A personal account of the struggle in overcoming fear and uncertainty after being diagnosed with COVID-19
My journey from the edge of the COVID abyss and back has been nothing short of a miracle and an exercise of self-awakening. Having come out of the crisis, I can say that whatever it may do to your body, don't let COVID take over your mind. The main objective of writing this is to thank everyone who was part of this difficult journey and also to share the experience that exposed me to this aspect of life.
When I tested positive on June 16, I was suffering from a mild fever and cough. It all began when a throat infection hit me, along with acute tonsil infection. I took hot water sips and did saline gargles as prescribed. Dr Parul suggested I go for a precautionary test for COVID-19 just because of proximity to a number of patients in the surrounding area.
After undergoing the test, I isolated myself from my family in a room with a separate setup before the results of the test were to come in. The test came in positive on the evening of June 16. As per the protocol advised by doctors, I had to be quarantined for 17 days, and my family had to be in isolation for 14 days.
Several calls and messages from my office peers, industry professionals, media friends, seniors and other seniors built my resolve and also diverted me from negative thoughts. My Company, POWERGRID, stood by me in such difficult times, by providing medical equipment and protective gear. A nodal officer had been appointed and a doctor followed up with me regularly in coordination with the Fortis Hospital as part of the patient care package. Arrangements for disinfecting and fogging at my house were also made by the Company. This gave me a lot of mental security.
I planned my 17-day isolation and developed a management mechanism to calm myself so that it does not reflect on my health and mental state. I discussed and discovered myself in rational ways, to get over the fear of the virus affecting me and my family. I began concentrating on ways to come out from this trauma. I started my new routine of meditating and started focusing on the positive energies.
I compromised with reality and became friends with it. I thought to myself, that when I could drive my motorbike and Gypsy with my adventure group in Ladakh, about 20 years back in absence of well-built roads and drive on the most uncertain terrains, then why couldn't I fight a virus? The love for nature proved beneficial. Nature taught me that if you love and respect it, it will always take care of your safety. I invested in my strength and my life which was built on testing situations and was never luxurious.
When about seven days had passed, I was happy to know that none of my family members had shown any symptoms. We shared the joy through the phone, sitting in different rooms. During this time, I remembered one of my friends telling me: "God knows us well and gives us only those hardships, which he knows that we shall be able to bear". Probably, there was no better time to draw a deeper meaning to his insight.
From the next dawn, my fight for a healthy life began. Drawing upon positive energies, I made a chart of all those activities I was required to do. I continued checking my oximeter readings four times a day alongside checking my blood pressure and diabetes, and drinking 3-4 litres of hot water as suggested by the doctor.
I also availed this time to connect with my long-lost friends and learnt about the importance of making efforts to keep alive every relationship. I also regained my interests in music. I connected with my native place and the roots of my parents. I got back to writing; reliving days of 1991 when I was writing articles for newspapers. This time, however, I was not doing inter-communication, but adopting intra-communication. Books on life skills and philosophy became my new friends, and I was able to convert the negativity into quality time by maintaining a positive attitude. This was a signal that now was the right time for Naresh 2.0.
Finally, the Day 17 came, and I got my fitness certificate on July 2, 2020, from Dr Parul and Fortis Hospital. Getting a whiff of fresh air, seeing my family and holding my dog, 'Buddy' in my hands once again was a moment I will cherish for a long time.
Another chapter just got added in my life, and I am grateful to my family who supported me and had to, unfortunately, bear problems apart from being in isolation. I am also glad that my department stood as a constant support. Today, a good number of antibodies have been generated in my body, and at the same time, I am happy that I have become a possible donor now.
I give this message to everyone to take it in the right spirit and always believe that we can get through this pandemic. Stay safe!
The writer is GM (Corporate Communications), Power Grid Corporation of India