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Covid-19 survivor story: My Struggle with Deadly Virus

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Farooq Bandey
At the stroke of midnight on 13th March 2021, I was admitted in a hospital in Uttar Pradesh after my Covid-19 RT-PCR test came positive. I was informed by the concerned doctors on phone at about 10.45 in the evening and advised to get admitted in the hospital.
When I reached the hospital, the building in which the Covid ward was established was locked from outside and a hospital employee was waiting for any emergency case. Before opening the gate he clicked my picture on his cell phone. Another man came from nowhere and also took the pleasure of clicking my picture on his mobile phone.
After jotting down my name and address, the gate was opened; I was advised to follow the staff member, who thankfully carried my small bag in which I had put some medicines, clothes, etc. After climbing the staircase, which at that time I felt very cumbersome, we reached the 4th floor of the building.
I was taken to a ward and was advised to lie down on a bed. Two members of the medical team, who were attending the patients, came to my bedside and started my check up. They took my ECG, inserted a cannula in my right hand. After some time they left the ward. As it was midnight most of the lights in the ward were switched off, I could not see the other patients.
While climbing the stair case, my heart had started beating very fast, rather galloping. All the stories heard and read in newspapers or social media about Covid-19 patients were dancing before my eyes and were constantly scaring me.
However, the only consolation I had was that my admission in a hospital can help to keep my other family members safe. I could not sleep for whole night as I was feeling nervous.
Next morning, after having a brief nap, when I looked towards the other side of the ward, I found the number of patients admitted in the ward to be very less, two female patients only. It gave me some consolation.
During the day another medical team arrived in the ward and prescribed some medicine and I.V. fluids, thus started my treatment.
Prior to my admission in the hospital, I had fever, mild headache and had lost my appetite for about a week. I didn’t have classic symptoms like flue, difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, sore throat, body ache, fatigue, etc, that we read in newspapers or on social media.
However, when there was no let off from high fever, on the advice of a doctor, various medical examinations were conducted but that could not lead us anywhere. Before a day of going for Covid-19 test, the chest X-Ray showed some lung opacities and finally it was decided to go for a Covid-19 test.
On fourth day, depression was building up in me as I was waiting for some serious complications, like acute cough and breathing problems.
When a doctor arrived to check me up, I expressed my position and requested her if the hospital can arrange for a psychiatrist or a psychologist who can advise on my depression issues. After about one hour I received a call from a psychiatrist and after listening to me she referred me to a psychologist.
After talking to the psychologist I had some relief and started consoling myself for any adverse situation. The psychologist, who was also a lady talked to me daily on my mobile till I remained hospitalized. Later I came to know through her only that she had been given task to call each patient admitted in the covid ward for their support. Soft spoken and very polite, her daily conversation for one or two minutes helped me a lot to keep my morale high.
The gradual inflow of patients, some with serious and some with mild symptoms again affected my mental health and I felt some uneasiness. However, with the help of the psychologist I overcame that phase also.
Meanwhile, I was worried about the Covid-19 tests of my family members, my close contacts, and had a sigh of relief after learning about their negative test results.
After 10th day of my hospitalization, I again tested positive and same was the result after 14th day.
During last few days of my stay in hospital, a very serious female patient was admitted late in the evening. She was put on oxygen and some drugs were administered to her. The medical staff remained there up to mid night and after locking the door of ward they left the scene. I was surprised to notice that not a single doctor was among the medical team to attend to her.
Previously also I had noticed that whenever a new patient would get admitted no doctor would come and instead they would be contacted on cell phone by the attending medical staff to seek advice, but at the time of admission of a serious patient, the logic of their conspicuous absence could not be justified.
At about 3.15 a.m. suddenly I woke up due to the loud screaming of that serious patient. As her bed was just opposite my bed, I could see from the monitor her oxygen level which was constantly slipping downward. What I could see, during the night, her oxygen mask have got some how disturbed and she could not breathe properly. When I saw her oxygen level reaching 35, I and one patient tried to contact the medical staff but could not as their cell phones were either switched off or not reachable. Other patients were disturbed but helpless. At about 5.am, medical team opened the doors of the ward and helped her to readjust the oxygen mask and we had a sigh of relief.
On day 15th I was advised to go for home quarantine for 7 days. Thus on 15th day I was discharged from the hospital .I met my family members, though from a distance, after two weeks and isolated myself in a separate room.
I am recuperating after testing negative and can consider myself lucky to have survived, unlike many not so lucky. Still the panic of contracting a virus that is basically untraceable and incurable and no one knows the long term irreparable damage it does to ones immune system is stressful.
I would like to end my ordeal with a beautifully written Instagram message by an US comedian, Ali Wentworth, after testing positive. “…. And I continue to recover I am stuck by what has become the dehumanization of this plague. People are dying. People are suffering. People are hungry. People are scared. We have to shed all ideological, religious, social, economic barriers and grab each other’s hands and move forward united. As people, we can isolate to help others particularly the incredible health workers and all the courageous and selfless people on the frontline, but that does not mean we should isolate our hearts.”
For those who do not still believe that the Covid-19 virus is real or think it as a rumor or a part of some conspiracy, my request to those is to understand that this is a deadly virus spreading like wildfire throughout the world. Please follow the guidelines and save yourself, your family and the people around you.
Take care and stay safe.


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