Amrita Jha and her two siblings caught the virus a month ago. She describes her first week in quarantine as the most frightening and believes that fighting the infection has an impact on mental well-being. Here is his COVID journey
There was a time when I lived believing that getting tested positive for COVID became very normal and wouldn’t be a big deal for everyone, given that 80% of cases tend to be mild. So with all of us safe at that point, we planned a weekend outing to attend my nephew’s birthday. And then the unexpected happened.
My brother was the first to complain of a cold, mild fever, fatigue. Soon my sister developed similar symptoms, but since they both had ice cream and cold drinks late at night, and the weather had suddenly changed as well, we figured that was okay. Maybe just a normal cough that hits us.
It was Friday when my brother started to experience severe pain, so we decided to go to the hospital for the COVID test where I witnessed the worst situation. I didn’t expect to witness something like this. There was a lack of management, the people running here are there to help with the hope of getting help right away.
Time tested me and later I also started showing symptoms of COVID and followed up with the positive result, and that’s when I had a reality check.
As a protocol, we informed everyone we came into contact with, as well as members of our office team. Other people in our apartment got to know the guys from BBMP (government) who came and told the apartment residents to keep their distance from us. And all of this resulted in multiple WhatsApp calls and messages, some from sympathizers, some from neighbors warning us not to leave the house, others called just to confirm the COVID result, and others have offered their help.
Our neighbors stayed away from us 24/7, we closely monitored all of our actions, and at times we felt like criminals rather than patients, trapped in our own home.
The first few days were the most difficult, I live with my siblings and we were not feeling well. Thanks to my older sister who tested negative and she handled the situation very well while managing her office job.
I felt completely exhausted for the first 3-4 days. Having a few bites of Khichdi (rice and lentil porridge) on my bed seemed like hard work to do. Every part of my body was in tremendous pain, as if hundreds of needles were being stuck or someone was hitting me hard all over my body. I had a fever, a cold, sometimes dizziness and muscle pain. I had to add extra salt to the food and had lost my sense of taste and smell. In 3-4 days the fever went down, but the weakness persisted and I got tired even taking a short walk in my room.
The temperature also rose at night, interfered with sleep, but dropped after the medication was taken. My oxygen levels fluctuated constantly, sometimes around 90-95 and sometimes dropping to 87 at its lowest.
Ma Nani (grandmother) had lost her smell and taste after an accident which caused her severe brain damage and after that she could not smell or taste. We called her one day and said, Nani … the first time COVID made us put you in your shoes to experience what it’s like to eat food without tasting or live a life without being able to smell anything correctly.
During this time, I continuously practiced yoga and breathing exercises, and regularly ate a good amount of fruit.
My mom said a situation like this made everyone helpless because they weren’t even there to help and that is absolutely true. Family / friends / no one can share your pain. It is only you who have to fight physically, mentally by taking all medical precautions, following all the dos and don’ts, and eating healthy. Even those who are not affected by the virus, are affected by its consequences. If a person tests positive, it is not only them who are in pain alone, along with them there are a bunch of people who will suffer physically, mentally, psychologically while taking care of them.
Fortunately the worst time has passed and we started to feel better within a few days and we are now in stable health.
It is anxiety, loneliness, and negative thoughts that affect more than the virus. Things are gradually returning to normal. Besides home remedies, we continue to take all other precautions.
My diet consisted mostly of easily digestible, less fatty and spicy foods for several days, lots of vegetables, sprouts, nuts, dates, water, and lots of homemade juices and fruits.
We are relieved to have recovered at home rather than being admitted to the hospital with severe symptoms and complications. However, this experience taught me that even a minor infection with COVID-19 can be frightening. It’s not like the regular flu. It breaks your body. We were exhausted by excruciating fatigue. Even if your test is negative, it takes a long time for the body to recover from the exhaustion and symptoms. According to doctors, it will take a month to get back to our normal routine and our yoga routine.
Unless you are in critical condition, the best place to recover is at home. Individuals can recover at home with the help of good nutrition and medication taken on time. In today’s world, detecting symptoms early and acting quickly can save many lives. The Covid is a completely unpredictable event. The impact he has had on everyone’s life is undeniable, and it will undoubtedly be the topic of conversation for the rest of the year, or throughout life.
This too will pass, and we will rise to a better tomorrow!
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The opinions expressed in this article should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your treating physician for further details.