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When my husband tested positive for the deadly coronavirus, our life seemed full of despair and helplessness. But this is the story of how we battled it!
COVID-19 has hit mankind in the worst possible manner, it has left human beings bereft of hope, faith and peace. This disease has wrecked havoc in the daily lives of people since WHO declared it the worst pandemic after the Spanish Flu. The flu had hit mankind in 1918 and killed at least 500 million people.
When an adversity hits you, it tears you apart from everything. However, what it fails to tear away, is the bond between the family that only strengthens at times like these.
Then again, when something dreaded by the entire world, affects your own family, all these theories seem futile and meaningless.
The evening of 29th May is still freshly etched in my memory. My husband came back from work feeling a tad too tired. He didn’t seem to be his usual self and that resulted in an uncanny silence in the home.
The next morning when he woke up with mild fever, my heart sank. Was it something that we all had been dreading until then? Had the deadly virus creeped into the safety of my home? Was this all real?
For quite sometime we both couldn’t see eye to eye because we knew we would break down. Finally, we mustered some courage and spoke to our family physician who calmly advised us to undergo the test. We followed her instructions. What followed next was a restless wait of more than 24 hours. And finally when the reports arrived, it was anything but pleasant!
‘COVID-19: DETECTED’ stared at us! The soil beneath my feet began to crash into an abysmal depth. Now what? Is he going to meet the same fate being highlighted in all mediums of communication? Will he be taken away from the care and safety of his family? Is the society going to ostracise us? The questions clouding my mind did not feature ‘Will he be fine?’
This is exactly what happens when you are struck by a monstrous misfortune. You feel numb as this were something you probably never imagined or prayed for. No one actually does. Isn’t it?
I could feel insanity taking over my senses. Normality was fast fading away and future seemed nothing but dark, uncertain and complex.
However, the moment I laid my eyes on my husband I could sense his guilt overpowering his despair and concern. This is another thing that most COVID-19 patients undergo.
The burden of culpability takes over them leaving them bereft of hope and aspiration to live. Again, it is no one but the people around them who need to be held accountable for this.
With all these tormenting thoughts in our mind we went ahead with the rest of the protocols laid by the state government and medical practitioners. Our complex authorities were informed, and there lay the greatest fear-what if they wanted us to taken away to a care centre? Or worse, what if he alone would be sent there?
To our greatest surprise, the pro-activity and cooperation by the complex authorities helped us overcome the first battle – the stigma of being ostracised! No, neither were we nor him alone were going anywhere.
Except that he would undergo some basic medical examinations to understand the intensity of the infection. Thankfully, it was all under control. There again we won the second battle. The disease had not reached a life threatening situation, just as how it is often portrayed in newspapers or news channels!
Having been through the worst, I wish there was some responsible journalism that one could read or see. As they say, half your ailments are cured when there is a ray of hope showered upon you. And pro-activity is something that helps in this particular ailment. It is highly advisable to seek medical guidance the moment one finds any of the symptoms underlined by WHO.
The next stage included him to be totally self-isolated from the rest of the family. Fortunately, being endowed with certain privileges we are blessed with amenities that still are a luxury for many!
We read everyday how a COVID-19 patient and those who have been in close contact with him/her are shunned by the society. They eventually land up overburdened hospitals or unclean care centres. Not that they are in such state deliberately. However, due to the increasing number of cases every day, the health care department is unable to meet the demand to supply ratio.
On the one hand, there was a small speck of relief that he would be kept at home. And on the other a cloud of apprehension was killing us from within when we were informed, being his close contacts we too had to get tested. It wasn’t something I didn’t see coming but it seemed like yet another unnecessary burden being superimposed on my mind.
Finally the day arrived, exactly three days from when he tested positive. We all were escorted by uniformed individuals from Chennai Corporation to the government testing centre. It was obvious for my anxiety levels to shoot up. My family comprised of two other members- one well above 60 and the other below 10! The last thing I wanted was any more ‘positives!’ As they rightly say these days, ‘negative is the new positive.’
This time the wait for the reports seemed way longer than the first one. One day passed, two days passed, there was still no news from the corporation. On the third day, my husband who himself was battling it out there, mustered his courage to call them.
Their response was, ‘Had you been positive, one of us would have reached for further procedures.’ This was the best statement that we had come across after days! There was another ray of hope that we could cling on to.
However, pragmatically we wanted a concrete evidence to put all our worries (if not all but at least some of it) to rest. On the third day, a uniformed official stood at our door with the reports that read COVID-19: NOT DETECTED. This broke the dam of tears pent up for long now. Breaking down seemed the only sane thing to do and so did we relent!
This was the fourth important battle that we had won. Having learnt that none of us were potential risk factors, we could now focus all our attention to the one who needed it the most – my husband. That day my faith in the bond between a husband and wife was reinstated.
Someone aptly said, ‘There isn’t anything known as a strong marriage, it is about two strong individuals standing up for each other when faced with the worst possible threat.’
That day onwards I could see a sea of change in my husband’s health – both physiologically and psychologically! The pall of uncanny silence and a brooding uncertainty that dominated the house was finally lifted. Now we could see that the road to recovery and well being wasn’t too far!
As my better half completes his final day of home quarantine and self isolation, all I know is, it is my undying, relentless faith that kept us afloat. The constant reminder to self that it is not as bad as it is projected or imagined to be helped me maintain my sanity.
There were moments when I would silently break down, only to stand up again and tough fight the misfortune that had befallen my family. The biggest lesson I learnt through this excruciating experience is that pessimism pulls you down while optimism keeps you afloat!
My personal account of experiencing SARS II COVID-19 can be rightly summarised in the words of, Bob Marley, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice!”
Picture credits: Pexels
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