Surviving COVID-19 and the life after

The World is Temporarily Closed letters

Parul Chhaparia

“In the past few weeks, the infection has made me realize a few things that I never appreciated earlier,” said Tarika Dudi, who lives in Gurgaon city in India.

The second wave of coronavirus in India was a catastrophe. It not only overwhelmed the healthcare systems but also made a majority of the population think differently about life after they survived the pandemic. speaks to Tarika Dudi, one coronavirus survivor in Gurgaon, India. Tarika shares her tale about surviving, the isolation period, and the life after.

Life was going fine until I found I was Covid-19 positive. The minute that lab guy told me I was positive I choked and could not even respond. In my head, I was constantly asking, “why me”? The only relief I had at that moment was that my husband had tested negative.

 We came back home with the test results. I was scared to death. Had been hearing about the deadly stories about the state of coronavirus patients all over the country. I was not sure what would happen if the symptoms become severe.

My husband kept me strong. We started connecting to the doctors and started the treatment immediately. After two days, Rajender (my husband) started showing symptoms too. We got him tested again. This time he was positive. I felt like the earth had moved beneath my feet. I was more scared for him now.

The conditions outside were terrible. People were struggling to get beds and oxygen for their families. We had not yet informed our families as they stayed in another city. The uncertainties over the unavailability of hospital beds, medicines rose to their peak. 

Picture of Tarika Dudi a Covid-19 survivor

The conditions outside were terrible. People were struggling to get beds and oxygen for their families.

Tarika Dudi, Covid-19 survivor from India

Who is going to take care of us (we as we are living away from family)? What will our family go through when they get to know about our condition? What will happen to us now? Would we even survive or not?

Thankfully, the symptoms didn’t become worse. In a couple of days, our condition started to improve. I am not sure if it was due to the medicine, the virus, or the fear, but I was getting depressed. I felt so low that when I used to sleep at night I was not sure I’ll see the next day.

Hearing about the conditions of people around us made it worse. We felt more and more scared with each passing day. On the sixth night, I had an anxiety attack. I could not breathe. I felt I was not going to make it and this was the end of me. However, I survived somehow.

Those fourteen days were the hardest days of our lives. We ate food, took medicine, and slept all day. Rajender always tried his best to keep my spirits high. But I felt very depressed. I started questioning everything. God, life, what if we did not survive, what happens to all our plans?

After 32 days of struggle, both physically and mentally, we got the test done again. This time we were negative. However, mentally Covid-19 was not ready to leave me yet. Whenever I recall that time I get goosebumps. That handful of medicines every day, that feeling of losing control over the breath, I feel that anxiety again.

Though the situation outside has turned a little saner now and the number of cases is reducing, I see a lot of us not following the pandemic norms. Some of us are back to acting normal, even as the fear of a third wave is knocking at the door. It makes me more anxious.

I still get those anxiety attacks and feel sad and low at times and often have a mental breakdown. I get paranoid and scared each day. Even after two months of recovery, and being back to my routine, I don’t feel the same as I was before the infection.

 Things that helped in recovery were the unconditional support of my husband, a healthy diet mainly fruits and nuts, lots of rest, and medications under the supervision of a doctor.

 In past few weeks of infection has made me realize a few things that I never appreciated earlier:

    1.   The sense of taste and smell things.

    2.   Ability to breathe without any problem.

    3.   Ability to do all my work/chores without any help.

    4.   Not giving up on life.

    5.   Listening and connecting to the body. Take proper rest and sleep. The body recovers more when you take proper rest.

    6.   Be kind to yourself. Be brave.

    7.   Reaching out to friends/family and helping them as much as possible. It is a very hard time for all of us.

 Getting infected with Covid-19 does not mean just that infection, it comes with many more complications and lifelong side effects. Now with the second wave, it is accompanied by many new fungal infections where the mortality rate is very high and again there is a shortage of medicines. Patients are dying waiting for particular injections.

 We have lost too many family members and friends due to Covid-19. It’s really hard to accept the reality and feel that guilt that we couldn’t help them much.

The government could have managed this condition more efficiently, equipping hospitals well in time. Also If people had followed COVID- appropriate behavior then the situation would not have gone this wrong.

 The same mistake is now being repeated by people after the lockdown is over. There is the same traffic jam, no social distance, not wearing a mask properly, which will soon lead us to the 3rd wave!!

 So please try to stay home and if not possible, follow all precautions..!

 try and keep this stupid virus out of your life..!

Über Parul Chhaparia

Parul comes from India. She has worked as a business journalist for over nine years with many English publications in India. Here she works as a content manager with a tech start up. She loves to write about people, culture, travel, business and anything that piques her curiosity.

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