I understand that you guys have been hearing, reading and watching way too much about Covid-19. I understand, the moment you hear the word Covid-19, what follows after that may be just Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah! But if you choose to read on, the below article may provide you some insights and may be of some help, in case you or someone you know tests positive for Covid-19. This is because this is a first-hand experience of a person who tested positive for the virus… Me!
Around 6th of September, my father started experiencing cold and sore throat, but no fever. We had been taking immense care to keep the virus away from home and hence we weren’t ready to believe that we could be infected with Covid-19. So, we thought that rather than directly going out and getting tested, let’s observe for a little while.
Soon, on 8th of September, my father wasn’t feeling any better and thought that it would be better to consult our usual family doctor and take his opinion. We went to him; he prescribed a 5-day medication course and suggested us to get tested for Covid-19. Apparently, to anyone complaining of cold/cough/fever symptoms, many doctors have been suggesting that they get tested for Covid-19 directly.
However, since we were given a medication course, we decided to see if the medicines work and sincerely hoped that they do. None of us wanted to believe that we had got the virus, right?
A day later, I too started showing symptoms similar to what my father did. A day after me, my mother started showing those symptoms too! All of us, somewhere within, feared that the unwanted guest may have just come in… We decided that my father, mother and I will go for testing. My wife was still not showing any symptoms.
On 12th of September, we reached the testing centre at around 8:50 AM, and the lab opens at around 9 AM. However, a lot of people had already reached there before us, may be to save themselves from the rush during the day time. For the readers in Nagpur, we got ourselves tested at Dhruv Pathology Lab, which is a private lab here in Nagpur, approved for RT-PCR, which is by far the most accurate method for Covid-19 testing. We were given token numbers 82, 83 and 84. Our turn arrived at around 11 AM. The test procedure was a 5 min affair right from making the payment to the test drill.
After the test, as soon as we reached home, my wife gestured to me that she is also experiencing the same symptoms. Yes, maybe we should’ve taken her with us for the testing too; but we thought that if she’s not already infected, it may not be safe for her to travel with us in the same car. So, we skipped taking her with us. We discussed that we will wait for our results to arrive by the same evening or next and then decide on her testing. The tensed atmosphere and the anxiety build up that all of us went through during these 2-3 days is beyond my ability to express. In many cases, the Covid-19 virus may do a larger psychological damage than physical, a lot of it attributed to the panic majorly choreographed by the television and social media. Your brain may give you 1000 reminders to stay calm and keep the atmosphere at home happy and tension free, but you’ll most likely end up arguing with each other over petty things! Anyway, like all other prompt machinery in our country, the results of our tests too, arrived late, i.e. on the night of 14th September.
Next day, i.e. on the morning of 15th September, we made some calls to our family doctor, some friends and relatives to seek direction and guidance for the process ahead. We got to know about one of our relatives, who is an Orthopaedic surgeon in Seven Star Hospital, which is an approved Covid-19 hospital in Nagpur. He and his wife had tested positive for Covid-19 a while back and hence, he could share a lot of first-hand information with us. He asked us to visit him in the hospital the same afternoon. He said he would help in getting our reports checked, get medicines prescribed by an authorised physician and see to it that we get all the required medicines together. He also suggested that at least my parents should get their CT Scan done, so that the limit of infection in the lungs can be examined and treated accordingly. My father suggested that we’ll get a scan done for all of us; my wife included as we hadn’t done the RT-PCR test for her. After having a look at the CT Scan reports, the doctor was certain that she was also infected with the virus. He also examined the extent of infection in each of our reports and assured us that so far, there was nothing much to worry about. He prescribed the Covid-19 medicine course for each of us and asked us to monitor each one’s body temperature and SPO2 level 3-5 times a day.
The above was an account of our experience, symptoms onset to our reaction duration, our anxiety, etc. Further, I’m trying to make a pointwise list of some dos and don’ts, some things to have handy and some things that one may consume/not consume if the unwanted guest strikes in! I am also aware that it’s been over 6 months since the virus has been around and most of you may be already following these and even more things. But just sharing as this has been our first-hand experience.
Things to keep handy:
- Thermometer: Having more than one in one household is what I’d personally suggest. No medical reason for this though.
- Pulse Oximeter: This device has become quite popular and a part of many households in recent times. It measures one’s pulse rate, i.e. Heartbeats as well as the Oxygen Saturation (SPO2). As per my knowledge, a normal person’s Pulse rate should be anywhere between 60 to 90 (+5). SPO2 of a normal person should be anywhere between 96 to 99. If it shows anything below 95, please see a physician immediately. It should be enough to check this once a day.
- Blood Pressure Measuring Machine: If you have 55-60+ parents/grandparents at home, keeping a BP measuring machine would be a good idea. High/Low Blood pressure levels is a common thing among 55-60+ aged people and hence, having this machine handy and keeping the BP in check is a good practice. As all of us know, Covid-19 has more severe effects on people with pre conditions. It should be enough to check this once a week.
- Glucometer: In case you have anyone at home who has higher blood sugar levels, and they rely on getting it tested once in 6 months from a lab, it may be more convenient to have a Glucometer at home to monitor the blood sugar level and keeping it in check.
General Advice (Irrespective of whether you have been already infected or not):
- Maintain good hygiene. Keep your hands and surroundings clean at all times.
- Eat freshly cooked meals, always.
- Try and include all essential food nutrients (vitamins, proteins, etc.) in your food through your meals, fruits, dry fruits, etc. Proteins are easily available through pulses (various dals). Consume items like chick pea and moth beans as much as you can.
- In case you are not sure if your regular meals are able to fulfil your nutritional needs, do not shy away from taking supplements. There are ample available in your nearest pharmacy shops. We take Zincovit for multivitamins and Limcee or Celin for Vitamin C.
- A while back, Patanjali had launched Coronil Kit, which was earlier hyped as a Covid-19 vaccine/medicine developed in India. I know there was a lot of stir about its authenticity, however, a lot of people who were infected strongly suggested us to go for it. They said that it helps in strengthening one’s respiratory system and lungs. Personally, I am not a big fan of Patanjali, but when you want to heal yourself from the virus, you do what you need to. Personal choices and likings do not matter as much, right? To be honest, we bought some kits but haven’t used them so far and thus, I won’t be able to vouch for its authenticity. But a lot of people have been benefitted by it apparently.
If and when you or anybody you know are found positive:
- Act FAST! In a usual viral infection or fever, a lot of us like to wait before visiting a doctor and first try home remedies to recover. Great, but not here please. This is a virus that has been introduced to the world for the first time. We don’t know if the home remedies will work for fighting the virus. Also, I’ve heard cases where people didn’t take the virus seriously as the symptoms weren’t harsh. The virus further spread badly in their lungs and the worst thinkable happened. Hence, it’s best to get yourself tested and treated as early as possible.
- If your symptoms are too mild, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not infected by the virus. Also, if you are infected, it isn’t necessary that you’ll show harsh symptoms. You may have a stronger immune system, which is stopping your body from showing harsh symptoms, but you may make things worse for others who may be aged 55-60+ or even younger ones with a weaker immune system. So please be responsible, for your own good and for the betterment of people around you! If you see symptoms, please get tested and treated.
- Go for an RT-PCR test. This is the best and the most accurate test known so far, although there have been instances of both, false negatives and positives. Some testing centres are doing only Rapid Antigen Test. My personal suggestion would be to not go for the same. I’d read somewhere that if a patient tests positive in Antigen test, he/she is considered Covid-19 positive. On the contrary, if a patient tests negative for Antigen test, he/she is supposed to confirm it with an RT PCR test anyways. We might as well keep it out of consideration, right?
- Most of the labs are mentioning CT value on the report, apart from whether a person is Covid-19 positive or negative. Insist on getting your CT value, or simply, go to a lab which is providing CT values. CT value is the Cycle Threshold, which is a measure of the intensity of the virus in your body. As per my knowledge, a CT value of 35+ means that the virus is too mild and the infected person cannot spread the infection.
- Once found positive, please listen to your doctor if they suggest you to get your CT Scan done. It helps them understand the intensity of infection in your lungs. Especially for the people aged 60+, as in their case, the infection may spread faster and recovery may be slower.
- Your doctor will give you proper medicines. We were given Favipiravir, an antibiotic, an antacid and nutrition supplements (Multivitamins with Zinc and or Manganese, Iron, Vitamin C and Vitamin D). If infected, there is ample stock available with hospitals and pharmacists. Please do not stock up these medicines otherwise. As far as I know, nobody is even selling these medicines without prescription. Even if you can pull some strings and get them, please DON’T! The entire course costs somewhere around 5000 rupees.
- If found positive with mild symptoms and not hospitalised, you are supposed be home quarantined and strictly NOT move out of your home. Please stock up basic food items through a known grocery or through Amazon, Big Basket, Swiggy, etc. Please be responsible and make an online payment, to avoid any contact with the delivery boy. Alternatively, you can also seek help from friends and relatives, by asking them to drop the package outside your door. Do not try to be extra honest by insisting on paying cash through the door or something. You may be putting them in danger!
- Once tested positive, please stay indoors for a period of 10-15 days before you start going out to work (if applicable).
- Take ample rest. Eat fresh and healthy. Stay positive, mentally! This is immensely important.
- If you have been infected and recovered, Congratulations! Please do not get too complacent, though. Cases of relapse are being reported.
Lastly, please remember, the cases are on a decline, they haven’t stopped. Taking a piece of the world’s experience, we cannot rule out the possibility of a second wave. So, please wear a mask (it is not an optional fashion accessory), stay careful, stay healthy, stay hygienic and be responsible!
Disclaimer: The above article is only an account of our experience with Covid-19. Individual experiences may vary. Also, the article isn’t claiming anything right or wrong with other methods and processes suggested elsewhere, or any medicines prescribed by any doctor at any time.