I was having breakfast with my family when I got a SMS of my covid test result. I couldn’t believe it for a few minutes that I got tested positive. Suddenly, I became very conscious of where I am sitting and what I am touching. I knew I had to accustom myself to this whole thing immediately. And so I went back into my room right away, isolating myself.
I was visiting my family after a long time. They couldn’t soak up the fact that I will be isolated in the room for the next 14 days, at the least. Though my Mom was in denial initially, she got along with my isolation, eventually. All of us got confused and agitated about how to behave or react to that situation.
I had a very mild fever when I decided to get tested. However, I had no symptoms at all by the time my results came the next day. Neither did I have any kind of weakness. I was all normal and active. I was almost sure that my test would come out negative. The positive result psychologically made me feel weak, though.
I just stayed in my room alone trying to pass time on Netflix, but somehow I couldn’t watch anything for over 10 minutes straight. My mind kept wandering off, thinking about all the things that happened earlier and that could possibly happen next. Where could I possibly caught the virus from? Did I already spread it to my family? Why was I loitering around in the house the past few days? My dad is a diabetic and had a heart condition previously, which worried me – Even though his test came out negative.
It might be different for different people, but for me covid was more of a psychological effect than a physical one. I had so much anxiety during my isolation, which only increased day by day. I couldn’t sleep at night. Sometimes I was too worried thinking, any of my family member might show some symptom anytime now. Sometimes I imagined the virus inside my body, in the process of multiplying and damaging my lungs, causing a sudden breathlessness any minute.
I don’t know if it was just paranoia or if it was a real corona virus symptom, but the anxiety existed throughout. It continued even though everybody around were fine and I was as healthy as normal. Breathlessness didn’t really occur as a physical symptom to me. Yet, the increasing anxiety within me sometimes caused a shortness of breath. I even tried meditating to get over the anxiety – which seemed even more tough than usual.
I started to understand how people suffering from anxiety and depression might be feeling. It seems like, how you feel is in your hands but, it isn’t. Everything around you might be alright, making your anxiety seem baseless from outside. Yet it is still real and very well there inside you. You feel helpless, like you are shouting from inside a deep hole and nobody can hear you. Honestly, the anxiety was the worst part of my entire experience.
Some of my relatives and friends freaked out knowing this, because I was kind of a first known case to my close family and friends. I guess it is even more frightening if you are far away, hearing and imagining things. There is so much of mixed information out there from various sources, that whoever called me had a different take on this. Though some calls soothed me, some increased my anxiety further more.
Lack of clear information
Apart from anxiety, another major problem which I faced during this period was lack of information and confusion. I have consulted 2 to 3 doctors and everybody had a different opinion on how many days I should isolate myself and if I should get tested again or not. It might be very difficult even for them to frame definite guidelines, since it is a novel virus. I was unsure about resuming to my normal life even after 14 days of isolation. I could still be spreading the infection for all I know.
Even though many suggested there is no need for a retest, I couldn’t be at peace until I got tested negative again. And so I did and got a negative result, only then I could be normal again.
I have been practising a decently healthy lifestyle from the past few months -to which I have to give credit – for saving me from any physical suffering.
The reason I decided to share this is in a hope that at least somebody else would be more prepared and less anxious after knowing my experience. All I can suggest is understand that we cannot avoid this situation. Accept it. We should still be as careful as possible and very importantly maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. Practice everything which can improve your immunity levels starting today (it won’t happen overnight), to survive this without suffering much. More importantly, a positive mindset that you can overcome this is really necessary – I cannot stress this enough.