When COVID-19 Hits Home: My Personal Journey

On the 4th of January, I woke up with cold symptoms. And because I've not had enough sleep for about 5 days before that, I thought I was just tired so I went to work as usual. At work though, I felt very cold and soon after lunch, I started coughing continuously. My throat was very dry and I felt quite warm inside. But despite the symptoms, I felt fine. 

For some reason before I left work that day, I decided to take my temperature. It was 37.6. I didn't think any of it as I normally get these symptoms in the winter anyway, especially when our heating at home is quite high. But in the current environment that we are in, you can never be sure. It just so happened that we were rolling out the lateral flow testing that week, so I asked for my kit so I could do a test before I went to work the following day. I also asked for a PCR swab test although I wasn't due one- just in case. 

When I got home on that Monday, I was sneezing. I decided to sleep in a separate room from J - just in case. The following day, I did the lateral flow test at 0615 am, just before I was supposed to leave for work. It was positive. As this test kits are apparently only about 70% accurate, I did another one. It was still positive. Although I knew there was a possibility, I didn't want to entertain that thought. That's why when I saw two lines on the kit the first time, I became very anxious. This was despite having only mild symptoms. That Wednesday, my PCR swab test came back positive. I was very disappointed, but there was nothing I could do. I had the dreadful virus, so I had to deal with it.

So, I began my isolation period. I had to sleep in a separate room from J. Our infection control measures became more robust. We wore masks, gloves and sanitised the surfaces with Dettol. We washed our hands rigorously with antibacterial soap like there was no tomorrow. We prepared our food separately. Unfortunately, we only have one bathroom in the flat, so I had to spray the bath, sink and the toilet bowl with Dettol every after use. It was tedious to be honest, but it had to be done.

And as mild as my symptoms were, it was still unsettling. I knew that coronavirus symptoms can progress very rapidly, so I was vigilant. I checked my temperature and my oxygen saturations regularly. For at least three days, I experienced mild shortness of breath on exertion. At some point, my sats dropped to 96%. It has always been 99-100%. Apart from that Monday, I didn't have cough nor fever. I only had headache and runny nose, sometimes blocked nose. On the third day, I developed hoarseness of voice, but it went away the following day. 

I was determined not to let this coronavirus win, so I didn't entertain my symptoms. I still exercised every morning, but I only lifted light weights. I continued to do household chores, although at times I felt quite tired and slightly short of breath. I started yoga again after so many years to ease my anxiety. I recited positive affirmations- one thing that I've never been good at. I prayed hard. I drank warm water with honey, lemon and whole clove twice a day. My brother suggested that I inhale warm water with ginger, so I did that too. I continued taking Vitamins D and C. I took nurofen cold and flu because it always works for me whenever I feel under the weather. I read an uplifting book. I watched funny and inspiring vlogs on youtube- one thing that I don't normally do. Yes, I don't watch vlogs at all but I am glad I did when I was on isolation because I came across the Hungry Syrian Wanderer. I became a fan instantly and now I look forward to his vlogs. I also started watching Vice Ganda's vlogs. Man, I have not been this lazy in a long, long time. You know, for a while I have been wishing to have a day off and just do nothing. It took a coronavirus for me to do that. 

Anyway, I felt better after one week so I pushed myself further and started doing cardio exercise. At this point, I have claimed complete healing! I went back to work on Monday, 18th of January. 

I have fully recovered  now, and although J and I have completed 10 days of isolation from each other, I decided to complete at least 20 days because I wanted to make sure that I certainly no longer have symptoms. And today, we were finally  able to hug each other, albeit still wearing masks. 

Initially, I was disappointed and truthfully - bitter because as far as I know, I was more careful than most people out there, and yet I got infected. J has been working from home since March and has not really gone out of the house apart from medical appointments. I felt very bad that I brought the virus in our house. But because I work in a hospital, it makes me more susceptible. 

To sum up, this has been an eye opening experience. The thing is, whether I had mild symptoms or not, the fact that I had the corona virus was simply scary. I was fine physically, but I was all over the place mentally. There were so many what ifs and whys. But, I am very grateful indeed that I only had minor symptoms and that J didn't get it. We are some of the lucky ones.

And although I never doubted that this virus is real, it became more real to me when I had it. So please, stay safe.



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