I want to share my experience over the past two weeks.
SARS COVID 19 is one of its kind. One ‘small little virus’ has literally shaken up the entire world, hasn’t it? The pandemic has so many different aspects to it that it is difficult to describe in words. It is a mentally and physically challenging disease. To be frank, I always wondered how I had not been a victim in the 1st wave itself considering my exposure to patients everyday. Whether it was luck or immunity, no one knows but the year passed off with due precautions.
I received my 1st dose of COVISHIELD vaccine in January as soon as the vaccination opened up for doctors. I had quite a bad reaction after the 1st dose. Most colleagues and friends sailed in the same boat. At the time, it was a 28 days interval for the 2nd dose so 25th February, I got my final vaccination certificate.
The number of covid cases was much less then and it appeared as though everything was coming back to normal. Clearly, it was the peace before the storm.
Then came the 2nd wave, the mutant strain. The Vidarbha strain as it is called, apparently originated in Amravati and has created all the havoc. It is so surreal that it seems straight out of a horror movie, which none of us would ever want to recollect. Close relatives and friends testing positive and phone calls every evening to arrange hospital beds has become the norm. Who could have imagined shortage of a basic necessity like oxygen? Is this Mother Nature giving us back our share of what we have destroyed all these years?
The sounds of ambulances have doubled . Unpleasant sights of corpses being shifted out of the hospital have become a daily visual for me from my clinic. It literally gives me goosebumps! For more than a month now, covid has been breathing down our necks. And it literally was!
My whole family and I tested covid positive 2 weeks ago and we were under home isolation. Thankfully, it passed off as a mild disease and all of us are out of quarantine now. Whether I was the primary source of infection for others in my family by acquiring it from a patient or vice versa is not significant at all at this stage of the pandemic!
Situations like these bring out the best and worst in us. Some remain calm, some panic, some are just neutral. A few want to be in control of the whole situation, a few shy out on the emotional front, while the judgmental and complaining ones are always hovering around.
Hasn’t this pandemic shown us the ground reality? In the bigger picture, is it even worth paying heed to these behavioural traits? These are surely tough times!
It was particularly difficult to manage things with two toddlers at home, everyone under the weather and no house help! I cannot thank my friends and family who helped and supported me get through these difficult days with ease!
Inspite of being fully vaccinated, I had the worst symptoms of all. Fever with chills, cough, nasal congestion, sore throat, headache, body ache, loss of smell and taste. Every day was practically a new symptom. Luckily, others at home had very mild symptoms.
I have some key takeaways.
Early detection is the key. Do not ignore, report even the slightest symptoms. Do not rush into doing a RTPCR and HRCT Chest. Please consult a physician or intensivist of your choice, and most importantly trust him/ her thereafter. Try not to take advice from multiple sources as it creates a lot of confusion. Each physician gives the best possible advice based on his or her own experience of the past one year of this pandemic. The Internet is already loaded with so much information. In trying to follow varied advice, your mind and body, which needs rest, just doesn’t happen! Remember that finally covid19 is a virus and any viral infection takes its course despite the best treatment. We need to get back to our basics, rest, hydration and healthy diet.
I cannot stress upon the importance of vaccination. In my opinion, it is not a choice. Yes, I did suffer even after both doses. However, the vaccine gives lungs protection, prevents lung fibrosis and avoids hospitalization, which was the case for all of us. This is the most important.
No vaccine has ever promised to protect anyone from actually getting the disease! Did we ever question the type of vaccine, the manufacturing process or the efficacy of age -old vaccines like BCG, polio, MMR etc. before giving them to our children?
Then how can we question and argue about which Covid vaccine is more effective? Let the experts do their job, which they have already done by creating vaccines in record time! We should just be appreciative of the fact that we are getting a vaccine in the first place, and not indulge in futile discussions about which is a ‘better’ vaccine! We can have these discussions 10 years later because only that is a fair timeline! So please get vaccinated at the earliest and continue to wear masks and be safe.
Let us all take a minute to be thankful to all the frontline doctors, nurses, care takers in hospitals and covid care centres who have been working tirelessly to save lives. They would give anything to stay at home to spend time with their families. So let’s be grateful and responsible citizens.
Get “covishielded” and try your best not to get “coronic”(infected with covid)!