I will try to express how I felt for those 24 positive (rather the most negative and darkest) days of mine in three phases.
First phase: The onset of symptoms and diagnosis
February 9th 2021, 6 PM- I was feeling fit and healthy as ever, without any sign of sickness. Within minutes, my whole body started aching badly from inside as if someone has just switched on something within and I felt feverish. I checked my body temperature and it was almost 100 F by 6.30 PM. The whole night was a hide and seek between fever and Paracetamol.
The very next day I decided to test myself for COVID-19 and not to mention, isolated myself even before the report. The process of swab test is also as horrible as corona itself. It gives a nauseating feeling when a long stick is inserted in your mouth till throat and also in the nose until i guess it touched my forehead. But somehow the process of sample collection was over.
The first night of isolation on 10th February was the toughest. It was full of anxiety, fear, stress and tension.
Anxiety of the result, fear of being positive/infected, what if I am infected and tension of passing on the infection to your loved ones. The night was far from over and all these mental trauma had already taken over the physical pain I was getting due to fever and body pain. It was such a fearful night that by morning I felt like I don’t have any symptom left and a childish wish that if I am feeling fine at the first place, then there is no question of others getting infected.
February 11th, 4 PM- There is a difference between dream and reality and by this time my fear became true in a positive manner. I guess first time in life I was praying for a negative result but it was not to be meant so.
This is one of its kind of disease, if you get to know you have got it, the very first feeling comes to mind is “God! how many would have I infected”. And the testing of all the family and friends who came in contact with me were done in subsequent days. It was again the same phase of anxiety and stress till the reports of everyone came as negative thankfully.
Second Phase: The isolation period ( February 11th to 25th)
This period felt like Vipassana with a phone and internet. I went through a lot of symptoms in these 15 days of my home isolation under supervision of doctors through video calls.
Fever and dry cough for 12–13 days.
Chest pain and pain in ribs/muscles due to constant coughing.
Weakness: Unable to stand or sit for a while.
Mental trauma of being all alone and do all the stuffs like gargle, taking medicines, washing your own clothes and utensils even in that state of weakness. Replying the same state of things to 100s of calls from friends and relatives daily. The feeling of talking to someone was vanishing with each calls due to the same set of questions every time.
There were nights when the pain and feeling of uncertainty cripples the mind and fear of loosing everything killed all the motivation to live and I felt like giving up. It literally felt like someone has hijacked my body from inside and dictating its own terms. The fear of dropping your oxygen level keeps you up for whole night. The situation of checking on yourself, whether you are able to just breathe properly or not, was really unprecedented. The time taught me how much I was taking my life for granted. We always hang between a thin line of life and death but everything except our precious life matters for us.
Third Phase: The recovery ( February 26th to till date)
On 27th of February, after 5 days of no symptoms, I stepped out of the isolation and it felt like a new life with a bit more of understanding and a different perspective for certain things. Even today, my body is in recovery mode and I am not feeling fit as before but I came out a bit stronger mentally, if not physically.
I am dead sure about the fact that, without family and friends, the battle of Corona is long lost. As whatever I have understood in these 20 odd days is that it’s a battle more of mind than body and someone with less will power, demotivated from inside and no zeal to live or love is more likely to loose.
The investment in relationship is the best investment. It requires time rather than money and it really pay off in the time of need.
I have lot more to express but I guess it has been a long post already.
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The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Please consult your treating physician for more details.