I would like to think I am speaking on behalf of almost everyone living through the second wave of Covid-19 in India when I say: The pandemic has never felt more real.
I am not just saying this because of the frightening numbers that flash on our TV and mobile screens all day long. It’s because we all know someone or the other, who is a part of the statistics we dread so much.
For me, the Covid-19 pandemic got real, when my mother and I tested positive for the viral infection in the first week of May. But, I am getting ahead of myself. Let me begin from the beginning.
When on the first of May, my mother had a temperature of 100.4, we were quite certain it was dehydration. With the soaring temperatures in Delhi, being dehydrated is a common summer affliction—pandemic or no pandemic. But when on the second, the fever refused to recede despite ample hydration, we called the doctor.
His first few questions were expected. Did you go out somewhere? Did someone come home? Does anyone at home has Covid-19? So many questions, all with but one answer: NO. We hadn’t left the house or let someone in since mid-April. Groceries were ordered online and left on our doorstep, which was duly sanitised before being put to use.
We had shut ourselves in, only making trips to the staircase and the balcony—that too never without an N-95 mask. There was no way in hell or heaven that coronavirus could have come home.
On that note began a general treatment with antibiotics for my mother and a battery of tests—including RT-PCR—to determine the cause of her pesky fever.
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I woke up on the fourth of May in a panic. My mother still had a fever and now I had a violent cough. A few hours later, my fever topped the charts at 102.7—and what was once a suspicion, was now confirmed. We had Covid-19.
While my mother seemed to have a mild infection, fever being her only companion, my coughing fits seemed to be competing with my temperature, in a bid to see what would do more damage—the phlegm in my chest or the raging fever.
As advised by our doctor, we got our RT-PCR and blood tests done on the fifth of May, and the reports made our affliction abundantly clear. We were both Covid positive. While my mother’s blood reports showed everything in range, I had inflammation in my body—presumably the reason why I was constantly struggling with a high fever.
Given the rate at which Indians are getting infected by Covid-19, it’s no surprise that almost everyone has some advice to offer. While not all nuggets were doable or useful, there were some that really helped us. Here is what helped me and my mother on our journey to Covid-19 recovery:
I am happy to report that our Covid story has no dramatic turns and twists. We both had fairly mild infections—as CT scans a few days later would show—and we were very lucky to have come out unscathed. While we are still coping with the fatigue, there is very little impact on our lungs.
But what helped us wasn’t just taking care of our bodies—but also our minds.