By Ms. Kritika Singh,
We are all in this together! You know, that’s what we have been hearing since the onset of this pandemic in our country. And it is true, all of us are in this together BUT the level of life-altering impact COVID has is different for each one of us. This is what was going on in my mind when COVID struck us. On one hand, I was stressed out that my future plans on the personal and professional fronts were no more feasible, and on the other, I had this feeling of gratitude that we could afford the cost of this lockdown, as that itself seemed a luxury, and for people like daily wage earners or those who didn’t have a decent amount of savings, this wasn’t easy to afford. Although I was distressed, I was thankful to God to be in a better off position.
I am a baker by profession, so my business was severely hit when the lockdown was announced. Although I know of some people in this profession who continued to supply cakes during this period, for me it seemed unethical. It was like putting my client’s life at stake, so the work had to shut down.
I was trying to adapt to the new normal. I started working out at home, eating healthier food, reducing my intake of carbohydrates, brisk walk around my house as the lifestyle had become comparatively less active.
Inspite of all this, I fell sick last month. I experienced a lot of pain in my throat and congestion which was followed soon by mild fever. The intensity of body-ache and fatigue was enormous. This went on for 5 to 6 days. After that, the fever went away, throat pain got better but my ability to taste and smell had completely gone! If I closed my eyes and tasted something, I could not tell what food item was it. This was pretty frustrating. When I got this symptom, I had this fear that it might be COVID, as it was one of the symptoms. Therefore, I decided that I need to get tested. I booked a test at one of the labs and they came home in a day or two. I received my report the very next day and it turned out to be positive! My heart was racing through the roof. I had this blank feeling in my head. The vibe of the whole house had suddenly changed and everyone was silent for a while. I would like to stress on the fact that I was someone who was taking all the precautions and was extremely cautious throughout. It was a complete shocker for me when I was detected COVID positive. The only possible explanation or I would rather say assumption that I can contemplate is that maybe the virus might have been on the surface of something like groceries or fruits and vegetables. We were doing our best to clean and sanitize everything properly but maybe some portion of it wasn’t as thoroughly cleaned. This is what we are assuming.
I spoke to my doctor and followed all the guidelines suggested by him. I was home quarantined and went into self-isolation. The course of measures included a number of things. Firstly, I started taking Vitamin C supplements. Vitamin C is essential for maintaining a good immune system and immunity is the most crucial thing right now. Along with it, I also had a Multi-vitamin daily. Multi-vitamins are essential for maintaining your energy levels and they have nutrients like zinc which is good for immunity. Weekly, I used to take a vitamin D supplement as most of us are deficient in vitamin D because of either lack of exposure to sunlight or due to certain food choices. I started having a protein-rich diet, as this virus breaks down the proteins in your body. I started having more pulses and egg whites as they are protein-rich. I also made sure that I drank atleast 2-3 litres of warm/hot water which was extremely important so that if there’s any soreness in my throat, it doesn’t get worse. My doctor recommended taking steam 2 to 3 times a day. My day was incomplete without having a cup of “Kadha” and turmeric water.
A few days later, I started developing some breathing issues in the sense that when I used to talk, I would feel breathless. I spoke to my doctor about it and he recommended that I should buy an oxymeter to keep a check on my oxygen level. Somehow, the oxymeter always depicted that my oxygen levels were in the range, but I still felt breathless sometimes. This went on for a few days. This led me to start with some breathing exercises to increase my lung capacity. Eventually, I started feeling better.
It was only after 2 weeks that I started feeling better in terms of my energy levels and most of the symptoms going away. Then I decided to get tested again (of course after speaking to my doctor) and thankfully my results came out to be negative this time.
I would like to highlight a very important facet of my COVID journey, from being COVID positive to negative. I observed that as soon as someone is diagnosed as a COVID patient, the people around suddenly start behaving differently. So many people shared their stories with me on how unsupportive or insensitive people become in the times when one needs the most support. Also, the first reaction of many people after becoming COVID positive is to hide and they don’t want anyone to know about this at all. We really need to de-stigmatize COVID so that more people feel comfortable and less hesitant to share their experiences and stories because the more we talk about it, the more normalized discussing COVID would become, which in turn would reduce the magnitude of panic related to COVID.
My COVID experience was a learning phase on so many levels, but my biggest take-away was the fact that health is probably the most important thing right now more than ever. Money (which we all give utmost importance to) is important, but if your health isn’t in good shape everything else becomes irrelevant. Working on improving your immunity is of utmost importance. Another thing which is equally necessary is your mental health. COVID tests your mental health along with your physical fitness. If you’re all panicky and stressed out about COVID all the time, then it’ll reduce your immunity even further which’ll make you more susceptible to this virus. Please do not underestimate the power of a strong mind. It’s the combination of your physical immunity and your mental strength that’ll sail you through this period of distress. It is extremely important to train your mind to accept the new normal rather than fighting it, only then will you be able to have a sense of calmness in your mind. Evolve your routine to be conducive to the new normal. We are all in this together, but how we tackle it individually, is going to make all the difference.
More about the Author
Kritika Singh is a recovered COVID patient from New Delhi.
Kritika has previously worked in the corporate sector but eventually realized that wasn’t her calling and started her own baking business in 2018 in the name of Amceebakes. Kritika is an ardent dog lover and a trained belly dancer. Always keen to learn new skills, Kritika is now channelizing all her energies to spread positivity in these stressful times.
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