I thought I was an unlikely candidate for COVID-19 what with my five km of running
everyday, religious consumption of all healthy kadhas, health drinks, fruits and vegetables along with my daily doses of what’s good for my soul and lungs — Pranayam, reading, gardening and the sea breeze. So, when my husband suddenly developed fever and I soon shared it after two days (we share the bedroom, of course!) , although we were a bit apprehensive, we and other family members assured ourselves that it was surely the seasonal viral fever.
Hence, when my husband’s RT PCR test for Covid-19 came positive, we did not know how to respond for a couple of hours, except for isolating ourselves in our room. Our two children, a nine and 18-year-old and our 21-year-old house help were informed from closed doors and phone calls, the masks came out, separate cutleries, water bottles, thermos flask, linens and towels set out for us outside our door! While my 18-year-old son took charge of the house outside our rooms, my two medico brothers sprung into action and guided us throughout, although located in two different states.
The trouble began when the private lab expressed its inability to share my husband’s
written report, since it had been recently delicensed due to reporting of increasing positive cases! Getting our tests done proved to be a humongous task. Even with our right contacts, husband and I finally reported at one of the government testing centres only to be told that we have to get ourselves admitted for 3 days to get the tests done !! Our chest x rays were clear and we didn’t have any underlying health conditions, so better to home quarantine, the young doctor said. However, with our symptoms of fever, cough and myalgia and considering the sudden deteriorating condition of patients, we were advised to go for tests which we were able to accomplish for us and other family members with some difficulty and relentless follow-up calls to the ‘right’ people.
Then began the wait for tests results which was another round of persistent follow-ups till we received a call one day late in the evening from the municipal corporation enquiring about our house help, since she has been tested positive for Covid-19! Our house help had been completely healthy with no symptoms! We soon got the test results and to our utter surprise all of us had tested negative except for our house help. The kids were then isolated in a room and the house help in another and each one coming out fully masked only when the others were in. Our 18-year-old lad was not quite thrilled with the idea of sharing his room with his 9-year-old garrulous sister along with taking care of her. But he did rise up to COVID-19 dishing out scrumptious meals for us.
Meanwhile, hubby and I secluded in our room for the mandatory 14 days were civil with each other the first few days, checking each other’s oxygen levels on the oximeter and as long as the symptoms lasted. With the fever subsiding and the attraction of non-stop Netflix movie binging wearing off, we argued on whose turn, it was to sweep the floor!
The balcony with the sea view was the only saviour along with the banter and chatter of my children outside our room. I missed my plants. My daughter longed to hug me.
But we knew these were minuscule sacrifices and we were lucky to have the privilege of
being home quarantined without any difficulty, to not have any serious symptoms, to get all necessary stuff door delivered, to have immediate medical help, a supportive family and colleagues and non-interfering neighbours.
A few lessons that we learnt: Test result alone is not conclusive of your COVID-19 status. Be prepared with a contingency plan at hand. If you have the symptoms, do not be complacent about the virus at any cost and stay alert for any signs of decline.
And yes, no one actually misses you on social media if you go suddenly go missing for a fortnight!