ERODE: "I am indebted to healthcare workers for their selfless service. Although they were prone to infection, they did not hesitate to help me in all ways possible," said a 24-year-old resident of Perundurai, Erode, who overcame COVID-19 recently.
The youth returned home on April 9, after he was discharged from Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital in Tiruchy. It may be recalled that he was the first COVID-19 positive case that was reported in Tiruchy district.
Developed symptoms when abroad
Speaking to TNIE, he said that he had developed fever and cold during his month-long trip to Dubai. When he consulted a doctor there, he was prescribed medication for normal flu.
"However, I had my suspicions because the mucus was peculiar. I took all precautions possible while coming back to India and thank goodness the seats next to me where empty," he stated.
After landing in Tiruchy on March 22, he reported his condition to the airport authorities and was admitted to the hospital immediately. He tested positive for COVID-19 a couple of days later.
Once he knew about his condition, he informed his acquaintances iin Dubai about it and requested that people who came in contact with him get themselves tested for infection.
"I did not inform my parents in Erode as I did not want them to panic. They got to know only after the local health officials informed them," he said.
About medical fraternity
The youth was all praises for doctors and nurses. He said, "During my stay at the isolation ward which lasted more than a fortnight, I realised that the world is still a better place to live as the nurses and doctors treated me like one of their kin."
"Further, when I tested positive for the second consecutive time, the hospital staff kept reminding me that we are battling against an enemy that mankind has not seen before and added that they are in this fight as well. It boosted my morale," he added.
"I kept myself away from social media and spent quality time reading books and interacting with hospital staff. I had mild fever and cold. I didn't suffer with breathlessness and I did not feel very weak. I was given a high-protein diet, drank a lot of lukewarm water and concoction, and took all the medications. Later, three samples of mine tested negative," the youth stated.
Stigma and message
However, not everything was rosy after he returned home. He said that a few relatives have stopped talking to him and his family due to social stigma. "But the nurses still call me every day to check on my health," he smiles.
This COVID-19 survivor has one message to people out there. He said, "It is our responsibility to cooperate with the government and if anyone develops symptoms of illness, it is essential to report about it at the earliest. The sooner you go, higher are the chances of recovery. If we follow social distancing and maintain personal hygiene, we can surely flatten the curve and this is the time for us to be the change. I also request the public to be gentle on the survivors."