Professor, 46, collapses and dies in front of her virtual class amid COVID-19 symptoms
College professor, 46, who had been allegedly battling coronavirus for over a month, collapsed and died during a Zoom lecture.
- Paola De Simone, professor at Universidad Argentina de la Empresa in Buenos Aries, who had been reportedly struggling with COVID-19 symptoms, died in the middle of a Zoom lecture, reports say.
- The professor had previously mentioned her battle with the virus on Twitter.
- Former students and friends describe her as an ‘unforgettable teacher’ and ‘a great person’.
Last week, during a Zoom lecture, professor Paola De Simone, who was teaching 20th-century world history at Universidad Argentina de la Empresa in Buenos Aries, died at her home after having severe trouble breathing, as per The New York Post.
Paola De Simone en su máxima expresión, me pareció interesante su postura tan relajada para dar una clase que no dude en capturar ese momento. pic.twitter.com/z3QfGGOQAt
— Nawel ♛ (@naweljimenez) September 3, 2020
As The Sun reports, citing Diari Mes, De Simone was not feeling very well and was suffering breathing difficulties during the lesson. Her concerned students asked her to give them her address so they could send help, but all she could say was: “I can’t” before collapsing at her home. When her husband, a doctor, came home from work, he discovered her lifeless body. She left behind both her husband and her daughter.
The Argentinian professor had previously mentioned her health issues and her husband’s work amid the coronavirus pandemic on social media. In a Twitter post, De Simone reportedly 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.”
Ana Breccia, 23, one of Paola’s students, described her last moments before allegedly losing her life to the virus.
“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.”
The professor was also described as an ‘unforgettable teacher’ who was always there for her students.
Silvina Sterin Pensel, an Argentine journalist in New York, who had been friends with De Simone, told the Washington Post Paola was dedicated to her students, adding that her death is a ‘sad reminder that the virus is real’.
The journalist claimed that the virus is ‘still making rounds in Buenos Aires’. She said:
“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.”
Another one of De Simone’s students, Michelle Denise Bolo, who said she took the lecturer’s economics class at the Universidad de Buenos Aires in 2017, shared:
“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.”
Bolo added that the news of the professor’s tragic death was ‘very heartbreaking’.
The Universidad Argentina de la Empresa released a statement saying that De Simone’s death had left the institution with ‘deep pain’ and that she was ‘a passionate and dedicated teacher, and a great person, with more [than] fifteen years of experience’.
As of September 8, there are 488,007 COVID-19 cases and over 10,000 deaths reported in Argentina, according to Worldometers.