Just when I rued having no V-Day plans this year, Corona traipses in. Why, thank you for the company! When you are positive, it hits you that you are now a STATISTIC, and there’s a lot to learn and document for educative and care-giving purposes. The peoples want to know, so here goes!

COVID TRACKS- 9 Feb, 2021 Onwards

Current Status: Recovering gently and getting better by the day. Drowsy often with minimal activity thrown in. Thankful to be at home with rockstar folks as care-givers.

Feb 9: My symptoms began with: A very slight runny nose, chills, body ache, headache and a heavy feeling in the tummy akin to indigestion. Itching came a little later. There was NO breathlessness, coughing, sneezing, loss of taste or smell. The bowl of soup with toast – and I am NOT a soupy person – will seem appetising, at first. It gets better.
Feb 10, 11, 12: I started meds with my physician who advised a stay on the COVID test but ordered C-Reactive protein (an inflammation marker), and CBC tests. A fever of 100.4 would only appear at nights. Head would ache terribly, and body stayed weak throughout. 
Feb 13, 14: CRP came clear, but CBC showed low platelets and WBC indicating infection. Doc ordered malaria and dengue tests along with another CBC. And a COVID swab test! V Day was with a needle and a swab, lotta love! And three horrible, sleepless nights with itching all over the body and very uneasy feeling in the belly. Doc prescribed an allergy pill and gastric syrup. Malaria and dengue tests were clear, but CBC still showed low count. 
Feb 15: SARS CoV-2 DETECTED! First thought: Noooo, my parents and the people I’ve come into contact with! Unfortunately, my other house adjoining my own is undergoing renovations. I know, timing, right! Temporarily stayed in a room at home, wore gloves, washed and sanitised everything I touched while all three at home wore masks and distanced ourselves. 
Doc began treating me virtually. He prescribed a whole list of meds for the flu, minerals and vitamins, digestion and immunity. Bring it on! Each physician will treat this according to his/her best known methods. Also, have to check oxygen levels with an oximeter four times a day. Should be 95 and above. In case of anything lower, respiratory complications or fever, call your doc immediately. Luckily, I am on the mend and do not have any of these to report. Luckily, it stayed out of the lungs! But doc will warn that week 2 – ongoing – can get worse, so be careful! 
Feb 16: The Municipal Corporation called promptly in the morning to check if I had diabetes or hypertension and came home to sanitise the whole house. We have photographic evidence, FYI. They approved my isolation room in the other house, and we had to stop the work so I could move in there. Either home or a COVID facility! Lab technician came home just after to take parents’ swab samples. 
Feb 17: Parents’s results NEGATIVE! It’s a Lenten miracle. Ash Wednesday mass was in pure gratitude and “claiming the miracle” as my beloved friend, Fr Roy mentioned. More so given the recent BMC announcement that cases were on the rise in Chembur and entire societies would be sealed off if a whole family gets COVID. Dodged a bullet there, till the tests are redone after 8-10 days for them. Pray!

TAKEAWAYS. Coz you’ve gottta have something to teach the grandkids, right?

  • COVID can happen to anyone at any time, even the most cautious individual. Remember, if Djokovic and Hanks can get it, or the Bachchans, “wth” am I? If it’s your time! 
  • It is not something to feel ashamed of or guilty for. Unless you’re, let’s say, dancing in a pub with no mask on and intentionally putting yourself, and others, in the line of fire. 
  • Yes, I did travel by train for work and no, this is not THE cause without any doubt. Could even be the mask-less criminal on an evening exercise jaunt! In my doc’s words, “Don’t look back on how and why, just focus on recovering.” And do not stress! I mean, have you met me?! And protecting the ones around me is factor No 1.
  • Yes, I do have a decent immune system – even though I might not look the part – and I take care of myself with daily remedies that only the sick may adopt. Fine, I could do with a lil’ meat on me, but hey, if nature so intends!
  • Remedies that come in extra handy when you fall ill: steam inhalation daily with an Easy Breathe capsule; ginger, lemon and honey juice; honey and turmeric-infused warm water every morning; fruits – I dislike anything orange, but when needs must!; lemon barley water, natural immunity capsules, vitamins, an active lifestyle with sufficient exercise and stimulating the creative brain with books and activities. And music, my love! And hot soup!! Eat whatever your heart desires, no restrictions, but obviously energy-boosting and protein-rich foods.
  • Surround yourself with a strong support system. God knows I have that! My parents first and foremost who say, “Together, as a family. Always!” My mum who deserves special mention for being my rock. Loved ones who call and message to check in every day and know you too well to ask intrusive questions. “Get better soon, rest, and we are right here if you need anything,” are just what the doc ordered! 
  • Stay as positive as you can. The illness is not as worrying as the logistics of it are, truly. Unless you are at high risk. The isolation, tests, informing everyone, keeping the strength up and the stations clean are imperative.
  • Keep the faith. It’s easy to say, “Why me, in this population of 1.85 crore people in the city?” “And me, who’s travelled within the world’s worst COVID country and from there to the second worst COVID country, all during the pandemic, safe from the virus?” His plan!