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  • Sonal Goel

Quarantine Diaries

28th April 2021


Hello! Greetings to everyone.

I hope you all are well and taking good care of yourselves & your family.

Covid19 has entered our lives once again & it is impacting all of us in many ways in its Second wave.

Even I witnessed its impact when I recently got tested positive for Covid on the 19th of April. I would like to share my experience with all of you & I hope you find it useful.


SYMPTOMS AND DIAGNOSIS


In our case, my husband, an IRS officer started showing symptoms of body ache around the 16th of April in the morning. However, we assumed it might be some regular body pain and fever due to office exertion and late working hours. So he took some medicine, however, the fever didn't seem to subside. Although no other major symptoms were noticed but on the safe side, he got tested on the 17th for the RT PCR test. The next morning, on the 18th, we got the results which indicated that he was Covid positive with a CT value of 17. Meanwhile, on 17th late night, I was also down with fever, so as I usually would, I took my medicine for fever - Dolo 650 and Allegra since I witnessed some cold & cough also. The next morning on the 18th, I felt feverish again & since my husband had tested positive that morning, I thought it would be better to get myself tested as well.


I gave my sample on the 18th & the next day on the 19th afternoon, I received my report, which showed I was positive with a very low CT value of 12.


One good thing that thankfully happened was, we apprehended that since children had no symptoms, it was important to keep them away & safe, so we had sent them over to their grandparent's house.


At our home, there were only a few of us, my husband and I, our cook. And as soon as we found out about the test, we minimized the staff.


My condition initially was quite serious as I had high fever which went upto 104℃ at one point, with acute body pain & other symptoms like cough, uneasiness, sore throat, nausea, diarrhoea etc. With the doctor’s advice, I started taking appropriate medications.


During the initial 4-5 days, my health deteriorated. My fever would subside with a dose of medicine but I’d still face acute body pain and leg ache, loss of smell taste etc. and other symptoms. For two days, my oxygen saturation level wasn't stable & was fluctuating and went upto 91 & 92. But, slowly, as and when I started taking medicines, it went back to being stable & it improvised.


MEDICATION


I'm still on medication, however, I’m not willing to mention the medicines in detail as some medication might be specific to certain patients. I believe it's not necessary that the medication that is prescribed to me, might also be useful to others. However, in case of fever, you can have a Dolo 650 or any other paracetamol.


Besides this, any person who witnesses other symptoms, it’s important for them to consult their physician, if not physically then on a call about what medication should be followed. One important thing is to keep monitoring the oxygen levels frequently and take necessary actions if the levels are not as required.


HOME ISOLATION


Home Quarantined, May 2021

Apart from medication, I feel that there are many other things that matter a lot for a person under home isolation. So as I previously stated, my husband and I are under home isolation but living in separate rooms and no other family members at home. We have also excused all the helpers except our cook. The rest of the work we are trying and doing it all by ourselves. So a lot of things that we haven’t done earlier recently, Covid made us do that, like washing your clothes, cleaning the room. We’re also having food in disposable plates, and we’re doing our daily chores by ourselves. Afterall, maintaining good hygiene practice is extremely important to recover well and soon as well as protect other residents of the house.


Something else I’d like to mention is that believe me, it’s not easy to spend all the time by ourselves 24*7 within four walls. Well, of course, if you have some free space in your room or a balcony attached you can move around but provided there isn't anyone around.


BALANCED DIET, MEDITATION


So, along with medicines, what else can you do is drink sufficient amounts of water. You might have also read across that it’s essential to increase fluid intake, eat plenty of fruits, and have healthy home-cooked food. Nariyal pani, nimbu pani, fruit juices, citrus fruits like sweet lime, kiwi, pomegranate will help boost your immunity. Try to have cooked green vegetables, soups & salads. And keep munching some food and drinking enough water often to keep yourself hydrated. The medicine dosage is quite strong and it makes one feel quite weak but nevertheless, it may take time but sooner or later, we will recover.


It would be really helpful for you, if you can do some breathing exercises, Pranayam, some meditation for 15-20 minutes or anything to relax your mind, as staying within the 4 walls is quite boring and you may not feel good enough, and you may tend to go under depression. So it’s important to save yourself from reaching that stage by doing some reading, or watching TV, or listening to some soothing music or anything that you would like to do without exerting yourself. Because at this stage of Covid, when your body is already facing weakness, it is essential to not expose it to any more exertions. Prioritize your mental health as much as your physical well-being.


Take time, not right now, maybe after 10-15 days, when your body builds up it’s stamina again, you could start doing some basic light physical activities.

Also, it is important to keep taking steam (inhalation & exhalation) frequently for cough-cold & regular respiratory breathing. You could also try various home remedies like kaadha, which we initially drank a lot. However, we got careless later on and stopped having it. I recently started having kaadha again.


THE CHANGE


I still remember when I was preparing for my exams during college, I used to stay all by myself much like today's quarantined life. But then, atleast the movement wasn’t restricted, I could go out or someone else could come to meet me but here that’s not a possibility at all. This is totally a different kind of experience.


You also miss your work, your office, as all of a sudden you have to sit at home. I did not expect it to happen, as I was taking all the required precautionary measures - wearing the face mask, using the sanitiser, even sanitizing the files I was coming in contact with. However, now I am discharging all my urgent and important duties as an officer being at home on the phone and video calls as much as possible.


Since this infection is hitting us all unannounced, all we can do is take precautions.

Another really important thing is I am really missing my kids a lot as they aren’t home. It's been around 10-11 days since I’ve met them. I can only talk to them on call or on the video call, however, I can’t make the video call quite often as my younger one gets quite anxious on seeing us. This is one thing that has been very upsetting that my kids aren’t beside me. Anyway, now it’s important that my husband and I recover soon.


TOGETHER WE CAN


I would like to conclude by saying that -

Stay happy, maintain an optimistic mindset, do not stress yourself over the fact that you have Covid. Covid, is also one disease that will pass off, as you see the recovery rate is extremely high. Do not get negative thoughts in the mind of what might happen to you, or that you might need oxygen or hospitalization.


Keep in mind that the oxygen, hospital beds and ventilators are kept available for patients who have reached extreme conditions & are genuinely in need of it. If you feel you can stay at home & recover, then do so & do not pressurize the existing resources that are scarce in nature. As responsible citizens, it is important for us to not deprive the needy of such resources by queuing outside and inside hospitals if we can recover at our home.


So finally, I want to say that we should keep helping each other. We pray & hope we are not the carriers for Covid for anyone else. And lastly, everyone above the age of 18 & eligible to take the vaccines, should definitely do that. I myself will get vaccinated afterwards, so please get vaccinated because this will lead to the presence of antibodies in your body. Then even if you are tested Covid positive, it will reduce the impact of Covid & it may even be asymptomatic, so it’s important to get some protection in your body.


Stay hydrated, stay happy & keep taking Vitamin-C, Zincovit, general immunity tablets, Ayush Kadhas, traditional Home remedies etc. It is extremely important to take care of your body as well as your emotional well-being. Balance can't be taken for granted at this grave hour of crisis, it must be maintained — both in mind and body. General physical fitness and targeted exercises to improve balance can prevent falls. But so can staying mentally active to maintain brain health. A healthy mind helps you to think and stay on your feet.


Help out each other. Don’t hoard the medicines, Oxygen cylinders, injections and deprive the real needy patients.

Adopt COVID Appropriate behaviours, Get Vaccinated as per your eligibility.


नहीं रहने वाली ये मुश्किलें ,

कि हैं अगले मोड़ पे आशाएँ ...


We all would soon together tide over the situation.

Stay Healthy!


SONAL GOEL IAS

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