My encounter with the pandemic: Covid-19

COVID-19 Recovery Dairies

It was a sunny day with a very pleasant, slow and steady wind blowing all through the day. Sometimes, when ones inner conditions don’t resonate with outer beauty, the feeling of pleasure is difficult to derive. After completing my Webinar classes in office, I used to play TT with my friends in the entertainment zone in a routine way for almost 1 to 1½ hours and getting completely soaked in sweat. I had a habit of switching off the AC before going to games but that day I forgot the same. After finishing the game when I entered my cabin to wind-up my table, I felt uncomfortable in the cold atmosphere inside. However, I just left the office without any delay. This was the first time when I felt uneasiness.

Next day, it was Sunday, the 21st of June, a day of full Solar Eclipse – a very exciting day for astrologers, astronomers, scientists, amateur knowledge seekers and also for me.  I passed that day following the religious SOP generally followed during the eclipse. In the evening, I developed mild body ache which persisted till the next morning until I took bath and prepared myself for attending to the office. During the whole day on Monday, I was feeling fresh and did all my tasks without any disturbances. In the evening my colleagues called me for TT, only then I reconfirmed that I was feeling a bit lazy and tired with mild body ache. My next seat friend asked me to join the game and told me that I would be feeling better after some physical activity. I played for at least one hour and really felt better thereafter.

Next day when I got up, it was Tuesday, the day when I remain on fasting. I was not feeling as energetic as yesterday. I reached the office and did my job but with ubiquity and tiredness. In the evening, I was feeling more fatigued than yesterday. I again expressed to my colleagues my inability to participate in the game. But, the friends were adamant and drew me up forcibly for ½ an hour. After games, I reached home and asked my wife to give me hot water to drink as I was feeling very much tired and febrile although there was no temperature in my body and no symptom of cold or cough.

On the 23rd, Wednesday morning, feeling of tiredness slightly worsened due to which I decided not to attend office and focus on my health. I increased the frequency of drinking hot water and started taking Giloy tablet as a precaution without anyone’s advice. To be very precise, I developed a fear which was hyperlinked to the poor health condition of my office head, who was suffering from cold, cough and mild fever for the past 3 days. As he was not feeling well, he decided to go to Kolkata for a check-up, rest and recuperation. While I was at home, I wished him early recovery and hoped to see him well soon.

On 24th and 25th, my condition remained stable; however, I took leave to look after myself. What I was feeling during the whole day was body ache, tiredness, heaviness in the nose without any mucus and feeling feverish. Although I was maintaining distance from my father, kids and wife, I was not as strict in quarantining myself as a quarantined person should be.

The thermometer was not indicating any temperature beyond 97.6.  I didn’t take bath on 25th. On 26th, when I was taking lunch, my father asked me about the taste of the food because it was a delicious curry – rice prepared at home. All were appreciating the taste but I asked my wife whether she had not used curry masala. I was actually not feeling much of the taste. In the evening I came to understand that the health of my office head got deteriorated and he had been taken for specialised treatment at Kolkata. He underwent COVID test but the report was yet to come. This was the day when I feared that I might be trapped by Covid-19 and immediately ensured complete separation from the members of the family in a separate room and asked everyone to co-operate me in this. I talked to my parent like family doctor Sri Raja Ram Prasad Singh, a person full of generosity. He advised me certain medicine – Vitamins and Supplements along with one antibiotic namely Azithromycin 500 mg once a day. He also advised for doing hot water gargle with betadine gargle and to drink hot water.

In the morning of 27th, when I entered the washroom, I noticed that I was unable to smell the surrounding. I was also not able to feel the taste of toothpaste, it simply tasted sweet. I got doubly sure that I might be affected by the Corona Virus. I was also feeling body temperature ranging around 98-99. I re-ensured my isolation by separating all my last used belongings along with utensils and other personal things. I drew a line of control in the house and asked all the members of the family not to cross it at any cost. I started using a mask inside the house and advised my wife to use the mask also whenever she neared me in the course of serving food or other things. I consulted a local doctor after taking appointment over telephone duly narrating him the symptoms and health conditions. He was a nice human being who advised me to come after 2 hours. When I entered his clinic I kept social distancing and used mask throughout. The doctor examined me virtually with no physical contact. Although I was not fearful, he tried to allay my fear and advised me not to feel worried as most of the symptoms were alike Covid-19. He treated me as if I would be having a virus infection. He prescribed Vitamin C, asked to discontinue Azithromycin and prescribed Monocef 200 (twice) along with Paracetamol and one Multivitamin, and asked me to keep him updated over phone. He also advised me that he would refer for COVID Test in case situation wouldn’t improve in the next three days. He kept a close watch on me.

On 28th and 29th, my situation worsened, I completely lost the smell and taste whereas fever remained at the same level. I was unable to smell the sharpest of the aromatic things. The smell of things likes, Dettol, Phenol, Vicks was not at all detectible. I was taken aback to know that my office head got detected COVID positive at Kolkata. Till then, I was sure that I was infected with this deadly virus. Two of my sense organs were not working properly and skin sense was also slightly numbed as I was unable to feel the complete touch of anything in its natural order. It was being felt by me that my senses and sensitivity has been hijacked by someone and I was not in my total control.

On 30th, I requested one of our senior colleagues to arrange for COVID test for all the officials. He arduously arranged for the same and many officials including me gave a sample that day for testing. All my colleagues were looking at me with dubious eyes and I was tested in the last due to fear of contagion. I was told by them that the test report would come by evening.  I kept on waiting for the test report but it didn’t come that day.

By that time, I was sufferings from complete loss of smell and taste, fever and a feeling of absent-mindedness. I was not having any congestion in chest or any respiratory disorder or any pain in the throat. With all knowledge which I had about the Covid-19, I was getting sure that I a COVID affected person. I was facing it boldly because I knew that there was no proved medicine for this disease.

Many people hide themselves and don’t tell anyone if they are found COVID positive. When I was going for testing, I had informed my neighbour and caretaker of the apartment about the same and also told that one of the colleagues at the office was found positive. I was aware that society could show only virtual sympathy for Corona patients nevertheless I did this as a responsible citizen. Thanks to the almighty that I mustered the courage to remain balanced.

During the 30th of June to 3rd of July, I contacted a few of my friends who had already faced COVID victoriously and were experienced. I took their pieces of advice seriously although my report was still awaited. I happened to be of the opinion that precautionary measures must be started religiously as soon as any symptom comes into notice. Most of the people wait for the test report to come before they start any precautionary measure. It is a very common mistake that may push them on the back foot.

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My routine during home isolation:-  

  • Used to wake up at 6 am, taking 2 glass of hot water.
  • After getting fresh, did gargle with hot water, salt and Betadine gargle solution.
  • Performing Yoga (Kapal Bhati, Anulom Vilom, Bhastrika) followed by the recital of Mahamrityunjay Mantra 21 times. Later I also included the recital of different names of Lord Durga as chanted by Swami Jee during Yoga camps.
  • I used Kadha made of natural ingredients viz., Tulsi, Ginger, Black Peper, Cloves, Cinnamon and Giloy powder 2-3 times alternating it with hot lemon water. I used to be relaxed momentarily but again the same state of body and mind resumed and overpowered. I felt that taking too much of these was not as relieving as taking it very frequently.
  • I also inhaled vapour of hot water mixed with Vicks frequently.
  • When these things were not yielding fast result, my wife suggested me of Jal-Neti Kriya. She bought one pot for doing this and persuaded me to do that. She knew that Jal-Neti used to be very effective in cleansing of nasal area as she practised during her school days. Moreover, I contacted Swami Dharmrakshit ji, for providing inputs on doing Jal-Neti. He sent me some write up and asked to follow it meticulously. During 1st to 4th, I did Jal-Neti 3 times a day with lukewarm water (300 to 400 ml) mixed with ½ tsp of salt. On every practice and its repetition, I started feeling better and better. From 2nd, I sensed that my taste started improving and it continued.
  • I was following very simple diet and other than the medicine prescribed by a doctor, I was taking Giloy Tablet (2 Tab Twice), Ashwagandha Tablet (2 Tab Twice) and cough syrup (Swasari Prawahi  – 2 tsp X thrice)

From the 1st of July, fever got nullified but I developed a slight breathing problem. I had learnt about the prone position of sleeping which was helpful in improving breathing. It really helped me. I increased the frequency of gargle, vapour inhalation and Jal-Neti. Since I was not having recurring fever, I started feeling good. Some lack of appetite was also felt.  One of my friends suggested buying Oximeter for monitoring oxygen saturation level. I bought it and the average oxygen saturation level was initially 93-94. Only one day I noticed that it touched 90. I continued the Jal-Neti and vapour inhalation which helped me tide over the situation gradually. I was recovering.

On the afternoon of the 4th of July, I received a call from Govt. Hospital, Deoghar asking about my whereabouts.  The person over the phone didn’t tell me anything about my report. I was a little surprised. I told my senior colleague at the office about it. He assured me to update. After ½ an hour, I received a call from him stating that I was tested positive for COVID. When I got this news, I became worried about my members of the family. A team of health workers arrived near my apartment to carry me to COVID Centre. All the residents of the apartment were looking at the happenings with curiosity and fear. In a moment, I came downstairs with a few essentials viz., cloths, medicines, etc., in a bag. One of the members of the team of hospital captured the moment in camera and asked me to take a seat inside the ambulance. I was not fearful at all as I knew that these things were happening on a daily basis in the surroundings but I was worried about my members of the family.

Next day, I was in the news of local daily easily identifiable by my orange T-shirt imprinted with BSY- Silver Jubilee stamp which I had put on that day. I was just looking at what was happening without having any idea of what was happening.

I was taken to COVID Centre, a far off place around 9 km away from town, I found that I was the only person to stay there. It was like a lonely community hall having a boundary but all gates were open allowing free access to animals. The place known as Guest House was two-storied with a collapsible grill at the entrance and quite a few single rooms inside. I was told to go inside and the grill was closed. I anyhow managed to talk to district authorities and requested them to provide night guard. There was no fan, no bulb, and no facility for regular drinking water or hot water. My friends arranged every essential for me and made me stay comfortable. This was the place where quarantined people were placed. Next day 5 patients from the same family were quarantined.    

A team of health workers collected samples of family members. Sanitization of the home was arranged by NDRF team. I heartily salute these guys, who remain always ready to face any situation as their duty.

I passed 5 days at the quarantine centre with a positive mind and approach towards life. I was a usual listener of SYP (Satyam Yoga Prasad). I used to listen to the teachings of Geeta delivered by Swami Satyanand Saraswati and Kirtans of Swami Ji. The spiritual connection that I had developed always kept me hopeful and lively. Swami Dharmrakshit Ji sent one photograph of Swami Ji on my mobile wherein Swami Ji was bearing a godly smile on his face. His smile and blessings were reassuring the return of health and happiness. One day during quarantine, I was thinking – what will happen if I don’t recover? Spontaneously, a sense of gratitude emerged in my mind provoking me to realise the existence of the almighty. I completely surrendered to God and convinced myself narrating that God owned this body (kaya), this soul (Atma) and none are in my control so what to worry for. The care which I was taking to cure the body was karma and Swamy Styanand Saraswati preaches about Sukarma to be the best form of Karma. Thus, I realised that spiritual learning had the power to keep one upright and strong in adverse conditions. I was following the same routine and recovering day by day.

On the 6th of July, the test report of my family members came which was – ve. I understood and realised the result of self-isolating timely which helped me keeping other members of my family safe and secure from the virus. I had witnessed that in the same COVID centre many members from the same family were getting infected and quarantined. It also taught me a lesson that self-discipline scores over other’s discipline and it always leads to the right path.

The health care workers again took my sample on the 8th of July for retesting. On 9th the report came as –ve. I was released from the COVID centre with thumping hands by the team of health workers as well as the patients already staying quarantined there. I wished every patient early recovery and prayed to the almighty for their well being. I continued homestay with a similar routine for the next fourteen days and resumed normal domestic life thereafter. 

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