BENGALURU: As the number of positive Covid-19 cases continues to increase in the city, so does the realisation that the virus has truly arrived at our doorsteps. Fear seems to be more contagious than the infection itself, having even mutated into a strong stigma, with some heart-wrenching stories of people even ending their life over the virus.
While the mortality rate is a concern, Covid can be coped with successfully as well, with recoveries even outnumbering the number of cases on some days. “Sometimes, the unknown is harder to deal with. When I got the virus, I wasn’t so scared and was able to remain calm as well,” says Lokesh Sanghi, who recently recovered from the virus.
Still unsure about where exactly he contracted it, the 23-year-old now looks at the experience as a turning point in his life. “I want to look after myself better – that means eating and sleeping well, and working out more,” says the BBA student.
The experience, however, did come with its share of tough moments. With mild symptoms like fever, back pain and headache, and eventually loss of smell and taste, Sanghi opted for home quarantine. “Initially, my family members and I thought it was just a normal viral fever because I’m prone to it. But once it was diagnosed to be Covid, there were suddenly so many precautions and distance norms in place. It does make you feel like an outcast in your own home,” he says.
In fact, in many cases, it isn’t so much the virus itself but the reaction it induces in others that leaves one feeling burdened. Take, for instance, Sunitha Giridhar, who was on the receiving end of various taunts and comments when her husband tested positive in June. “When my husband was transferred to a hospital, the apartment wouldn’t let me dispose our garbage either. I had to leave it at home for five days before I finally reached out to a social service helpline to step in,” says Sunitha, adding, “I know they were reacting out of fear, but it hurt a lot to hear them make comments or see others in my apartment move out temporarily because of us.
Though temporary, we learnt to handle it and come out better on the other side.” Now having recovered, Giridhar MP shares that despite an initial hiccup with non-availability of beds, his stint at the hospital was smooth sailing. “The bigger tension was finding an ambulance to take me to a hospital. But once I arrived, things were normal. Beds were placed 7-8 feet apart and someone would check our BP, blood oxygen levels and temperature at least thrice a day,” says Giridhar, who is now back to running his cycle shop at Chikpet.
And while the older population has more to worry about, 56-year-old Hasmukh Mardia looked at his tryst with the virus as no different than anything else in his life. Truly living up to his name, he says, “Positive thinking is the best way to deal with being Covid-positive.” Still unsure of where the hours went, Mardia recalls spending his time – four day of home quarantine and eight days spent at a hospital on endless phone calls with friends and family. “I made the other patients in the hospital also tension-free,” laughs Hasmukh, who recently also donated his plasma. He has only one message to give to others. “Joh dar gaya, woh mar gaya (the one who gets scared is the one who loses life). There is nothing to worry. So many people have got the virus and don’t even know about it.”