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Emotional support is medicine too – Cover Story News

Q.You returned from Europe on February 25. How come you weren’t asked to go into quarantine when you landed?

I was in Italy till February 21 and COVID-19 had not spread much then in that country. I was then in Budapest, following which I returned to Delhi on February 25 via Vienna. At the time, Europe was not on the red list and perhaps I did not have the temperature on the day I landed. But we were told to report to RML hospital if symptoms did appear.

Q. How did the disease play out for you?

Around February 26, I started to have a fever of about 99.5. It would go away if I took Paracetamol, but always return. I knew I had been to affected regions in the past few days, and it started to worry me. So I went to a physician and then to RML hospital to get a test done. It was not a painful illness for me. I had constant, moderately high fever and body ache. I had dry cough too. But nothing too severe.

Q. When your test came out positive, how did you react?

I was scared, more so for my family and friends than myself. There is a feeling of responsibility and blame when you test positive for an infectious disease. I was terribly anxious that I may have infected my family. When I heard they were negative, I actually broke down and cried for the first time in my life. After that, it was all about learning to adapt to isolation. Safdarjung hospital took very good care of me. And my family was there for me through video calls every day. Emotional support is medicine too.

Q. You are the first patient to recover from COVID-19 in the country. Has this experience changed you in any way?

When I returned home, I wanted to finish watching a Netflix series I had started in hospital. But the media didn’t leave me alone (laughs). Something very significant has happened in my life, I will certainly not forget it. I was health conscious earlier too, now I will be even more so.

Q. You were socially isolated for nearly a month (14 days of treatment followed by 14 days of home quarantine). What is the first thing you want to do when your mobility restrictions are lifted?

Go to G-O-D. Such events give life a deeper meaning. I might not be able to right away as several places of worship are closed. But I will go, eventually. The gratitude remains.

(Case studies that appear in this issue were contributed by Sonali Acharjee, Suhani Singh, Amarnath K. Menon, Kiran D. Tare, Sandeep Unnithan, M.G. Arun, Roshni Majumdar, Romita Datta, Rohit Parihar, Anilesh S. Mahajan, Shwweta Punj, Jeemon Jacob, Shelly Anand, Chumki Bharadwaj and Saurabh Vaktania.)

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