A professor who had been suffering from COVID-19 symptoms collapsed in front of the Zoom class she was teaching and died, according to Spanish-language news site Diari Mes. Paola de Simone, 46, was a professor at the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and had been suffering from coronavirus symptoms for about four weeks before she died, the outlet reported.
De Simone was in the middle of teaching a Zoom class on September 2 when she told her students that she was unwell and had difficulty breathing, the Sun reported. As her condition quickly deteriorated, the outlet reported that students asked her for her home address so they could send help, but local media reported that she said, “I can’t” before collapsing. De Simone was eventually found dead by her husband, a doctor, when he got home.
De Simone is survived by her husband and a daughter, according to Clarin.
Argentina has over 478,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 9,900 deaths, according to data from John Hopkins University on September 7.
Her Students Posted Tributes to De Simone & Some Recalled Her Final Moments
De Simone, who had previously opened up about struggling with coronavirus, was described by her students as an “unforgettable teacher,” the Sun reported. De Simone wrote on Twitter in late August, “It’s been over four weeks and the symptoms aren’t going away. My husband is exhausted from working so much at the moment (medical therapy and emergencies),” according to Clarin.
Ana Breccia, a student of de Simone’s, spoke about the professor’s final moments: “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,” according to the New York Post. Another student told the Sun that de Simone was 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 series of tributes from students was posted to the website Politólogos al Whisky. One of the tributes, from Alejo Sanchez Piccat, reads: “Great professor, the first face I saw in my journey in International Relations, I will always be grateful for her human capital and for the warmth she provided. She will be very much missed.” In another, Sofia Padilla Tanco wrote: “Paola left, but she first taught us love for what we choose to do, empathy for those around us and curiosity for the world. Thank you professor, always.”
De Simone Was a Professor at UADE for 15 Years & the University Issued a Statement About Her Passing
— UADE (@UADEoficial) September 3, 2020
De Simone studied political science and international relations at Universidad del Salvador, specializing in human resources, before teaching at the University of Buenos Aires and Di Tella University, Clarin reported. She then became a professor at UADE, a position she held for 15 years until her death at age 46.
UADE tweeted a statement about her death, writing: “We regret to report with deep sorrow the death of Paola Regina De Simone, professor at the Department of Government and International Relations.” The statement continues, “Paola was a passionate and dedicated professor, an excellent professional and a great person, with more than 15 years of experience at UADE.”
De Simone’s colleague at UADE, Facundo Cruz, posted a long tribute statement to the late professor, captioning it, “Farewell to a friend. We will miss you.”