BATURAM NAYAK narrates how he along with his father, wife and daughter vanquished Covid-19 at home
My 92-year-old father Shri Surendra Prasad was suffering from fever akin to flu for more than a week. Considering his age, I regularly interact with him to make sure that he is comfortable. Soon the fever got hold of me, too. My wife Nandita and daughter Shruti were the next to be hit.
We wasted no time and got ourselves tested. All four of us tested positive for Covid-19. We took the news coolly and didn’t panic at all.
In my hometown of Sambalpur in Odisha, I consulted the very best doctor, who himself is co-owner of a private Covid-care hospital and also a close relative. I asked him what to do. He advised us to stay home-quarantined and get treated at home.
“Turn your home to a self-nursing home,” he said, calmly.
However, the greatest cause of concern was my father’s age, followed by my existing heart ailment as well as my wife’s issues such as blood pressure and thyroid for which she is on regular medication.
As we all are well-covered with medical insurance, my son, who is an officer in an insurance company in Jeypore, kept pressing me to take a quick decision and urgently shift to the nearest, top medical centre in Bhubaneswar for urgent treatment.
But shifting all the four of us so quickly in an already stretched, panic-stricken, overloaded medical system, when all the hospitals were running out of beds would be suicidal, my consulting doctor advised.
“Stay home, be in touch with me, nurse one another and get healed,” he said, expertly. The only issue was my wife’s oxygen level, which remained constantly at 92-93 during day time, but would fall to the 80s when she was asleep.
We were advised to keep vigil on her at night, waking her up every hour. To raise oxygen levels, the advice was to do pranayama and walk around the room for about five minutes, and sleep in the prone position. She became our main cause of concern, but once we focused on her, monitored her condition and took corrective measures, she improved impressively.
My daughter and I would also do our bit of pranayama and walking, keeping her company.
During the whole episode, my father was the fittest among all of us, with no alarms, no complaints ― that in itself was a great source of satisfaction as well as inspiration for our team work in nursing each other at home.
Now, even as we are locked at home, looking back in retrospect, I think the following three points helped us to prevent a crisis:
1. We were cool and didn’t panic at all since the very first day.
2. We took a calculated risk, but a wise decision to get treated at home, reposing full faith in our consulting physician, who saved us from a whole lot of troubles, physically, financially and emotionally. We would have suffered to the point of a complete breakdown, had we shifted ourselves for treatment to a medical centre in Bhubaneswar.
3. In a situation of oxygen shortages around town, we took it upon ourselves to revive our oxygen levels by doing pranayama, taking short walks and keeping our spirits high at all times.
Thank God, thanks to my doctor and many thanks to each other for supporting one another, we were able to tide over the great malady of our lifetime, and emerge victorious in our home battle against the dreaded Coronavirus.
I must also thank two people who gave us relentless support to battle the virus. My brother Rajaram Nayak, who resides with his family in the adjoining house seamlessly coordinated with our consulting doctor and took care of our food and other daily needs.
The other person who helped us was Md Sadique, the medicine store owner, who sent us medicines as and when I called him.
In so many ways, Covid-19 has become a Eureka moment for all of us. Rightly has it been said: the worst teaches us in the very best way. Of course, through this, all of us in the family are going through a compulsory learning experience, as well as a lesson of a lifetime.
Best wishes to all who are engulfed by the Covid-19 tsunami. Nothing can defeat man’s indomitable spirit ― we can, of course, defeat the pandemic if we approach it systematically and logically, listen to our doctor’s advice and support each other.
Pain and suffering is the great leveller of humanity. Let’s work and pray together to enable health, happiness and peace to return in double measure to all of us.
(Featured Image: The author Baturam Nayak (right) with his daughter Shruti, father Shri Surendra Prasad and wife Nandita)
Baturam Nayak, a postgraduate in economics, joined the banking sector in 1983 and retired in June 2020. He is a firm believer in simplicity and minimalism. “My faith is Oneness, एकत्वम्; that’s the way I would express myself and live in harmony with everything,” he says.