An interview with a recovered COVID-19 patient from Hospet.
Hospet.online interviewed a young COVID-19 patient from Hospet, Ballari district. Aditya (Name changed) shares his experience to help people know more about what’s happening behind the walls of quarantine.
How are the tests done?
How does one feel after being tested positive?
What is the situation in government hospitals?
How fast can one recover?
What to do when someone is tested positive?
Read on to find the answer to all your questions.
Hospet.online: How do you feel and what made you take the test? Did you have any symptoms that made you visit the test centre? Or did you do it voluntarily? Aditya: It felt like I have a normal cold or fever. This was something different like having heavy fever but there was no temperature. I am not sure about the medical terms, they call it fatigue or tiredness, I don’t know… The symptoms I had was cold, tiredness and body aches.
Hospet.online: Did you have cold symptoms like regular cold and flu symptoms or was it something intense? Aditya: I didn’t have a runny nose, but I was sneezing a lot. It started from cold and eventually turned into tiredness. I didn’t have a sore throat but it felt like I had a throat infection and muscle aches
Hospet.online: What did you do when you had these symptoms? Aditya: I took paracetamol and some antibiotic. I was in touch with one of our family friends who is a doctor and is in the front line working to help patients recover, he is on COVID duty. I asked for his advice, I took the medicine for about 1 or 2 times and I was doing well. But then after 2 – 3 days, I completely lost my smell and then, taste. So that’s when I figured that something was wrong……
Hospet.online: So you couldn’t smell anything at all? Aditya: Nothing at all… even the strongest of the smells. Hospet.online: Perfume? Aditya: They are far mild when compared to hand sanitizers, I have a Dettol hand sanitizer which is very strong when you keep it close to your nose. Hospet.online: So you couldn’t smell that? Aditya: Not even 0.1%
Hospet.online: Okay, so how about now, you are in the stage of recovering, are you able to smell it now Aditya: Actually I got it back in 4 days gradually, and I can smell everything now, but it was gradual. And I read somewhere that for some people it takes a month or so.
Hospet.online: What about taste? Were you able to taste food? Aditya: No.. no.., there was loss of taste but it is something that we wouldn’t attribute to COVID because whenever we feel sick, it is normal, we lose taste because of medicines. That is not the actual symptom of COVID, so even if you feel sick and if you don’t have COVID, there is a high chance that you can lose taste, but losing smell is a completely different feeling.
Hospet.online: How did you feel when your test results came out? Aditya: The reason why I did my test was not because of my curiosity or anything. I have elders at home so I wanted to be isolated and I wanted to stay away from them, as they had medical conditions. For that purpose, I voluntarily went and gave the test.
Aditya: In smaller towns like Hospet, people are really not that serious, they are not taking it seriously. Hospet.online: You mean, they are not willing to take the test voluntarily? Aditya: No, when we say to be completely away from us, they don’t take it seriously, they think that it will go away.
Hospet.online: If we were to guide the people to voluntarily take this test, how easy is it and what are the steps you took to get through the process of giving a sample and then waiting for the samples. Could you please give a bit more information on that? Aditya: This was on last Monday so it’s been like 10 days since I gave the test, I decided and I went to the 100-bed hospital where there is a fever clinic. It was around 10:30 and I was first or second in the line. What I felt was that the staff or the medical team were overwhelmed with people coming there. They were attending some cases inside the hospital and they didn’t have anyone, so we had to wait there for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. They did thermal scanning, pulse check and then they started asking about the symptoms, so if they don’t feel like these symptoms are related to COVID-19, then they would prescribe some medicine and ask them to leave. But there is no such guarantee that you don’t have COVID if you don’t have the symptoms. When I told them that I lost my sense of smell, they jokingly told that YOUR’E DONE.
Hospet.online: So you mean to say that the symptom of losing the sense of smell is a confirmed way to tell that someone has COVID-19? Aditya: Yes, this is after the other symptoms, and I read somewhere, but I’m not sure how accurate this is. I read that losing the sense of smell is one of the symptoms and this also indicates that you’re recovering really fast.
Hospet.online: So, if somebody loses the sense of smell, its the symptoms of recovering? Aditya: Yes that’s what I have read, they lose their sense of smell entirely, because the body is fighting with the virus.
Hospet.online: Ok please tell more about your visit to the test centre. Aditya: I didn’t like how they were acting very funny about all this. ‘Laughs’ but anyway that’s a different thing
Hospet.online: Maybe that’s quite common for them and not for you so they may have taken it lightly. Aditya: It felt like they were taking some time out and taking it lightly. But it didn’t really feel right. To quote what he said “mugitt nin kelsa” …. “smell hoita?.. mugitt nin kelsa” (“You are done… You cannot smell? You are done”) That was not funny for me ‘Laughs’ One or two people were in front of me but they sent them back since they had no symptoms. Whereas for me they could detect all the symptoms, so they advised me to go to the next counter and there they were taking samples with the swabs through the nose and mouth. And the collected samples were put in safe storage to be sent to Bellary. There are 2 types of tests, PCR which is the most accurate one and is time taking, and the other one is Rapid antigen test, which his faster. When I was there, a person came to the hospital in an auto and was losing his breath as he came towards the clinic. Considering his condition the doctors conducted a Rapid antigen test. Whereas if someone is healthy with mild symptoms then they do the PCR test.
Hospet.online: How long did it take to get your results? Aditya: I gave the sample on Monday and I was casually checking arogya setu app on Saturday. I didn’t get any SMS, call or notification. I had to check the app to see my report. I wouldn’t know that I am positive if I had not checked the app.
Hospet.online: Did you carry on with your daily routine while waiting for the results? Or you were isolated? And were you given instructions to quarantine yourself? Aditya: There were no instructions given to me and I am sure its the same for everyone. After giving the samples, everyone is roaming freely around the city. I think it’s our responsibility to stay isolated, so since the day I gave my test, I am totally isolated. Even now I am restricted to one room. And I want to do this for 3 weeks at least. I am doing this for myself and others, I record myself to reach out to the people I know. I think the authorities are having other serious cases to attend to as far as I understand so I don’t blame anyone.
Hospet.online: What happened next? Aditya: The people around me told me that I will be taken to some medical facility for isolation and treatment. I was prepared for anything but I didn’t receive any call. But on Sunday someone called and told me that I was tested positive, which I already knew through the app on Saturday. They told me that a medical team may come or may not come.
Hospet.online: Do you have any idea how the medical team decides who to take to the hospital and who to keep quarantined in their own homes? Aditya: From what I understood from the person who called me is that they asked my age and if I have any medical conditions. And I also know that Ballari had a huge number of positive cases in recent days so they had their focus there.
Hospet.online: You mean to say that the medical team is concentrating more on patients having serious symptoms and elderly patients? Aditya: Yes, some serious symptoms like breathing problem and if they have no option they tell them to be isolated. Like, I have a separate room for me here. So I think maybe they are taking those people who do not have the facility to stay isolated from others.
Hospet.online: What happened next? Aditya: A few people from the municipality came and sanitized my home and they are doing it once in 2 days now. And then they put some sticks around my house.
Hospet.online: Are the people from your home allowed to go out and move freely? Aditya: Nobody asked us to do so, but we are all at home, we don’t go out.
Hospet.online: Is the overall testing process free? Aditya: It is free.
Hospet.online: Even though its free people are not coming forward for testing? Aditya: Yes I have spoken to so many people and yet they think that they can come out of it on their own like how they get cured of normal cold or fever by taking paracetamol. But that’s not the case with COVID
Hospet.online: What medication are you taking now? Was it prescribed by the government? Aditya: No one actually told me to take any medicine, and I am not taking any medicine since 10 days. But before that, I had consulted a family doctor and he had guided me.
Hospet.online: Will it cure by itself? Aditya: When I had a cold, tiredness and body aches, I took medicine for 2 or 3 times and that’s about it. After that, I am doing fine so I am not taking any medicine.
Hospet.online: Were you able to trace the source of your infection? Aditya: I came from Bengaluru to my hometown (Hospet) to spend time with my parents. I don’t think I got it (COVID) in Bengaluru because after coming here, I didn’t go out for around 10 days and I had no symptoms. And I got the symptoms after the day I went out here (Hospet). I don’t know if it’s because of that. I think its a community transmission thing now. People are not wearing masks in Hospet. They are not really serious. I am on my terrace now for my daily walk, and I can see people roaming out carelessly without masks.
Hospet.online: Do you think that the government is taking enough measure to fight against this virus? Aditya: Ummmmm… Ya… But… Except for the medical team reaching out proactively to me, everything is fair. The only thing that I think would have been better was if there was some dedicated person to carry out the different tasks. For example, when they had called to tell me that I am positive, I don’t think that it was a medical professional. I told him that I don’t have any symptoms but he told me to take an antibiotic called ***** for 7 days. He told me “nimd body yalli iruva virus satthogutte” (” The virus inside your body will die”) ‘Laughs’ I am proactively reaching out to them and asking them things. He told me that from the day of being tested as positive, I need to be at home for 17 days and on 18th day, I have to visit someplace for testing. What surprises me is that they are asking us to go over there instead of them coming here or safely taking me to the testing centre.
Hospet.online: What message would you like to give to the people of Ballari? Except for wearing masks and whatever we already know. Aditya: It may sound very repetitive, but apart from following this basic hygiene, social distancing and wearing masks. I would urge people to go out only if it’s really necessary. We keep hearing things about people attending marriages attending parties and roaming out for no reason.
And for authorities, I think they should come home and test. Because, if someone is not having good immunity or having any medical conditions they wouldn’t risk that. So I would request them to do the testing at home for the people who cannot risk going out.
And also after spending 17 days in isolation, the authorities should come to the house instead of calling the patients to visit the medical facility.
What if people are still infected after 17 days? so it’s not a good idea to ask people to go there (medical facility)
When I had been there for testing, people were wearing their masks with their nose open, or around their neck.
I have also read somewhere that our phones have more germs than the toilet seat. I think people should precautions here too since kids at home use the phones to play and then touch their faces. So it’s a good idea to disinfect your phone regularly.
I hope people are more careful
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