*Disclaimer*: Identity not disclosed due to privacy reasons.
As COVID-19 is spreading quite rapidly, it has raised our concerns and questions about what the upcoming day will be like. In this time, all we wanted was to talk to someone who has been through it. To ask them about the experience of this hyped and dangerous virus. To know what should we do to be safe and god forbid if we encounter the virus, then how to recover quickly.
For all these questions you’re having, we have got their answers for you.
This interview is with a COVID-19 who himself is a doctor and has been working on screening the Irani zaireen at the first quarantine centre build in Pakistan, located in DG Khan. Being a young person, he has successfully recovered from COVID-19 and is back on his daily routine.
Here’s what he has to say about his experience with this disease, as a patient and as well as a doctor!
Q. What symptoms did you experience?
A. In the initial days, I experienced mild fever with a light dry cough which also led towards lethargic behaviour. Before getting tested, I started experiencing difficulty in breathing within 3-4 days. I confused my symptoms with anxiety.
Q. How many days it took you to decide whether you should go for a test or not?
A. Being a healthcare worker, I had my attention to what could happen. Our hospital administration was also very attentive towards all of us and they were monitoring our health very strictly. We were already prepared to get tested in case of any symptom and when I started experiencing issues, I got tested in the first 2-3 days.
Q. Did you self-isolate yourself? if yes, guide people a little about it.
A. Yes, I did self-isolate myself but it wasn’t something good as I am a hostelite and had to share my room with two other people. I was immediately shifted to our hospital where I was quarantined.
Q. How was your experience during the testing and the quarantining period, were you treated well?
A. The quarantining period was a different experience obviously. We were quarantined in our own hospital but how the public reacted was stigmatising even from our own community. Which is not supportive at all but it is a fact. I personally felt I was in a lockup but it has nothing to do with the facilities we were provided with.
Q. Was the hospital staff and environment good to you?
A. Our administration was very cooperative and literally did their best to keep us safe and healthy. This is the only reason which kept me and my family safe in this situation of panic. The facilities we received were as of a three-star hotel Alhamdulillah.
Q. How many days did you spend in quarantine and the days you took to recover?
A. The total days I was in quarantine were 17. Is started on April 5th and ended on April 22nd.
Q. How did you catch the virus? if you remember that
A. Yes, I do remember it. I was on duty in the surgical emergency here in DG Khan trauma centre where there was an influx of patients. We had direct contact with the affected patients which happened to be a cause of my infection. I was on my duty and caught the virus while screening the infected patients.
Q. Did anyone catch the virus from you?
A. I don’t think that happened because we were careful about social distancing. I was with my roommates in the initial days and they got tested negative all through the time.
Q. Being a doctor, how difficult was it for you to stay normal when you know the virus is dangerous?
A. It is quite difficult for us to stay positive in situations like these but that’s what we have to do. Seeing how fast this is spreading makes us worried and to be very clear, it is dangerously contagious.
Q. After recovering, how many days it took you to continue with your normal routine with your family?
A. After my 17 days in the quarantine and finally testing negative, I was still asked to stay away from work and regular routine just to make sure I was alright. Meanwhile, I was tested negative twice and took me another 15 days to get back to my normal routine.
Q. How is life after COVID-19 recovery?
A. I would say it is quite normal as I am back to my duty and functioning normally as before.
Q. Do you feel any after-effects?
A. It depends on the immunity of a person. After-effects are usually seen in aged people. I haven’t experienced any and am back to my health.
Q. The precautions we’re taking right now, are they sufficient to keep us safe?
A. The best thing to explain this is that prevention is better than cure. All I want to say is that I wish we had taken it more seriously. Take care of your hygiene and also, social distancing. This is the only way we can prevent it at this point.
Q. What is your message for the people, as being a patient of COVID-19 and also being a doctor?
A. I’ll say health is wealth and every life counts. It is a request that do not stigmatise diseased patients as they are also one of us. Follow Islamic preaching don’t lose your morality (ikhlakiayt).
A Word From Marham
Keeping ourselves safe is the best thing we can do at the moment. Stay home and practise social distancing just so that others can be safe too. As the doctor said, every life counts.
Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives!
Javeria Adil Chughtai
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