THIS IS A TRUE STORY; IT’S OFFERED AS A COUNTER TO THE ONGOING MISERY BEING FORCED UPON US BY THE MASS MEDIA THAT SEEM NEVER TO OFFER AN ENCOURAGING STORY. BAD NEWS GETS THEM VIEWERS, NOT SO GOOD NEWS.

The best way to face adversity has always been to use humour – laughter being the best medicine – try this out! Friend Danny became a victim of forced detention and treatment when the Dreaded Lergie, now known by its modern name Covid19 extended its grasping tentacles during the early peak of the pandemic. I’ve known Danny for many years and will admit he can get himself into scrapes, but this one might be the best yet.

Danny could be described as an innocent abroad in this little saga. The drama begins in a club in NSW where our hero is an active director. One of his colleagues in the club works in a major local hospital where she assists a distinguished cardiologist. Now Danny happens to inform his lady friend that he has been suffering shortness of breath and some mild chest pains She offers to help by making a quick appointment for him to see the eminent physician. Now, this particular lady is not one to brook argument so Danny agrees.

Two days later Danny is driving when he receives a phone call from the friend. “Where are you? Turn around right now and go to the hospital – you could be having little heart attacks – get over here right now. I’ll be waiting” – See what I mean about her being forceful. Danny, a bit put out, phones his lady wife asking her to bring him some clothes. She has already had a call from the ‘organiser’ friend and has misunderstood – she thinks he’s having a heart attack. She’s on red alert!

Danny arrives at the hospital a bit worried by now; the place appears almost deserted. A receptionist asks what is he doing there. He tries to tell her that he’s come in about shortness of breath and chest pains. He wipes his nose on his hanky, as it turns out not the best action given the circumstances. The receptionist immediately gives him a facemask telling him “Don’t take that off”.

She takes him through big double doors, into a ward with beds down each side all occupied with sick looking people, masked up, tubes connected everywhere.

Now he’s getting freaked out. Danny tries to argue and tells the guide that he has to contact his organiser friend because he’s in the wrong place.

“You’re not going anywhere” is the reply.

In a panic, he starts back towards the doors. “They’re locked”, he’s told. “You won’t be going home tonight, put that mask on”.

“But I’m in the wrong room, I came in for heart tests,” says Danny.

“We’ll do tests for Covid AND your heart. Strip down to your jeans, sit on that bed – number 17 – there”. A large security guard is all the while watching the proceedings.

Danny thinks, Oh My God, I’m in a Hitchcock movie.

On the next bed is a weird-looking character not wired up as much as the others, but he’s real skinny, sallow complexion with ginger hair and a mullet. This guy is on something. He keeps nodding and muttering to himself.

“Only way out is through them doors and they’re locked”. says the spook. “You’ll have to wait ‘til somebody comes in and make a run for it”.

They put heart monitors on Danny and start trying to fit a catheter into his arm to take blood. After three or four attempts they finally succeed but leave a black bruise the size of a tennis ball as a souvenir. Then Danny hears the spook again. “You’re not going to enjoy this – you wait to find out – it ain’t over yet”.

He turns. Oh No, it’s not a Hitchcock movie; its One Flew over the Cuckoo’s nest and suddenly its Nurse Ratched – in a spacesuit. She’s carrying a long straw thing in each hand.

“Don’t spew all over me” she says and puts one of the things down his throat. I thought she was going to push the other thing through the top of my head he told me later.

Finally when this ordeal is over his phone rings. It’s his lady friend not very patiently asking where he is.

“What are you doing there?” she responds to his answer. He tells her. “I cannot help you in there,” she tells him. Later the heart doc phones and tells Danny he’s sorry, but he can’t help and Danny is just going to have to endure it. Danny told me that was the moment that broke his heart. He just surrendered to it all.

From walking into the chamber of horrors at 2 PM it’s not until 3 AM the following morning that he gets out. They had brought food but I didn’t touch anything he told me. At one point the weirdo tells him “I’m goin’ to get a drink. I’ll get you one Bro – you’ll feel better”. At that, he walks over to the sink, picks up two used cups, doesn’t bother to wash them, fills them and brings them back.

I thought for a minute when he got to the sink that it really was the Cuckoo movie and that he was going to rip the thing off the wall and throw it through the window, he told me. He didn’t. Danny doesn’t touch the cup or anything else whilst he’s in there.

Finally, at 3 AM they let him free telling him that all the tests have been sent away and that they’ll get a response in a week but in the meantime, he’s given dire warnings to quarantine when he gets home. His wife waiting at the entrance is the best sight he’s ever seen in his life.

Two weeks later he’s told, by his lady friend that he can see the Cardio but this time in the private hospital, which adjoins the main buildings. Danny arrives, sees the main hospital, takes a half a mile walking detour around the very outside of the car park. He’s not going within shouting distance of the place he fears.

The final outcome is that Danny neither has Covid19 nor a heart condition.

But he’s right off watching certain movies on Netflix now!