‘Wear your masks and stop mak­ing ex­cuses‘

Grocott's Mail - - Covid-19 -

A Covid-19 sur­vivor spoke to Lwazikazi Madik­iza about their ex­pe­ri­ence. The in­ter­vie­wee's name is with­held and some de­tails have been edited to pro­tect their anonymity.

Age: 31

Gen­der: Fe­male

1. When did you about COVID-19?

At the be­gin­ning of the year, but at the time there weren’t any con­firmed cases in South Africa. start hear­ing

2. What made you sus­pect that you might have been in­fected with Covid-19?

I woke up not feel­ing well and this con­tin­ued the whole day. How­ever, I was well enough to go to work. I was es­pe­cially con­cerned be­cause a co-worker had just tested pos­i­tive.

3. What symp­toms did you ex­pe­ri­ence at this point?

I had a headache. I was feel­ing re­ally tired as if I had been do­ing hard labour and I was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing pain in my joints.

4. How long af­ter you ex­pe­ri­enced symp­toms did you go and test?

I tested a day later and used public test­ing ser­vices.

5. How was your test­ing ex­pe­ri­ence?

I did an oropha­ryn­geal swab and a PCR test was done. The test in it­self wasn’t painful; it just felt un­com­fort­able and can cause one to gag or cough be­cause the swab goes deep into the back of your throat.

6. How long did you wait for your re­sults to be avail­able and did the symp­toms change? Af­ter test­ing I started ex­pe­ri­enc­ing flu-like symp­toms such as a runny and blocked nose, dry cough and my tem­per­a­ture at some point reached 39°C. At this point, since my symp­toms were mild, I thought maybe I might have the com­mon flu.

I re­ceived my re­sults af­ter two days and they came out pos­i­tive. I was shocked be­cause I re­ally was not ex­pect­ing it since I had very mild symp­toms.

7. What was the next step af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive?

While in quar­an­tine I had a per­sis­tent headache that didn’t re­spond to the rec­om­mended

dose of parac­eta­mol (Panado). There was a pe­riod where I was ex­tremely tired so much so that I slept over 12 hours straight, even though I was not do­ing any work.

Also, one of the days I woke up with a pain in my lungs and it was un­com­fort­able to breathe. I had to sleep in a seated po­si­tion.

8. Do you feel there is a stigma around be­ing Covid-19 pos­i­tive?

Yes, at work there is a lot of fear. Peo­ple treat Covid-19 re­cov­ered co-work­ers dif­fer­ently. So there is still a lot of fear be­cause of a lack of knowl­edge.

9. What do think you would have done dif­fer­ently?

I think I might have got­ten in­fected while we were hav­ing lunch in our staff room. When we have lunch we don’t have our masks on [since we are eat­ing] and we don’t ob­serve the so­cial dis­tanc­ing rule.

So I think I would def­i­nitely change that be­hav­iour i.e. Keep

our dis­tance dur­ing lunch time and con­stantly sani­tise ar­eas where we sit to have our lunch or tea. In that way the chances of in­fect­ing oth­ers are min­imised.

10. Do you have any ad­vice for the gen­eral public?

If it hap­pens that you test pos­i­tive start by hav­ing a pos­i­tive mind, be­cause anx­i­ety does af­fect the heal­ing process and the abil­ity for your body to fight the dis­ease.

Eat healthy food and stay hy­drated. Wear your masks and stop mak­ing ex­cuses.

Wear it prop­erly; make sure it cov­ers your mouth and your nose.

On the day I was feel­ing sick, I made an ex­tra ef­fort to wear my mask at all times and the peo­ple that I was in con­tact with on that day tested neg­a­tive for coro­n­avirus.

So the rec­om­mended ac­tions to pre­vent the spread of the virus do work.

Wash your hands reg­u­larly, keep your dis­tance and dis­in­fect ar­eas that are fre­quently touched.

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