1. How are you feeling right now?

It has been almost two weeks since I got infected and while I was feeling a lot better the last couple of days, I’m experiencing the body aches and weakness all over again. It is like this sometimes, somedays you seem fine but the others, it’s all over the place.

2. You know how and where you contracted the coronavirus?

I honestly do not know the exact time and place where I contracted the virus. However, we are suspecting that one of the girls that work at our place is the one who infected us. Because we were not letting any staff, leave for four months now, and she wanted to go on Eid for two hours. So, against our better judgement. We trusted her. We let her go. She obviously did not follow the SOPs, and she came back, told us that she had a fever the next day or two days after that.

We isolated her, gave her medicines, the next day she came herself and said I have no fever. My throat is perfectly clear, maybe it’s not coronavirus and she was like you know maybe I was just tired. And then when I got sick –  I obviously, you know, was telling everyone that I cannot taste or smell. That is when that girl said I could not taste or smell since the day I got that fever. And that’s when I realised that she was working in the house and that’s how I, both my brothers, my mother and my sister got infected.

3. What symptoms did you experience at the beginning?

At the very beginning, I experienced just a whole day of fatigue like my shoulders would drop into the floor. At first, I couldn’t do much I wanted to sleep, even though I had slept eight hours a day in the middle of the day I just went to sleep. And I slept for a good four hours and everyone tried to wake me up and it wasn’t easy for me to get up. But that time I thought, you know, we’ll just be the fatigue that they talk about, which is associated to the virus.

I honestly didn’t say much because, obviously, hearing the word coronavirus in a Pakistani household, that gives your parents anxiety. So, I just stayed quiet and I waited it out. Next day I was fine but the day after that, I started feeling a scratchy throat and a runny nose, and then later that night I lost my taste and smell. At this point, I knew that I contracted the virus.

4. How was the coronavirus testing and how long did it take until the result?

The coronavirus test is quite uncomfortable but it doesn’t take that long and it’s necessary. I mean it when it comes to life or death, nothing is really uncomfortable, you have to go for it. And I got myself because obviously my parents wanted to make sure that I did have it. And the lab representatives were very responsible they came in full PPEs and everything.

They sanitised everything before coming into my room and when leaving my room. And then we received the test results on the phone the next day. So, they were quite prompt.

5. How were the quarantine and the medical assistance organized?

So, initially when I found out that I had it. The first question my mother asked me was: now what? Because there’s no definitive medicine out there, and we were just confused as to what to do. So we started getting in touch with different doctors. I started calling up people who had already contracted it and seeing what they were doing.

So, obviously quarantining myself was actually not that hard. I just locked my door and stayed inside. And we, we got plastic plates and spoons and forks and glasses, so that the cutlery would not get infected even though it was being washed property. We just did not want to take that chance and ever since then every time I need anything, including steam or food or water. They just put it outside my window, actually, and because I have a patio so they just put in there, and they knock on the window, they leave and then I wait for them to leave I put on my mask I open the window and I just bring everything in. And that’s pretty much how I’ve been quarantining inside my room.

6. Did you receive some advice or any special medication?

I did receive a flurry of advice from many people, mostly that don’t go on antibiotics. Don’t sleep on your tummy, not on your back. Advised certain breathing exercises. So those were really helpful as well. When it came to medication. The only medicine that was actually just given to us was panadol, and that was also in case you know I have body aches or headaches or fever. Otherwise, only supplements: vitamin D calcium and vitamin C and vitamin E. So, I’ve just been medicating pretty much using supplements, which are good for you during this time. Also eating foods which are high in all of these as well.

7. Were you tested regularly during the isolation?

No, I was just tested once and I’m still in quarantine it’s data and right now. So we are waiting for another four days and we will get tested when our 14 days are over. And if the results come negative, well, we will come out of our rooms and disinfect the house. If not, we’re going to stay in another two to three days, and get tested again. If it comes negative, we will be back to our old routine.

8. Do you have any pre-existing diseases that could have affected COVID-19?

Ahamdulillah I don’t. I did have surgery some time ago, but that did not to lead to any health issue.

9. What did you do the whole time in self-isolation, how was your everyday life?

10. Does COVID-19 feel different from a normal cough or flu? Have you felt any extraordinary pain?

Yes COVID-19 for me was definitely different from flu or throat infection because you know when it comes to having a flu throat infection, you’re used to that, your body already identifies it. But this was different like I didn’t have a runny nose I had a blocked nose. My throat felt scratchy but it went away. And these body aches and pains and this tightness in my chest throughout, which obviously I could tell that there is something new in my body this is not like the ordinary flu.

11. Did you fear death at any point? After all, you belong to the group of people, who are most at risk.

I mean, the first few days yes, I was worried for me and my mother, my siblings, as well that my father and my grandfather mother who lived downstairs. During this time, I was worried that they might get infected, even though they have test negative. Not so much for me because I was so focused on, everybody else that I didn’t really have time to think about myself.

To be honest. I was so just done with this disease that at this point I just accepted it. That whenever I have to go, I’m going to have to go and at least there will be peace after that. So I guess the fear of death to something that is bigger when it comes to the people you love and care are in danger.

12. When will your normal daily life start again?

Inshallah, I am hoping that in another four or five days when I get tested and I get my result. And it’s negative, that is when I will get out of it. But as far as normal life is concerned, I think this is a longer adjustment than any of us realised, as far as I have studied about it online.

I would not want to exert myself too much for the coming through the two weeks even and give my body ample time to rest I do not want to do any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting anything like that, because I have read many studies where if you exert yourself too much, there is a possibility of your symptoms resurfacing. I’m not sure how much that is true but this is what I’ve been feeling personally physically and emotionally. I don’t think I can return to normal life for another even two-three weeks after quarantine is over I would want to relax and take it easy and take my time easing back into my normal life. But definitely should not go back into normal life till you are tested negative, at least twice I would suggest.


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