Queens man with coronavirus shows significant improvement after month of virus
John Giarratano, the Queens man who Queens County Politics reported began showing COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, symptoms on March 6 and wound up on a ventilator in Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Hospital on March 15, has improved significantly.
Giarratano hadn’t been able to get tested for the virus until he was already in the hospital, and the results didn’t return until he was on a ventilator, by which point he had already sustained a fever for over five days and had trouble breathing.
Because of complications with the lab, the results for the test came back days after the test was taken, and the hospital decided to go forward with experimental treatment for the virus using Remdesivir. Later, they also put him on Hydroxychloroquine.
On March 21, he was moved from Mount Sinai in Oceanside, Long Island, to the one in Manhattan.
Brian Zupanick, Giarratano’s partner, has been supportive throughout this whole process, and has spoken to Pix11 News more than once about the situation.
On March 29, his 39th birthday, Zupanick got a call from the hospital to tell him that Giarratano had been taken off the ventilator after being on it for 13 days total.
“Something worked obviously, because he really wasn’t doing well,” Zupanick said. “In the last four days, he started moving in a positive direction. It was absolutely a miracle. I feel as though it was divine intervention from the very beginning. I believe in God, and I believe God has answered my prayers. I really, truly do. Because it was bad.”
Assistant Principal of Catholic Queens school dies of coronavirus
The assistant principal of a Queens Catholic high school died on Saturday from coronavirus related complications at the age of 42.
Joseph Lewinger had worked at The Mary Louis Academy for 20 years and had the positions of teacher, coach, assistant athletic director and athletic director before becoming the assistant principal.
“His love for Mary Louis was always in evidence, particularly when he referred to himself as a Woman of Dignity!” Principal Ann O’Hagan-Cordes wrote in a statement. “There will be time in the future to celebrate all of Joe’s numerous accomplishments. Now is the time to grieve and mourn our tremendous loss.”
He was also a board member of the Franklin Square Union Free School District’s Board of Education. Lewinger had served as the board’s president in 2016.
“Mr. Lewinger cared deeply about our district; he cared deeply about our community; he believed in our kids,” Superintendent of Schools Jared Bloom and Franklin Square Board President Stephen Toto said in a jointly written letter about Lewinger. “While the loss of any life to this terrible virus is tragic, the passing of one of our own hits us particularly hard.”
Lewinger is survived by his wife and three children, including a set of twins who survived cancer.
Brooklyn Civil Court judge dies of coronavirus-related pneumonia
Downtown Brooklyn Civil Court judge Johnny Lee Baynes died of coronavirus-related pneumonia on March 26 at the age of 64.
He served as a Brooklyn judge since 2005, though he passed the bar exam in 1985. He grew up in the South and attended Howard University.
“You were heard in his courtroom. He was just a very wonderful individual,” Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge and longtime friend of Baynes’ Lisa Ottley said. “This thing is insane. Coronavirus has really had a tremendous effect on a lot of us.”
Baynes was known as a fair judge and a big-brother figure.
One of his more notable cases was when he was able to delay the closing of the Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn by issuing a restraining order that stopped the New York State Health Department and SUNY from closing the facility, according to reporting from The New York Daily News.
His efforts worked for a little while, but eventually the hospital did close down.
“It’s ironic that he made the decision to keep the hospital open and he passed during this health crisis,” Appellate Judge Sylvia Hinds-Radix said. “I still can’t believe it. I’m still in shock. A death is something that happens but to get that telephone call that he had gone, that was hard.”
Read more about this in this article: The New York Daily News
Brooklyn Medical Center puts up tent to partially hide portable morgue
The Brooklyn Medical Center put up a white tent to obscure the opening of its portable morgue yesterday, after it went viral online that New York City hospitals are now using air conditioned 18-wheelers to house their dead.
With the coronavirus pandemic bringing in so many more patients than the city’s hospitals are used to and with so many deaths — both coronavirus and non-coronavirus related — the medical centers are expanding their facilities outdoors.
The Interfaith Medical Center put out a red tent for new patient screening and triage, and Elmhurst and Queens General Hospitals set up outdoor tents for coronavirus testing.
Portable, temperature-controlled morgues are just the latest editions to hospitals and while they are just a response to the indoor morgues filling to capacity, passersby who saw deceased patients being put into the morgues freaked out.
Videos of decedents being loaded into the trucks on forklifts circulated social media as something startling and macabre.
To counter this, the Brooklyn Medical Center has erected it’s small white tent, though it can only obscure the forklift once it is close to the truck and not the full way from the ambulance bay.