and sent me home with a smile.”