Cruel Corona

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Oh! And Oof!
How I remember those days from 27th April to the 1st of May!

Up with fever already, since 23rd April – and reported to be Covid positive on 26th, I now had to maintain a log of my temperature and oxygen levels, as asked by the doctor. It wasn’t an interesting thing to do. Additionally, as the days from April tuned into May, I started forgetting what and when to do something. Slowly my room started to morph itself into a muddle day by day.

And the fiver?
Well, it wouldn’t get rid of me. It, in fact, escalated to 102 first and then touched a 103-point something. Even after a Paracetamol, never did it slash below a 100 – point 3/4/5. It was as if something was wrong with the thermometer!
I used to double check initially but then I had to believe the mercury.

Each day that was passing became worse and more terrible than the other. Frequent and intolerable coughing would exhaust me all the time and the persistent fiver made it difficult to do anything. Most of the day went sleeping away in short naps. With high fever, I had to make efforts to eat and I began to eat very little only to my comfort. As a result, I was being drained out of energy little by little. But each day I gave my best.

With no one to share or talk . . .
I only indulged into some good self-talk or had a forced conversation with, you know, “Mr. Mean Thoughts”. I used to click pictures of the log and send them in the ‘Family whatsapp Group.’ I never initiated a phone call, although took any that rang from downstairs; talked a bit and answered my parents’ concern. Sometimes, dad would share a bit of good news or something from his day and I listened with interest. He would try and make me laugh too. (one of the many qualities he possesses)
Other than that, I used to have a couple of missed calls at times, because I would either be sleeping or not too pepped up to talk. I often replied some of the calls with a message. But yes, I attended all the work calls, if awake. I had informed the school of my illness and came to know there were others who were caught with it as well.
Gosh! The scenario, in and around Hisar was getting real bad and staying with my own self, I was baffled occasionally, didn’t know why.
Thank Goodness , I never watched or read any news. My information of Corona and its cases was limited to whatever I had gathered before 23rd of April and of course, the condition wasn’t any better even then but my body and mind-set were.

Meanwhile, Aanand who has a room upstairs, diagonally opposite to mine had his own routine. He had online exams going on and generally studied till late at night. Nevertheless, he made sure to check on me almost every two hours daily except early in the mornings because he slept. He might have found me asleep many a times, during the day. Our general conversation would be something like:

1. “How are you today? What’s the oxygen level?”
    – “I am okay but feel tired and sleepy.” (I would tell him the O2 level)
“That’s okay. Just don’t let anything tense you. Please rest largely.”

2. “Need anything? Listen to some music di? Why don’t you watch something?”
    – “ No.”; “Not in the mood.” “I want to watch something but cannot decide. I will see, later.”

3. “ Medicines taken? You do nebulize, right? ”
    – “Yes for both.”

I too would ask him about his preparation or how did the exam go and how were papa-mummy doing etc. I remember, I used to be worried often that he might catch Corona being in close proximity, though he followed every precaution. He regularly changed or filled water in the camper as and when needed and in the evenings, mostly came up with something healthy for me to drink. Every once a while, Mummy had him bring some nuts and biscuits in my room along with some fruits that could be kept for any hunger pang I might have; as my sleep cycle had transformed and so did the eating schedule, except for Breakfast. That was the time mummy came to keep my food out and also see me. Everyday, she asked if I was following the medication and reminded me to keep updating the log. They had to intimate the doctor of my health on alternate days or any other time, if urgent/ in case of anxiety.

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Soon enough, the dry cough wouldn’t stop which made my chest pain and head blast. Fever, of course, didn’t break either and without ample energy, I felt helpless.
Even my parents could hear me cough hard, they knew of the fever too, of course and did all that they could do.
Papa sometimes just sat looking at me while I coughed on a video call. He would often come with a thermos of warm water upstairs and keep it for me. Mummy made a home remedy for my throat and the nose. She also brought over a cold pack for my exploding head and high fever. And never failed to ask if I had any food preference despite the fact that I did not care about food at all.
She would still look for variation in my meals. Oh! How I missed the regular days of relishing all that mom made! What I desired to eat was yoghurt and buttermilk but it got restricted by the doctor, no thanks to the DRY COUGH.

My family felt powerless too, I suppose. They and both my sisters sent various YouTube videos, articles or other information related with Corona in our Family ‘whatsapp group’ – all meant for me. These went something like – How to take care of yourself in Home Isolation, Breathing Exercises, Beneficial Hand Mudras, Mental Health during Covid, Importance of Proning, How to do Proning, and various Positive Quotes, emojis, messages etc. etc.

Sigh! I only managed to have a glimpse of such messages.. never had a mood or ability to go through any of them.
And . . . strange enough, I felt neglected and uncared for. Plus not just that, Ms. Guilt creeped in too at her own will.

Anyway . . .
Gradually, even the sight of any cooked food had become unbearable. I had told to reduce quantity of food that was sent upstairs. I couldn’t eat more than a bite or two. Fruit in take lessened as well. I drank a lot of fluids but certainly my hunger had totally died, really. Grapes and raisins were the only happy source of energy, as I could taste something out of them though I did eat a little of other fruits (Bananas, melons, pomegranate, and apples) – all tasteless. I ate them only for the sake of my internal organs, so that I could thereafter dissolve it all with the *lot of medicines* I had to gulp down to fight corona.
Some of the edibles would simply lie in the room just as I did. They appeared as sad and low as my deteriorating condition. I had been regular with all the medication but the timing differed everyday. The doctor had asked to be consistent with the time of the medicines, that I think, I couldn’t keep up. I had now started to feel lack of a good sleep too.

And, then came a time, when the major part of the cooked food was being dumped. I regretted wasting it, but I had no choice. And every time, I brought in a meal from out of my room, I felt gagged. The most frustrating feeling was when this vomitous sensation mixed with the cough. Chhee! (I feel nausea even thinking about it now. I should spare you of some details.) No juice or drinks could make up for the diet I should have been consuming and eventually, I conveyed this condition along with the wastage I was adding, to dad.

. . . to be continued.

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Here’s my prescription below:
[Please be aware, this is only for my personal records.
Do not take any pill without consultation of an accredited doctor.]

  • Tab Pantop – 40 mg, morning empty stomach
  • Tab Azithromycin – 500, once a day (5 days)
  • Tab Ivermectin – 12 mg, once a day ( 5 days)
  • Tab Zincovit -1, once a dayTab
  • Vitamin C – 1000 mg (chewable)
  • Tab Montair lz – 1, once a day
  • Syrup Alex – 1 tsp, twice a day
  • Syrup De Pura 60000 IU – 1 tsp, once a day (3 days)
  • Tab *Paracetamol – 650 mg, if fever more than 100 C
    (*can take  5 to 6 tablets a day but with a minimum gap of 4 hours)

    Regular Steam Inhalation ( minimum 5 to 7 minutes)
    SpO2 – check every 4 hours
    Good hydration and food not to be replaced by fluids/fruits

Along with the above, I also had a few tablets of MDD (mood stabilizers and anti-depressants) to take.

Corona Curfew at Home

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I woke up quite early in the morning, around 5 am and I felt just fine. The medicines taken last night did work!
But I also felt awkward and unlike on other days in so called ‘viral’, didn’t know what to do. I am not really an early riser plus I was sick. I laid in my bed for a while looking at the ceiling and the fan doing its job as always. It seemed as if I was only going to get lost into “Mr. Mean Thoughts” that troubled me as a whole, I used the logical head and decided to do some ‘pranayams’ (breathing exercises) followed by little warm-up exercises.I also tried light yoga but could manage to do only two asanas (poses). Uh! Never mind.

I was checking my temperature when papa came upstairs.
“99.8,” I said.
“Hmm, shall I get you some tea?” he inquired seeing me cough hard and gasping for air in between.
“ Yes please, that should be good.”
“Meanwhile you check your oxygen, text me the levels…percentage, ” he placed an oximeter on my dressing table near the door.

The O2 was 92 and the tea was as if I was drinking hot water. Biscuits that accompanied the tea made it bearable to finish. Nonetheless, it warmed my throat. I decided to walk a bit before bath, coughing every now and then. Unable to think anything clearly, I only observed the tree in the backyard that reached the balcony. It felt satisfying.

Later, I looked at the breakfast plate sitting on my ‘in-bed laptop table’. I must have been in the bath while somebody brought it. I prayed, ” God, please let me have the taste of this. Please…”
 “And don’t let me imagine things!” <—- All this because my ‘sense of smell’ didn’t work early morning and in the bath as well.
I examined the plate; there were some dry-fruits, a bowl of grapes, and small serve of watermelon. Ah! There was also a small size parantha with curd (Greek yoghurt). Mom certainly gave me enough! I was hungry unlike past two-three days. I started with dry-fruits and Voila! The raisins were the same…as delicious as ever. “Oh! Thank you God!” I smiled. My smile didn’t last but. The walnuts, almonds, and cashews- nothing had even a hint of any flavor. I munched those, anyway. Switching to watermelon, I could feel the texture of the fruit while the rest was, only plain water. I didn’t want to eat grapes then and… that small parantha and curd seemed to look at me.
“Okay, let’s do this,” talking to myself inside my head, I was about to have a spoonful of curd when I saw Papa standing at my door again- looking curiously about to say something.

He held a small polybag and I could see medicines and syrup through its transparency. He probably had the doctor’s prescription along. We exchanged a look and the spoon went in my mouth.
Smiling, I began to eat that little parantha; dipping it into the curd.
“What?” said papa. “Do you like the taste? You can taste, can’t you?”
I gave him a negative nod and added, “No, Papa. Nothing but let me try a few more bites.” I reluctantly ate two or three morsels, because all of a sudden I realized that I had lost my appetite .
Again giving a ‘No taste’ nod to dad, I only ate the curd – my all time favourite. It didn’t have the same taste or feeling yet its appropriate cool temperature had a soothing effect.
“This is ok,” I spoke, “..and leave the grapes here, Papa.”
“Hmm,” he gestured me to take the two capsules, three tablets and a spoon of the cough syrup that he nicely kept on my dressing table along with a glass of water.
I obeyed.

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Just then, Aanand came in with some sort of equipment and started to arrange it on the table beside the bookshelf. He kept a few small packets aside and then began assembling the thing he had bought. I wondered what it was as I saw the parts of it quietly.
“Aanand, explain the prescription to Nikki. I will get ready as I have to go to the bank,” said Papa and turned towards me, “Nikki beta, if you need anything, just let us know.” He walked off waving a ‘bye’ to me with a smile.

The equipment was set; Aanand took out two vials from two different packets and spoke, looking at me seriously,
“Di, you will have to nebulize daily, at least three times a day, ok?” I nodded as he explained me the workings of the nebulizer.
“Eight drops from each vial and some amount of saline water ,” he pointed at a bottle on the table, “are to be put into this medication tank.”
He picked up another part and spoke… “This is the inhalation top.”
“Hm,” I voiced.
Then he added thoughtfully, “Heck! Let’s do the first nebulization together.”
“Ah,” I let out a breath and smiled.
He carefully demonstrated everything and at last he handed me the mask that had an air tube attached to the compressor. The nebulizer started burring when switched on and I inhaled the vapor.
Did it feel nice? Yes, it did, though not initially. But after a minute, I had adapted to it.
“Inhale properly,” said Aanand; who stood beside me patiently.
Oh, this boy – 15 years younger to me! (I felt like a baby.)
Six-seven minutes later, he was explaining me the prescription when I suddenly had a surge to lie down. I listened to the rest of him carefully, after I was in the bed.
“Call me, if you need anything. And if you aren’t sleepy or are bored, watch Prime or Flix. Please, just stay relaxed.”
“Okay Brother! And I’m fine.” I wished he’d stay longer but ‘CORONA Curfew in the house‘ wouldn’t allow that.

Precautions and steps were taken in the days to follow.

— All of them, ie. mom, dad, and brother, took the three days course of ‘Ivermectin 12mg’ tablets which was prescribed to anyone who may have come in contact with a covid+ person.

— Instead of coming into my room in the past few days of (ahem!) ‘viral’ — Dad was double masked that day onwards and would stand only by the door.
(Mom and Aanand were very cautious with the mask thing since the beginning of viral but dad wasn’t..despite enough pressing by us.)

— My food/meals/snacks were now kept outside the room, on a small stool instead of being served in. A camper of water came upstairs for good, right into my room. Refills were assigned to Aanand.

— Some fruits like apple, musk melon, banana etc. made a place in my room because later, I had almost stopped eating any meal. Juices, lime water, coconut water etc. were brought up at regular intervals.

— My room now also had a bin for disposal.

— Video calls from downstairs got more frequent instead of personal visits. These mostly were either to pep me up or enquire about medication (confirming if I had taken them). Other communication would mainly be through voice messages on whats app.
— Etc. Etc. (I forgot what else.)

That same day, late, very late at night; I shivered terribly and had my body aching. With much effort and lack of “cold’ tolerance; with difficulty, I made my way to the cupboard; wore a full-sleeve shirt over my tee, put on the socks, and switched off the fan. I felt better…warmer almost instantly. I then checked my temperature. The fever had risen to a 102 degrees, hence the body ache. I gulped down a ‘Dolo 600’ (paracetamol) and left the body pain to be dealt by it.

Before comforting myself in the light quilt I had been using, I also added two layers of extra bed sheets, slipped into my bed and slept. be continued.
Thank you for reading! See ‘me’ here again 🙂 please.