Former Italian pro Filippo Pozzato has been released from hospital after being admitted with severe pneumonia after contracting Covid-19 a couple of weeks ago.
The 40-year-old called himself an "idiot" for not getting the vaccine sooner and has now implored others who have not yet been inoculated to do so urgently.
"I finally got the ok to go home! My thanks go to all of you who have been close to me in these difficult weeks and above all to all the operators of the health system, doctors, nurses, assistants...you have been wonderful and I will always bring your dedication as an example of professionalism and a source of inspiration," Pozzato said after being released from hospital. As suffered at home, he acquired his own oxygen tanks as his oxygen level plummetted to 83 (normal is between 95 and 100), finding himself unable to stand and eventually checking himself into hospital after 10 days as his condition deteriorated.
"However, the most important aspect of my message is dedicated to all those who still hesitate to get the vaccine: boys and girls, it's not a joke!" Pozzato added.
"The virus is still among us and if you catch it you are sick as hell, trust those who the day before were ready to take on the world and the next day it was hard to move from one room to another. The vaccine is the only real defence we have against this plague: it is not a joke, from COVID-19 you can die and above all you can kill."
Having experienced how serious Covid-19 can be himself, Pozzato calls for people to get vaccinated in order to protect others, not just themselves.
"Think for a moment of 'fragile' people who, for very serious health reasons, cannot be vaccinated: do we really want to put their existence at risk?
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"On the contrary, we must do everything in our ability to stop the spread of the virus and this is a moral and civic duty of all of us who want to live every day of our life together with family and friends.
"To go back to doing it freely, we must all get vaccinated, without exception! With the goodwill and collaboration of all, we can defeat the virus and take back 'our' life."
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