Serious infections of COVID-19 ultimately revolve around a debilitating pneumonia, giving rise to fast and laboured breathing that requires therapy with higher concentrations of oxygen than normal. Breathing normally, peacefully and automatically, which most of us take for granted, becomes the fervent goal of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, as well as those who care for them. Careful attention is given to the oxygen saturation (‘sats’) as measured by a monitor on the finger, and expressed as a percentage. Experiences of breathing, singing and ‘sats’ will be shared from the “Hospital of Hope” at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, where I worked for two and a half months. With 850 beds and 1500 admissions, this “field” hospital was established in record time as a specialized COVID facility with piped oxygen at every bed. Despite the barriers of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and physical distancing, it was still possible to establish person-centred care through relatively simple methods. We noticed for example how personal communication with patients and their families through video conversations on cellphones, had a markedly positive effect on some patients’ ‘sats’. And the effect of singing in the wards by the nurses, despite masks and visors, raised everyone’s spirits. Despite the industrial nature of the environment, the technical challenges and the number of patients, a human connection was able to be established which contributed significantly to recovery and well-being.