The 46-year-old mother of a young daughter had been suffering from the symptoms of the novel coronavirus for four weeks, but hadn't taken proper treatment.
In a shocking and horrifying incident, a college professor in Argentina collapsed while taking a lecture from her home. Her students couldn't do much but watch the horror unfold as it was a virtual class, conducted through zoom.
Citing Diari Mes, The Sun reported that 46-year-old Paola De Simone was a professor at Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (Argentine University of Business) in Buenos Aries and taught 20th-century world history. She had been complaining to her students about having trouble breathing a week before the incident during a Zoom session.
But this time, her condition had gotten worse. Her students could see that their teacher was increasingly becoming uncomfortable and pleaded her to give them her address so that they could send help but she gasped and uttered a weak, "I can't," and collapsed. When Paola's husband returned home, he found the lifeless body of his wife.
Her students offered to call an ambulance before she gasped "I can't" and collapsed.— LADbible (@ladbible) September 6, 2020
Paola had tweeted about her health issues in August before the incident where she wrote, “It is very complicated. I have been here [with the virus] for more than four weeks and the symptoms do not go away. My husband is exhausted from working so much at the moment.” Her husband is a doctor who has been busy with the pandemic work.
Ana Breccia, 23, a student of Paola, described her teacher's last moments. “My classmates and I in class were the last ones she spoke to. She began by saying that she had pneumonia, we saw it was worse than in previous classes. At one point she could not continue passing slides, nor speak and she became unbalanced," reported the NY Post.
Another student described the mother of one as an “unforgettable teacher, one of those who give you a hand in everything, who make you love what you study, who go out of their way for their students. We are going to miss you a lot.”
A friend and former classmate of Paola's at Universidad del Salvador said that it wasn't a shock for her to hear that she was teaching the students even when she wasn't keeping well. Talking to Washington Post, Silvina Sterin Pensel, an Argentine journalist in New York, said, “I totally portray Paola deciding, ‘I can totally do this, my students need me.'” She added that her friend's death is a “sad reminder that the virus is real.”
Silvina who met Paola in 1992 described her as a “brainy, brilliant” individual who displayed all the qualities of being the kind of teacher that she was today.
She said, “You could tell already she had a bright future ahead in teaching or in any endeavor she set her mind to. She was already displaying this critical thinking you find more in a professor than in a student.”
Michelle Denise Bolo was one of the many students who took Paola's economics class at the Universidad de Buenos Aires in 2017. She said the professor was not just energetic but always provided Michelle with her full attention.
The 21-year-old said, “Her classes were at 7 a.m., it was very difficult sometimes, we were sleepy, but it was crazy because everybody listened to her. By the end of the class, nobody wanted to leave, everybody wanted to keep talking about what she was explaining.” When she was informed about her death, Michelle asked all her friends and former classmates to share their memories which they had made with Paola.
She continued, “It was like we kind of needed that sharing of memories, it was very heartbreaking when we found out,” and added, “She managed to show herself and talk about her life and her passions and her other jobs. She was very personal but also super professional. There are teachers that are sometimes unapproachable — she was nothing like that.”
According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 450,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported with over 9,000 fatalities in Argentina. Sterin Pensel said, “The virus is still making rounds in Buenos Aires. In Argentina, the confinement has been very strict, so people are showing signs of fatigue in complying. But these kinds of reminders, these awful reminders, they shake your core.”
In an emotion statement on Twitter, the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa wrote that Paola's death had left the institution with “deep pain.” It concluded, “Paola was a passionate and dedicated teacher, and a great person, with more [than] fifteen years of experience."