The fear of the pandemic in the general public is increasing at a faster rate than the actual rise in people infected by the coronavirus. In fact, fear is taking the face of mass hysteria in many cases. Let’s have a peek into the lives of people who have actually been through the infection and its treatment to rationalise the fear.
The frontline worker who contracted the infection while fighting the war, but emerged victorious again
When the test results turned out positive I completely was shattered. Although as a doctor I knew it didn’t imply a death sentence. The mother in me was anxious that maybe I had infected my family members. Especially my son. To the extent that I almost broke down crying. My 7-year-old found me weeping. He said “Mom, don’t cry. It will be fine. Go for your treatment and come back healthy for me”. It was a rare unexpected moment that made me stronger.
I work in the field of social medicine and public health. I’ve been working with the National Health Mission through the WISH foundation in MP. Since the coronavirus outbreak, everyone involved in the medical field is facing a lot of work overload. To help reduce this stress, we were working on a telemedicine program. This would include how doctors were able to help and guide people who are in home-quarantine. While working on this project it was discovered that the Principal Secretary and some other officials were tested Covid positive. These were the set of people I was corresponding with directly. When I came to know about this, I was worried that I might be infected too. I decided to isolate myself from everyone, including my family members. My anxiousness subsided when everyone who I had been in contact with was tested negative. I had felt no symptoms whatsoever and the positive test result came as a shock. Within no time I was moved to the hospital. I was in Chirayu hospital for 14 days. For the first few days, I was depressed and still very concerned about my family. The head Doctor walked up to me and asked why I look so sad. I told him I am worried about my little son. He asked me his name. ‘Krishna’ I replied. He smiled “Ma’am, my name is Krishna. Don’t worry about Krishna, he is doing fine and in fact, he is supervising your treatment. You’ll be with your family in 14 days.” His words worked like an instant vaccine.
Everyone from the hospital staff was very optimistic and supportive. We were not supposed to go out but were advised to exercise in our wards. We needed to wear masks all the time. Most of the time we were on our beds resting. The service in the hospital was excellent and everyone was treated well. They took care of us just like a family member would. In the evenings all patients used to get together and share their feelings and anxieties. It helped us get through it. I made friends at the hospital too, who I address as my ‘Corona friends’. Dr Smriti was in the next room. She suffered the same anxieties as I did. We talked about our concerns to ease our mental burdens. Knowing that someone else is also rowing the same boat as you help you bond together and persevere at such times. We became really good friends, these friendships will last a lifetime! We were given food and all the medicines on time. The main focus of the treatment was to strengthen our immunity. After 14 days in the hospital when the results of two consecutive tests showed negative, I was discharged. I am advised to home quarantine for 14 days as a precautionary measure which I am following.
This experience has proved that the virus is not invincible. It is not something to panic about. Perhaps this is my only message to anyone and everyone – Know that this can happen to you too, but also know you can come out of this perfectly fine.
Survivor of COVID-19
The thoughtfulness of a college student that kept the infection from spreading to his family and friends
I’m pursuing my masters and was in New Delhi when the nationwide lockdown was announced. I decided it would be better to return home in Indore. After reaching home on the 21st of March I thought of getting tested and to self-isolate myself till the results came. I lived in my room and did all my chores, like washing my clothes and utensils. I practised social distancing from my parents too. They were upset with this because I had returned home for the first time since 2018. They said all these steps were unnecessary because I didn’t look sick. But even after all the opposition, I continued with the self-isolation. I knew that it was highly likely for me to be infected because of the exposure I faced while travelling back home.
I couldn’t be tested immediately due to some guidelines issued by the government. Only those who had returned from a foreign trip were tested at that time. When I felt dryness in my throat I insisted on being tested. It was on the 29th that I could finally get the test done. On 1st April the results revealed that I was Covid positive and was moved to the special centre. In the hospital, everyone was treated very well. They took care of us the way a host does for the chief guests at their party. We were given food and medicines on time and were taken care of with utmost responsibility. Though we were not allowed to roam around, we could continue to do our work. I happened to be one of the first few positive patients in Indore. So the facility wasn’t completely ready when I moved. Which meant there was no TV or wi-fi. I had my phone though. Which is enough to spend your time these days. All of my friends were concerned about me. Some even insisted on coming to Indore to visit me. But I told them that it was not a good idea.n I rather discouraged them from going out of their house even. So they resorted to calling me every day. To check up on me and keep me company. In the hospital, all of us needed to wear masks, gloves, and head caps all the time. We spent most of our time on our beds. We were allowed to go out only when we needed to use the restroom. There were around 20 to 22 people in the ward where I was staying. It took me a couple of days to get comfortable with them. Once the ice was broken, it was more fun. We played games like antakshari and dumb charades all the time. All from our respective beds. It helped us to keep our spirits up. After staying in the hospital for 14 days, I got discharged with the advice to self-quarantine myself for another 14 days. This means that this 28 days cycle will end on 3rd May. However, I am planning to extend it. Probably till the 8th or 9th for the sake of extra precaution.
Through all this, I realized that this is not a problem that can be solved by a handful of people. Doctors alone cannot solve it. Nor can the administration or the Government. I did what I had to do as a responsible citizen. So should everyone else. Think about this, this is a war-like situation. Doctors are working tirelessly, police and officials have even given up family commitments, we are just expected to sit indoors. We have the easiest task possible to play a role in this war, we should stick to it.