Experiences | 2 months ago

My COVID STORY

This is my story on the experience of being tested a COVID 19 positive patient. I thought I should share it with all of you on a positive note during these tough times and request you all not to panic in this situation.

I was recovering from a viral fever which had started sometime around the 17th of July with mild body pain. I could sense that I was not feeling well and thought it could be flu. I took some paracetamol tablets as there were no other symptoms. My appetite and my food intake kept reducing. I decided to go to a general physician who checked my saturated oxygen level and told me that I had nothing worry about and the fatigue would wear off in a week’s time.

I was feeling a little better around 26th July, but that’s when I realised, I lost my taste completely. I searched on the internet regarding symptoms for COVID and read lot of articles linking loss of smell and taste are also symptoms. Panic started setting in.

On Monday 27th July 2020, we were supposed to resume our operations from office as our Work from Home duration had completed. I was feeling a lot better compared to the previous week and was planning to report to office. Something at the back of my mind wanted me to get a COVID test done. I Informed my Manager, took a leave for that day and went to a nearby private hospital to get the test done. I was unsure if they would take the COVID Test on me as is. There was nobody available to consult at the hospital. Only security personnel’s, lab technicians and front desk managers were interacting with people walking into the hospital.

I registered my case with my Aadhar card details and paid Rs 5000 for the test. My nasal swab was taken. They mentioned that if I get tested positive, BBMP (which is the administrative body for the Bangalore Metropolitan Area) will give a call else, the hospital will let me know regarding the results within 48 hours. I received a call from BBMP first thing in the morning on July 28th. I picked up the call to hear the tele-caller on the other side asking for all my personal details and house address telling me that my test result was confirmed as positive.

My family comprising of my father, my wife and my daughter were anxious to know what the result was and they were all shocked when I had conveyed the news to them about testing positive on asymptomatic conditions.

The tele-caller mentioned that I could opt for ‘Home Isolation’ if I have all the facilities of a separate ventilated room with attached toilet as per the prescribed guidelines from Government. However, he mentioned that BBMP officials will come, inspect my house and take a decision on where to get isolated.

The initial minutes of panic kicked in once the call ended with various concerns in my head.

  • Should I home isolate?
  • Should I go to a COVID CARE CENTER?
  • Should I send my family to relative’s place –My daughter being under 10 Years & my father being over 65 Years?
  • What if they already contracted the infection and spread it to other relatives?
  • If I should or should not inform neighbours, friends, relatives and office colleagues?
  • If my house would be sealed down with barricades around my house/street, social Stigma so many other things…

I realised that this is an infection where in one forgets their own health condition and thinks of everything else, only to create more panic amongst ourselves.We settled down after a while, and as a family, decided to face the situation as it is. Nobody was to go out anywhere and I was to isolate myself in a room at home. This is how my Journey with COVID started.

It is strange that being extra cautious in life attracts more risks than just going about your day-to-day routine activity. 😊

I fall into the category of being cautious and taking excessive precautious during this time.From being the one to explain to all my family members Do’s and Don’ts and telling them to not step out from home, to declaring Work from Home for all of us here at EDST. I was following all of the lockdown measures announced by The Government. I am yet to figure out from how I contracted the virus.

Who is to be blamed for this chaotic situation when someone gets tested COVID 19 Positive?

  • Is it The Government because for all the stringent policies and procedures about this pandemic?
  • Is it The Media because of the hype they create?
  • Is it The Society because of the way people perceive the situation that we are in?

Nothing happens from blaming anyone though, does it?

I had started to think about the necessity of having to get myself tested in the first place. I could have ignored it and reported to work. If looked at from different perspectives, it is good to have taken this decision as a precaution so that the others don’t contract it. I had informed all my friends, colleagues and relatives, told them that I was doing alright and had to follow the protocol of isolation.

After couple of days once my result came in, The State Government had arranged for a medical check-up at a nearby hospital to check for my vitals and certify that I’m fit to come out of the room and into home isolation. After that, an outsourced agency who is tied up with The Government of Karnataka registered my case and I used to get the telecalls on regular basis to check on my health condition and to ensure that I follow all the guidelines as per the prescription.

Not having any major symptoms like High Fever, Cough, Reduction in saturated oxygen etc, I was not taking any medicines and was taking immunity builder multi vitamin tablets along with traditional Ayurveda Kashaya. Regular steam inhalation and hot water gargling was part of my every day isolation routine. I also realised that this is just like any other regular flu. The same precautions for a fever with similar guidelines have to be followed. Luckily there was no hard barricading around my house and only home isolation notice was placed outside.

Personally speaking, affected individuals should be able to decide depending on how they are feeling physically. If serious, it is better to get themselves admitted into a hospital or do a consultation. If not, it is better to get home isolated. Individuals who have symptoms and not identify or recognise it, ignore it and do not get tested are the carriers of this virus and therefore, might affect the others with low immunity causing complications. If all of us take precautions and isolate ourselves in case we feel any mild symptoms, we can control the spread of the virus.

There are lot of symptoms that can be checked upon. When a call from the Tele Consulting group is received, it is always better to give them the complete details so that they can advise you on the next course of action.

In my case, I felt like I was in the last/recovery stage when I got tested. I felt a lot fitter physically during the isolation as compared to the previous week when I had the fever. My appetite was back to normal and I used to have a proper diet, strictly avoiding cold beverages. During the isolation period of 17 days, I strictly followed all the steps required for home isolation. I received daily calls from Tele Consulting Group and maintained a daily checklist of my vitals like pulse, body temperature and saturated oxygen level.

Living separately in my own house was tough. It took a lot out of me emotionally. Support and confidence from Family & Friends mattered a lot. There were regular Video Calls from my Wife & Daughter from the adjacent room to check in on me during the isolation period. This is not something to be proud of but, I think I was the first to contract the virus in my close friend circle, relatives and at work 😊.

My colleagues jokingly have named the room where I was isolated as ‘the blue room’ when they started interacting with me over a VC.

This gives everyone first-hand information based on my experience on how one could deal with the situation rather than reading and hearing from other sources. I felt that “panic state” which was there in the beginning of pandemic slowly going out when you see a real-life example Infront of you. On a lighter note, my wife had doubts on me acquiring fake COVID positive certificate in order to get all the privileges that I’m enjoying under home isolation.I started resuming work from home immediately within a weeks’ time. On receiving the discharge certificate from the agency on completing the home isolation, I am back to work from Office.

I am still apprehensive about how people perceive this, but that doesn’t matter. The question about me having to take that test being necessary or not doesn’t matter.  What one does as an individual to save your near and dear ones by not spreading the virus matters.

Anthony Jesudas

Author – Anthony Jesudas, Head – HR, EDS Technologies

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