Enduring Coronavirus

18 March 2020

I am in London when my travel agent from Pakistan calls me up at 6am and urges me to get the next flight back to Lahore as airports will close down in a day or two. With a sense of panic, I told him to get me on the next flight back to Lahore. I had to say rather quick goodbyes to my family in London and head off to the airport.

3 hours at Heathrow airport. Am frustrated I had to cut my holidays short.

7 hours to Abu Dhabi.

8 Hours layover at Abu Dhabi airport. The madness and rush at the airport is making me realise that this panic and fear over Coronavirus is a real thing.

3 hours to Lahore

After a total of 21 hours, I am finally back home, all exhausted and tired. I am home alone now as my mom is still in London. I hate that I had to cut my holidays short. But in a way it’s good I came back because my flight was one of the last flights into Lahore before they shut down the airport. No more air travel for the time being.

20 March 2020

It’s been two days since my return. I was settling back into my routine, and was catching up with my cousin. He just told me to take my temperature as a precautionary measure.

So I get out my thermometer and two minutes later, I check the reading.

The mercury inside went up to 102 F.

No, that can’t be right. I reset the thermometer and take my temperature again. It again said 102 F.

I feel like I may have contracted the disease.

Naah, it can’t be. I don’t have Coronavirus. Like every other person, I went into denial.

23 March 2020

Four days since my arrival.

The symptoms show up now.

Intense coughing– and most times it hurt me.

Body aches– the worse kind. Painkillers aren’t helping me.

Temperature fluctuating between 102 F and 103 F.

Slight breathing issues- where I had to force myself to take deep breaths in order to get oxygen inside fully.

Slight loss of taste – though at the time it didn’t feel like I lost my sense of taste.

My uncle, who is a doctor, had prescribed me panadol, to be taken after every six hours. This only had a mild effect on me- my temperature would come down to 100 F, but then would climb back up to 102 F and at times to 103 F.

For my cough, I was taking steam and warm water with honey to kill the dryness and itchiness.

Don’t panic is what I was told. It was hard to not panic. Will I die?

25 March 2020

I am taking a medicine that is supposed to help me fall asleep. But every time I get up, I feel woozy and vulnerable. Every negative news would hit me hard. It feels like as if my mind has opened up and is sucking in all the news coming in- whether it’s on Facebook, on the TV or online news. I feel like I am going to die. People are dying everywhere. The numbers flashing on the screens shows the number of death increasing by the day.

My temperature isn’t coming down. What the hell am I supposed to do now? I am totally alone in my house.

The only thing I look forward to is the food being delivered to me from my aunts. Chinese. Steaks. Pizzas. That’s my highlight for the entire day. I eat when I am stressed out. I am gaining weight. I am reading of how people are losing weight due to corona, but I am the opposite.

26 March 2020

I am sick of Netflix. There is only so much I can watch. The news is depressing so I have decided to not watch that. I want to start reading but don’t have the energy. My temperature is still 102 F. Body aches are still there. Coughing has intensified.

But I am getting desperate. I am in a fight or flight mode now. Do I fight it out or give up? I don’t want to die. So I decide to fight it out. I start to read up on how people are battling coronavirus. I make a mental note that I have to get through this. This is not the end of my life. My clients are waiting for me to recover. I have a purpose in life. I need to fulfil that purpose. There is a reason why I was put on earth. That reason needs to see fruition.

I started taking lots of Vitamin C tablets, along with fruits. I need to build up my immunity now. I need to fight this out.

28 March 2020

I had a bad day today. I felt like I was going to die. I cannot cough anymore. I coughed too much. The whole day and evening, I’ve been coughing. There is nothing to cough out. I feel like my insides are going to come out with each cough. The cough is now coming from my belly. I think my lungs are going to come out.

I had my blood test taken yesterday. I had also arranged for the nurse to come home and test me for corona. The blood test results came out today. Everything is normal.

I am scared to get my Coronavirus test. What if they come and take me away to the quarantine center? I don’t want to spend time at some government facility. I’d rather stay home where I am in isolation anyways. Lots of horror stories are being circulated about what’s really happening at quarantine centres.

I get a call from the hospital. The nurse can’t come. Due to lockdown, they are not allowing movement in my area. I sigh with relief.

I had started exercising few days ago. I climb up and down the staircase. I walk outside in my garden. I don’t feel like doing it, but I am forcing myself. I miss my gym workout sessions. I wish I could go outside but Lahore is under lockdown. Everything is closed.

30 March 2020

I had another bad day today. I think I am going to die any day. There are moments during the day when my entire life flashes by me. All 40 years of my life are condensed into a montage of few seconds. I wonder what it would be like to die? To be resurrected? To face God? I feel the need to call everyone up and say my goodbyes.

I also find out today that COVID-19 is actually COrona VIrus Disease 2019.

1 April 2020

I feel like Jack Nicholson in the movie The Shining. This isolation isn’t doing me good. I haven’t told a single person, except for my aunt and uncle. that I am sick. I didn’t want anyone to panic. Since I am not meeting with anyone, nor am I allowing anyone to come visit me. It feels very weird to not meet a single person.

Friends call me. Family calls me. I talk to them. But I don’t disclose. I refuse to do video calls because I look really messy.

It’s been nine days. They said to isolate for fourteen days. Each day feels too long.

4 April 2020

Today was a bad day. While in the shower, my coughing went insane. I coughed and coughed and each time it became louder and louder. I was exhausted now. But the coughing just wouldn’t stop.

6 April 2020

I take my temperature for what feels like a hundreth time, and much to my shock and disbelief, my temperature is 100 F.

It’s NOT 102 F.

Something must be happening? Is the coronavirus dying? Have I produced enough antibodies?

8 April 2020

It’s been sixteen days. My temperature is back to normal. I take my temperature throughout the day. It’s normal. My body aches have also gone by now.

10 April 2020

It’s been eighteen days.

I see my clients online. I am back to work. I don’t feel hundred percent but I feel a lot better. The coughing has subsided a lot. The aches have gone completely. My sleep has been restored. I am on the road to recovery.

I also venture out. I go grocery shopping. I go to the bank. It feels so amazing to be driving now. I am loving the empty roads. But it also feels weird to be wearing mask and gloves. Is this what life will be like now? Is this the new normal?

To Be Continued…..

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