As COVID-19 pandemic approached its peak in India, millions of people- kids, youth and people in their later stages of life, experienced dry cough, continuous fever and faced complete isolation for months altogether. This led to detrimental effects in their physical as well as their mental health.
A review paper by Dalal (2020) found that poor sleep quality (40%), stress (34%), and psychological distress (34%) were the most commonly reported problems across various studies amongst covid survivors.
Owing to this, we interviewed two COVID warriors to share their experiences and how they coped up with the illness and came came out stronger!
1. Tell me something about yourself.
Isha- My name Isha Tiwari. I am 24 yrs old. I have completed my post graduation in clinical psychology from Amity University, Noida. I am currently working as a course facilitator at Abode of Healthy Mind.
Bhavye- My name is Bhavye Sethi, I am 23yrs old. I work in the Front Office department as a Duty Manager at Crowne Plaza Jaipur.
2. Can you please tell me your COVID story? Were you able to find out the source from where you contracted it?
Isha- I was first diagnosed with Covid was on 27 September 2020. To be real, we are still not able to identify whom we got covid from first! My sister’s test came out positive first but it was extremely strange because we never left the house since the lockdown.
Bhavye- My parents and my extended family got COVID and thus, me and my younger brother got infected as well on 28 th August 2020. We are still unsure of the source!
3. How was your experience of getting tested for COVID-19?
Isha- My whole family, including me got tested as a preventive measure. Ironically, me and my dad got tested negative for COVID. However, since my sister got tested positive, we wanted to dig deeper and I got a CT Scan done. There, it was found out that we both are COVID Positive. To be real, it was little scary after coming out positive because my mother was the only person who came negative in both RTPCR Test and CT Scan I was worried and scared for her. I got anxious for my mother and my health immediately responded to this anxiety and fell a little sick. Till date I feel paranoid when someone coughs because I got COVID!
4. How were your symptoms for COVID like?
Bhavye- I had 102 degree fever for 2 nights with extreme body pain and exhaustion. This turned into a cold and cough for 5 days and then I lost my sense of taste and smell for 10 days. Overall, I was sick for at least 20 days! It could be that my underlying condition of being overweight exaggerated the issue. However, I am thankful that I didn’t have any severe symptoms and didn’t need to be monitored.
5. How did you manage isolating yourself for so long?
Isha and Bhavye’s responses were similar, where in they stated that their families were in the same room with them as they were suffering from COVID too so they didn’t feel isolated. Further, the passed their time by reading books, watching cricket, video calling with friends, playing indoor games, listening to music and taking loads of naps as the medications made them feel little drowsy.
6. Overall, what did COVID teach you?
Isha- I learnt that it’s imperative to keep your mind at peace! Sometimes situations may go out of hands and we have no control of what would happen next. In that ambiguity, seek support from your family because they will give you all the strength you need. Also, start living life in a more positive and healthy way. What we can do now is actually start treating your body as a temple and give yourself positive affirmations every day. Do a lot of physical exercise because it removes toxins from the body. Lastly, don’t overthink!
Bhavye- In millions of individuals, adverse symptoms and parity of effects were seen! I was thankful that I got to the right side of it!
7. One advice you’d like to give someone in India who still hasn’t had COVID in India.
Both, Isha and Bhavye, reiterated about the importance of staying at home, maintaining hygiene, working out and taking self precautions.
Further, Isha also gave important advice which was about keeping a check for post- Covid symptoms because they might be worse than actual COVID symptoms. Quarantine yourself for at least 60 days after getting COVID positive because symptoms may resurface as an infection.
To conclude, we should definitely take up their advice and move about our lives while adjusting to the new normal, more empowered than before!
Dalal, P. K. (2020) Emerging Mental Health Issues during COVID-19 Pandemic: An Indian
Perspective. Indian J. of Psychiatry; 62, S3:354-64