When COVID-19 came calling

Knock knock

Who is there?

The ubiquitous Anna (an elder)

Anna who?

Corona!

Yes, Corona knocked on my door and took all of us, a family of three, down.

My husband 59 (Engineer), my daughter 28 (Lawyer) and me 56 (Educationist & Author).

It is true, Corona or COVID – 19, the strain we are fighting, is the greatest equalizer, poor or rich, black or white, old or young, rural or urban, eastern or western, southern or northerner it does not distinguish, it does not discriminate, it might just choose you, and if it does, it will grip you. Make no mistake; all it is waiting for is your slightest invitation, just a friendly look in its direction…

A lot has been said and is being said all over the world on a daily basis about every aspect of COVID – 19 (I am not going to talk about masks, sanitizing, distancing and other things we all know by heart by now). While most of it is pretty good advice and our only source of knowledge about the deadly COVID-19, I write this blog to share the first-hand experience of being laid down for three weeks. Yes, it hit my husband and me really hard. We are still regaining our strength and spirits.

I discovered my true supports, and here I am sharing a few essential things that have not been spoken about so far, so here goes.

Your two most important friends in the fight against Corona are:

– Your family doctor and – You 1. The family doctor knows you, your system, your state of health, your pre-conditions, allergies, medicines, how you keep your body, do you exercise? do you eat well? etc.

Have you kept in touch with her/him? Do you update them regularly about your state of health? Are you prone to self-medicate or seek their opinion when something goes wrong?

Whatever it is, COVID-19 demands that we talk to them regularly (you can mutually decide the frequency). They are the best judges of what is happening to us. Whether it is a simple flu, cold, viral fever or something less or something more? The normal tendency is to self – medicate when a problem arises, but Covid-19 is different. We need an expert, a professional, to help us. The Covid-19 test needs a prescription, and they are the ones to decide when to order it. Trust me, this fraternity means well, and we will do ourselves a great service by placing our trust and health in their hands.

2. You – who knows you better than you? take notice of the smallest changes in your body and system. I had a dry throat for several days. I attributed it to the constant exposure to AC and started keeping a tub of water for moisture. Little did I know what was waiting for me; I wish I had spoken to the doctor. Our daughter had a similar bad throat condition, few days before the actual fever started taking over. My husband started a fever, and we in all our wisdom and confidence thought it had to be viral. When symptoms got worse, we spoke to the doctor, who immediately ordered Covid-19 test for him. Two days later it was ordered for us as well as we too had developed fever and throat condition had not improved. Sure enough, we all tested positive.

Let me mention here we keep a neat and clean household, maintain hygiene, have good eating habits, took all precautions and followed a strict discipline regimen. Our only exposure to the outside world was once a week grocery shopping. God only knows where we caught the virus. But we did. Our system knew it way before our mind accepted it.

Our body tells us everything, and we need to listen to it. Please pay attention to the signals it is giving. Slightest changes in anything need to be taken notice of. Discuss with family, friends, and the doctor. Every constitution is different, and symptoms behave differently in different people. It is best to discuss and find out the best course of action.

3. The first week of sickness was not too bad, and the temperature varied between 99.6 to 1020F and the energy levels were ok. One could go about their regular chores, quarantined though. The thought is – this has not hit me that hard, I’ll cope with it much better. I too cooked and did some kitchen work (no help and all three positive). I should have preserved my energy. Week two is really crucial as I realized later. My strength plummeted to zero, going to the toilet also seemed like a herculean task. There was a loss of appetite, and the body felt strange. I did not even want to talk and switched off my phone. The cough got worse, and it seemed I could not deal with it. I requested to be sent to the hospital after a week of staying in denial, but the doctor advised otherwise as my breathing was ok and the cough was not severe enough to demand hospitalization.

Please, please do rest and eat. This is important. The kind of weakness that sets in will take weeks to go away and allow the body to recover fully.

4. The Allopathic system of medicines has been run down mercilessly. None of us wants to keep gulping down medicines, read chemicals if we can help it, but COVID – 19 is different. My understanding is – the treatment is symptomatic – as there is no medicine for Covid-19 per se. Please follow the schedule as prescribed by the doctor if you want to get better. There are a host of medicines ranging from paracetamol to steroids that may be prescribed depending on the symptoms. While some are SOS (e.g. cough syrup) most others follow a course, 5-7 days to two weeks. Having a pulse oximeter to know your oxygen saturation levels is mandatory. No compromises there. Taking Vitamin C & D, Zinc, Multi-vitamins etc. becomes necessary, again depending on the state of one’s health. Please follow the doctor’s advice. Please do not decide yourselves when to start, stop or skip the doses.

5. Finally, lean on your support system. I called my dear friends and asked them for food, groceries and medicines. Everyone went out of their way to be helpful and supportive. Thank you. Our RWA is a fine example of how communities can be built and become your extended family. Thank you. In a crisis like this, the only people who can really help you are the ones in close proximity. I can’t thank God enough for my blessings and will work even harder on building friendships and relationships.

This was just my experience. I hope you benefit from what I had to say.

Stay alert, informed and healthy. Thank you. May God Bless you.

Author: Meera Aggarwal

Meera Aggarwal is an Educationist, Author and Coach for ‘Action Learning’ an effective management tool for problem solving and capability building. Meera has authored series of academic books for the teaching learning of ICT and Mathematics with reputed publication houses. Meera is a language arts expert and has conducted numerous story-telling and story creation workshops for children in the age group 8-13 years. She is an expert in identifying the creative gift/talent of a child and working towards honing and strengthening the core areas. She also works on communication and critical thinking skills, enhancing children’s confidence. Meera loves reading, cooking and solving Suduko Puzzles.