Ansh ChowdhariInitially it appeared as a seasonal flu cycle that catches your family almost every year as the season changes. But it was only when the symptoms grew sharp, that I anticipated a possible Covid infection. Perhaps, that was an inkling looming large in my head right after when my parents got sick in a short span of few hours, which I couldn’t say aloud earlier because of the prevailing taboo and the diminutive probability of catching the infection given the precautions that were being taken every single day. Despite taking all precautions, right from wearing masks to using a sanitizer after every external contact to using a door handle, I contacted the dreaded COVID-19 virus after staying clear of it for nearly 6 months since the first lockdown in India. It was quite unpredictable, given I had not stepped an inch out of my gate ever since the lockdown was put into place. And within a span of 24 hours, all four members of my family were having symptoms like high body temperature, cough and body chills. In next 2 days, after physician’s advice, the RTPCR test yielded positive results and all for us and were put into effective quarantine at our home. In this respect, I want to congratulate the J&K Health Department for their prompt services-right from the testing phase till our quarantine and follow ups, which is quite unlikely otherwise in a UT like Jammu and Kashmir. First week witnessed some minor withdrawal of symptoms but from Day 3 onwards, no one of us could smell or taste anything. Everything tasted bland. Additionally, a heavy dosage of antibiotics too was prescribed for all of us. Fever, though got down within a week but cough, body aches and fatigue appeared in the body. In the meantime, friends and family flooded us with vegetables and all the other essential stuff required, which ironically appears peculiar given the isolation, deemed supreme, that had ensued after the infection was punctuated only by the collective help required for our daily needs. It all appeared hunky dory in the first week. But, on the Day 9, things got pretty worse for me in particular, when I had to face shortness of breath and the tightening in the chest region. The rate of my breathing had increased with reduced efficacy of every single breath. It was a harrowing experience. I had no one at home to ferry me down to the hospital. It was then that I mustered courage and went out to the CD Hospital with 2 face masks and a face shield covering me through my entire journey. At the hospital, had it not been for my brother’s (Dr Gupta) prompt response, I might have gone weak on my knees. It was his urgent intervention that I underwent an emergency CT scan and thence a quick follow up. Doctors said that my lungs were clear and what I experienced might be a panic attack. I was sent back to home with nonetheless some prescriptions. This was another day of reckoning wherein I realised the importance of family and its facets which we squarely ignore in our daily lives. This continued for another three days with its intensity decreasing with every successive day. I must emphasize here that J&K Health department continued to provide regular updates regularly. And the day came when on Day 14, the team came and collected our samples and, in the evening, we were declared as Corona Negative. Despite that, doctors advised for proper post covid care and regular medications. Symptoms haven’t ceased to exist as of now. Even when I’m writing this, my sense of taste and smell is almost zero. My body is still weak and requires time to recuperate properly.Concludingly, I shall say that Covid is still around you, it’s very much there. And, it’s pertinent that every individual takes utmost care to not fall prey to it. If not for yourself, take care for the sake of your family and friends, who look upon you, who care for you and who stand beside you every time you are in a gruelling situation.
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