The Covid-19 attack on our home members was like a blessing in disguise, for, it has taught us the important lesson of how to stay together and to be calm and positive in the midst of a crisis, says SEEMA SAXENA

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck all around us, we lived in fear of what might happen if we got infected. So till November 2020, I lived carefully taking all precautions and believing that my family I and will be spared by the coronavirus. 

I had started easing a bit after mid-July. The house help had returned to work. Online food was being served on the table after a long time. Samosas and jalebis which were terribly missed, cautiously made an entry into the house after a long time. My husband who had a fistula surgery gone wrong recuperated with follow up surgeries in August and September. We were taking extreme precautions. By October, we had become confident that we had defeated the disease and there was no way it could enter our home.

My husband, who was in the habit of asking everyone to take precautions, and was suggesting home remedies and telling one and all how we had managed to dodge it inspite of regular visits to hospitals, also relaxed and made small trips to town and the bank to settle his income tax returns and medical bills. His surgery wound was almost healed and everything was good. We rejoiced and waited eagerly for the approaching festive season.

Seema Saxena

Then one day my husband started running low fever for a couple of days and there was no improvement. Something was wrong. The first thought that came to mind was Covid-19.

I realised that I was not even aware of where should I get the Covid-19 test done. After making a few phone calls, I discovered that the nearest we could go was a government dispensary, which had a facility for free tests on Tuesdays. But when we reached there, we saw there was a big queue and so we visited the nearest hospital for the test.

And when the report came positive all hell broke loose. Subsequently, the whole of my family had tested positive with mild symptoms. It was a period of complete bewilderment ― what to do and what not to do? The festive occasion was completely forgotten, and advices and suggestions kept pouring in huge numbers from our well-wishers. The doctor, though, advised home quarantine. 

With worries and anxieties writ large on our faces we really seemed at a loss at what exactly to follow. But common sense prevailed after watching online videos about Covid-19 and we settled for a regular routine of inhaling steam and drinking warm water and gargling, apart from the prescribed medicines. Luckily, we had acquired an oximeter to keep a close tab of oxygen level in the body and that helped. Our oxygen levels were stable, always above 95 per cent.

Within three days both my son and I felt better. But my husband’s fever was not coming down. He was advised hospitalisation because his chest CT scan was not good. But after consulting doctors in the family, it was decided not to put him in hospital and take care of him at home as his oxygen level was good.

If anyone of us would have been hospitalised,  it would have been really stressful for us. My husband’s friends who had already been infected didn’t have good stories to tell. Their stay in hospital had been prolonged. But we kept our faith in believing that we would emerge as Corona fighters. Since our condition was not worsening, but getting better day by day, we waited and gradually things became normal but not before a full load of dilemma and anxiety. 

By God’s grace we all have recovered now. I think if we had panicked, we would have worsened the situation. Hospitalisation would have been a good choice too as we had health insurance policies but good sense prevailed. We chose to take care of ourselves at home and decided to get ourselves hospitalised only if there was an emergency.

Since my husband and I are diabetic, we avoided the steroid injections until absolutely necessary. I was told that the injections would disturb our blood sugar levels. We took mild dose of antibiotics and Vitamin C and B complex and paracetamol tablets. Ginger, Giloy and Ayurvedic Kada were religiously taken to avoid complications. 

(Pic CNBC TV18)

My husband has still some congestion in the chest and is taking mild steroids. He already had large doses of antibiotics. My son had to use an inhaler and nebuliser and anti-allergic medicines because he is allergic and asthmatic.

My intuition told me that I needed to be strong and defeat the disease with strong will power. I washed utensils, mopped floors, changed bed sheets, and used my washing machine as soon as the fever came down within the first three days. I had to ask the house help to stop coming.

Special thanks to my elder son and daughter-in-law who arrived home as soon as they came to know about our sickness. My daughter-in-law too had tested positive but she  didn’t have symptoms and was in a better condition. Her immunity had fought back the virus. Both she and my son took on a 24×7 duty, monitoring oxygen levels, giving medicines and cooking healthy nutritious food. Never did she complain about the extra duties she had to perform. Gladly we faced the situation supporting each other. 

I am now back on my feet doing all my routine work. Though initially things did scare me, for when I lay on bed with fever and fatigue and a piercing pain at the back of the head, my son and niece made a complete mess in the kitchen breaking bowls and spilling water. My niece hurt herself with the broken porcelain pieces while trying to reheat the leftover rice and I had to get up to bandage her foot. When I saw the condition of the kitchen, I was dumbstruck.

There were black footprints everywhere in the house. Laundry needed immediate attention and instead of waiting for help, I chose to gather my will and start my daily mundane routine. I was happier day by day as I slowly increased my workload. 

For the first time, I realised my worth. I was really an important person in the house. I realised managing the house is a big task. Keeping the spirits high and motivating everyone was required. When they saw me happily doing my work, they believed things are normal and their faith in getting cured became stronger. And they too waited patiently to be cured by their own body immunity. What is needed is a cool and calm mind to let immunity do its work. 

Of course,  the Covid-19 infection has taught me a few important things. The first and foremost is how important my loved ones are for me. If not for their support, the situation would have been critical. Harmony at home is extremely important to face difficult situations. I have promised myself not to spoil them by too much pampering, but rather help them to learn essential life skills. 

I have understood that awareness is a must. Only after getting infected I saw videos to know the line of treatment. l had not even cared to read about the treatment in hospitals and medicines even though l know a lot about medicine and biology. 

To be prepared is the best strategy against a pandemic like Covid-19. Now a thought is always there at the back of the mind that anything can happen at any time. So own up to your responsibilities and stop depending on others. While driving, I make mental notes of the area around. I am more careful of the cash in hand to spend, ask more questions, and try to be more friendly with people around. 

Life has definitely changed ― for the better, despite the Covid-19 attack on our home members.  The virus was like a blessing in disguise. It taught us the important lesson of how to stay together; and to be calm and positive in the midst of a crisis.

[Featured Image: On the occasion of the author’s son’s wedding, from Left to Right: Prachi (niece), Anil Kant (husband), Nikhil (son), Aaradhya (nephew), Vandana (daughter-in-law), Seema Saxena (author), Akshay (younger son)]

Seema Saxena is a B.Sc in microbiology, and also a B.Ed. She was brought up and educated in Mumbai. Seema is an avid writer and blogger who writes about practicality and spirituality in life. She is now settled in Jaipur.

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