Overcoming the Coronavirus: RSTV speaks to a survivor

Tanvi Sharma

Shock, fear, anxiety and despair. All words that Coronavirus survivor Sumiti Singh has learnt to associate with real feelings in the last 14 days.

The 34-year-old entrepreneur had no inkling of any of it when she left Ahmedabad on March 4 for her business trip to Delhi and Helsinki.

Since she was following the COVID -19 situation that was shaping up in China, Sumiti was well aware of the severity of the virus.

However, despite that, she and her friends decided to go ahead with her travel.

While travelling Sumiti says she took all the precautions. Putting on the mask, sanitising her hands and the areas around her.

She was certain that there was no way she could contract COVID 19.

On her return to her Ahmedabad on March 12, Sumiti self quarantined herself.

Not stepping out, she took her food left outside her room and cleaned her utensils with warm water and soap. All this while, she spoke to her two other family members only through video calls.

Two days later on March 14, experiencing mild fever, Sumiti called her GP who advised her some antibiotics.

When this was followed by a feeling of a tightness in her chest on March 18, Sumiti spoke to a doctor friend at the government-run SVP Hospital in Ahmedabad.

The hospital staff got her swab samples tested at another medical institution.

TESTING POSITIVE

What followed next, Sumiti says, was sheer anxiety and panic when the test results came positive.

Having heard only horror stories about the virus, Sumiti says she was extremely shocked. What made it worse for her was that she believed she had nothing to fear from her travel when she had taken all the precautions.

Despite being inundated with calls from people who suspected they had COVID-19, the staff at the SVP hospital were extra vigilant with Sumiti because of her travel history.

STAY IN THE HOSPITAL

She was put up in a separate ward with even a separate lift that SVP hospital has for COVID-19 patients

Over the next 10 days, even as Suniti was constantly monitored, doctors pacified and assured her that her symptoms were in the mild to moderate range and not severe.

She was on heavy medication that made her sleepy. Monitored every 2-3 hours, she was asked to drink lots of liquids. In Sumiti’s experience, COVID’s progression is not linear. In the 10 days, she felt well some days, but not so much on other days.

STAYING IN TOUCH

Facetiming with family and friends, she gave updates on Facebook about her health.

Sumiti says she is grateful for having got plenty of support from people around me and on social media.

She agrees that people could be petrified of being COVID-19 positive. But because she decided to confront it she says she probably managed to avoid getting stigmatised by it.

Sumiti is also thankful to the doctors for not only taking good care of her but also for calming her fears.

ADVICE TO EVERYONE

– Stay at home

– Follow govt guidelines

– Strictly respect the lockdown

– Take all the prescribed precautions

Most importantly, to get checked without delay if you develop symptoms.

She advises people not to be scared if you test positive. and to be calm and trust the doctors.

BACK HOME, ONCE AGAIN

The day she was discharged, Sumiti savoured her head bath the first she had in seven days. She says not all the money could have saved her, which made her realise how important staying healthy is. “I understood the value of my family who were just one and half a km away from me, but I could not meet for days.”

Credits: Facebook page of Sumiti Singh

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