My experience with COVID-19 and some TIPS
Well, we’ve all heard about the novel corona virus or COVID 19 and how deadly it is for someone who’s got it. It is absolutely true that it’s deadly but more than the threat to your life it is a torture and attacks the infected person in many other ways that are more harmful than the death itself... read on further on what all I had to go through..
I fought with this deadly virus for couple of weeks and trying to come out of it completely now as I write this blog. Though I did go through what most of the infected people go through physically, but it did help me reconnect with myself, gave me a lot of time to reflect on my life, what I’ve achieved or accumulated so far, what matters to me and what not. It also helped me really calibrate my life’s focus and priorities for the rest of my life, for whatever time I have left. I truly enjoyed this aspect of the downtime and came out stronger than what I was before this.
In this blog, I’m just sharing my experience with all the readers and sharing my personal learning’s. Please do not generalise this or relate it to anyone else as I believe this is very personal and depends upon person to person.
So I caught this deadly virus from I believe my beloved wife who caught is during one of her social gathering at her friends place. She showed some symptoms of the Virus as soar throat and body ache to start with and we thought that this is some normal infection that will go away with the normal medicine. We visited the doctor and he gave us the regular infection medicine without any suspicion of having infected with COVID. We came to know about this as we got her tested and to our surprise she came positive. This was the start of the experience and the bad few weeks of our life. When she got tested, we also got everybody else at home tested for infection and another surprise waiting for us was that I also came out positive but the good thing was that the other family members like kids and parents were safe. So we shifted them to another apartment and isolated ourselves in our apartment.
We live in Bangalore and the municipal corporation is supposed to help you get tested, provide you medicines and also sanitise the facility apartment where you stay. When my wife was tested positive through the BBMP testing at home, they came and provided the medicines that she’s supposed to take. They also arranged for a sanitisation of the house inside and outside. This was really satisfying to see the government is helping the residents in such situations. Next day, when I was tested positive though the private testing (as BBMP never asked me or anyone else at home to get tested which was surprising) I had done for me and my rest of the family, the BBMP folks came home, provided the medicines and went away. No sanitisation offer this time :(
Anyway, so I was completely ok with no symptoms for couple of days (precisely 3 days) whereas my wife had soar throat and a bit of body ache. From 4th day onwards I started feeling a bit feverish and the temperatures started rising from 99 to 100 to 102 and also touched 103.6 once. The fever went on for 9-10 days but it was very torturous and something I've never experienced yet. I felt extremely weak with extreme body ache and fatigue. From 4-5th day onwards I also started having some cough and that added to the suffering. The cough got worse in the days to come along with the fluctuations in the body temperature. From 5th or 6th day, I also lost the appetite, lost the sense of smell and taste and couldn't eat wheat as I guess I developed resistance to it. These two weeks were something that probably I’ll not forget for entire life, not because of the physical suffering but because of the torture I had to go through mentally. I was put on mild medication with mostly vitamins and paracetamol to start with but as the symptoms got worse, we were prescribed more stronger medication along with the most important things like steam and gargles which helped a lot in recovery...
Some of the medication I was on.. Please don't take this before you talk to your doctor
At these times, your mind wanders everywhere it can and takes you through the most extreme and wild thoughts that I couldn’t imagine I’ll ever have. I really thank GOD now that I’ve come out of this problem in life but more importantly that it gave me an opportunity to connect with myself and reflect upon myself. Yes, I went through a mental journey for 2 days at least thinking if I die now, what’s that I had missed in life, who did I miss helping, who did I manage to help, who did I offend, who’s my friend, who’s not, what’s that I regret not doing, what’s that I regret doing, what is that I absolutely would have done if I had another week in hand, or a month, or a year and maybe couple of years… all these thoughts ran into my wandering mind and then I started documenting these to help me get clarity of life, if I had any more time what will I do?
So, I started documenting my current resources that if I die now, my kids and wife and parents should at least know what am I leaving and what not. I was just thinking (a little emotionally) that whatever I’m leaving is definitely not enough for them or not.. Which I think will never be enough for anyone. I just believed that if something untoward happens, GOD will do the best for them and left it at that. I prepared a document with all my resources, passwords and logins for important sites and everything important that they should know just in case… needed. Though I didn’t send it yet.. but this was the last step I would have taken if in that situation.. I informed my wife of the same and apologised for anything bad I’ve ever done to here, kids, parents and anyone..
Anyway, this was a very emotional phase and I really connected with myself, defined my priorities for life, made a list of things I want to do and the drives that are pending that I’ve not been able to do till now :) now that I’m hopefully safe or have come out of this situation. I think this phase of life has taught me that we all have very limited time in hand so we should enjoy every second of it, without worrying about unnecessary things in life. We should experience everything we can till we are here and spend more time and money on experiencing life than “accumulating things” that will mean nothing when you’ll be at your deathbed. I really felt that I've experienced a lot of stuff in my life and thanked GOD for providing me the time and resources for enjoying all of it. Yes, I was wishing for some more time to do some more drives and experiences, do some additional stuff for my family and society but had no regrets even I would have gone now .. Just a wish list now I plan to do ASAP. This is the true reminder that all our accumulations, wealth, cars, gadgets, properties etc., will be left here and will have zero value when you hit the dead end.. You'll probably just count your blessings, the experience and the deeds you did and regret the things you always wanted to do but were too busy earning money! At this time what will matter is what matters most to you!
Some general COVID Advice from me if you're going through COVID
Well I'm not an expert but if someone is going through this, please be very stable and positive mentally than what you're physically. Of-course you need to be physically strong to go through this and depending upon your symptoms also, you might go through different types of things like fever, weakness, fatigue, body ache, cough, headache, body chills, loss of smell and taste and what not. But don’t worry, if you take care of this well, this should pass away in few days/weeks. For medication for COVID, please CONSULT a doctor but here are few things I can advise
Follow your Doctor's advice on medication seriously
Do steaming every few hours or at-least 3 times a day
Do Gargles with Betadine or Turmeric twice a day (for me I'm bad at doing gargles so I tried but didn't do this regularly)
Take more and more fluids in diet. Take tender coconut water if you have access to it
Make and take Kadah (boil black pepper, haldi (turmeric), saunf (fennel seeds), jeera (cumin), Tulsi or Holy Basil and Ginger in water and reduce it to 50%). Drink this hot/warm every few hours or just replace it for your water intake
Drink warm milk with Turmeric at night or twice a day
Keep yourself busy in something you like reading books, watch TV, YouTube, Netflix etc.. Else you might get succumbed to metal torture and your mind will wander here and there like a monkey! I literally travelled virtually to some of the mountains I wish to travel when I'm ok and the COVID is tamed!
Avoid talking to anyone on the "COVID topic" too much as the free advice given by people will kill you more than the illness itself :)
Take lots of rest! Forget about the work, the household chores and just relax!
For the benefit of others at home and if you don’t want to spread your virus to others, it is important to take precautions and stop the spread of this deadly virus. Many of us lice in small apartments and it is difficult to isolate yourself in small houses. It becomes important in such cases to keep your house clean and disinfected. I bought a fumigation machine just to keep my kids and parents safe and I really this this is very useful. I checked with few agencies who provide this service but for each instance they charge close to Rs.2000 to Rs. 3500 + GST and then you are allowing someone from outside to come to your house and risking the spread again. I bought this machine and found it pretty useful and effective https://amzn.to/3drMIJI. This costs close to Rs. 3000 and you just need to buy the fumigation liquid along with that priced around Rs. 350 or so. Each litre will last you for 3-4 instances if you have around 2000 sq.ft. home. I used this one https://amzn.to/3v2pShy.
Keep your Oxygen level in control and monitor it regularly using an oxy-meter or if you have any other device. I used a combination of my watch and the oxy-meter. The watch continuously monitored the oxygen level whereas I used the oxy-meter at regular intervals like 2-3 hours. If your oxygen is low below 92, DO NOT PANIC and consult a doctor and take advice. Some people asked me how do we know if the oxygen level is gong low without the oxy-meter.. the answer is please buy the oxy-meter and use that. Otherwise you might feel breathlessness and a bit of tingling sensation in your fingers when you have low oxygen level. I also purchased Oxygen cans (https://amzn.to/3x9bvtA) and kept them at home for emergency as I didn’t want to land up in hospital if it can be avoided. My doctor also recommended to avoid hospitalisation as far as I can manage at home 'coz of the situation of the availability of beds and facilities at hospitals now a days in our country. I was also worried that if I land up in hospital, how will the attendants manage and risking their chances of getting COVID etc.. You can also keep some camphor cubes with you and smell them at regular intervals as that helps in maintaining oxygen level. For those who don’t know how what is an oxy-meter, you can check it out here https://amzn.to/3gmw0NK
Here's the oxy-meter that I used..
Another learning from this whole episode is that this is not just an illness, it will cut you off almost in every way from the world. You cannot socialise, you cannot meet with anyone physically including your family & friends and that's really-really taxing at-least for the folks who are a social animal. You have to stay locked in for whatever period you have this virus in your body. The food is delivered to you if you have anyone to help at your door else you need to cook yourself else no one else will be able to help you as they cannot be in close proximity to you. For shopping of groceries, now we are blessed to have few online sources or if your neighbourhood stores can deliver but without Amazon, it would have been so much more difficult to manage this situation. We used to order the stuff from Amazon but it couldn’t be delivered on our doorstep as they were not allowed to come up on our floor and deliver. So they would deliver at the ground floor and we need to have someone collect it or request the security guard to leave it at our door.. This is like we are almost paralysed and can't even collect the groceries ourselves.. I've never seen something like this ever in my life yet but guess had to see it now! And this issue is not limited to just groceries delivery, even for medicines you need to have someone deliver at door, for getting the tests done - you need to really request someone to come home who'll be not very keen to do so, you're left void of the house help (maids) and got to do everything on your own whether you're feeling good or not.. So this was surely clear that this is not just the illness, but a whole paralysis of the normal way of living..
My setup during COVID Isolation for entertainment and passing time
Post recovery is as painful or in my and my wife's case it was even more painful than the actually COVID period. The body ache's continue, the weakness is on the rise, the fatigue is taxing, chest pain keeps bothering you and the headache just kills you.. So keep building your strength for the post recovery phase by eating right, do breathing exercises (if you have chest issues) and keep some movement to regain the strength. Please AVOID getting back to normal routine IMMEDIATELY after your 2-3 weeks COVID period as that can back fire and cause more trouble. Avoid going out in public and if you go, please wear a mask and take precautions. You might be immune now but still take care!
One last piece of experience I think I should share for the benefit of all is to be cautions of the BAD ACTORS. As in all things in our life, we always have bad and good people and actors, there are few people who are taking advantage of this situation as well. There are few doctors and establishments who are still thinking of just making money out of this situation. They'll prescribe you unnecessary tests, recommend you unnecessary need to go to hospital and then also recommend additional services like taking health insurance (yes I got numerous calls post getting tested positive to buy insurance) that covers COVID as well. This might be useful for some, but I think this is just upselling and cross selling opportunity for some of the folks. I'm not saying that everyone is doing this but some folks are certainly making good use of this opportunity to make some additional money that to me is just shameful act. At this point and situation, we should stand together and help each other come out from this deadly situation than milking money!
Well, I can go on and on... but one thing I realised that this was a very different experience and I truly wish that no one should go through this ever! If you happen to be in this shit, then please maintain a good mental balance and strength to fight against this. If I can be of any help, please feel free to ping me..
I would leave you with one request, Please AVOID going to markets and WEAR MASK all the time specially when you're in the market or any public place. Take proper precautions at home and keep this deadly virus away. If possible, buy a fumigation machine available online on Amazon.in for just under 4k and this can be a life saver for people at home if they're close to the persons infected with this. Use this machine couple of times a week and I think it should protect you and your dear ones. Here's the link if you want to purchase https://amzn.to/3drMIJI.
I would just want to thank everyone who helped me during this phase, specially my parents, wife, kids and friend who were in constant touch with me and kept in touch with us. Their support really mattered and helped me and my wife come out of this. THANK YOU!
WEAR A MASK! STAY HOME! BE SAFE!