MY COVID-19 EXPERIENCE: The Isolation saga

Here is the episode 2 the series ‘my COVID-19 experience” the isolation saga.

Click Here To Read The First Episode

It was the first day of the isolation at home and it felt like a good day to be at home, to rest from work pressures and get rejuvenated. However, there was this subtle feeling of fear that I could not put out easily despite my attempt at self reassurance through reading one of my books “Positive Thinkers Ability”, my 3rd book actually which I published over 6years ago.

The calls from colleagues were comforting but those who had contact with the patient were obviously scared. Behind their “yes I am a doctor, I was trained for this” was the sound of the voice of fear. Many of them primarily were not scared for themselves but for wife, children, siblings and more so aged parents whom they had come into contact with.

My COVID-19 Experience: The Isolation saga

For me what were my concerns?
My worries bordered on few things which included but not limited to being in the spotlight. The reason why this was possibly going to happen was that the case in question was one of the “first” few recoded within coordinate (I will leave it at this). So is it expected that the search light will beam on the contact tracing. Although the message remained if you have any symptoms suggestive of COVID, report to any nearby hospital or clinic, the only centres managing the disease at that period were government owned facilities and they were few

Secondly, I didn’t want to discuss it with my family. Each time they called, I would tell them I am good and that work is fine without mentioning that I was on isolation at home.

As a standard organization with top notch priority for safety and care, laid down processes for reporting as it were, was already done by the hospital and handed over to the government agencies involved. The other needed steps were already taken and all contacts from the reception, the nurses, the laboratory scientists and technicians and the doctors who had contact with the index case were asked to self isolate while the occupational health department monitored everyone involved.

For the period the isolation lasted, someone from occupational health unit would call and inquire about symptoms, how I am fairing, any concern? and vital signs, at least temperature. They provided thermometers for those in isolation although I had mine – 2 thermometers which I was using. I felt being stocked and I usually do not like being pitied so what I did was to record my vitals and send it each morning to occupational health via text and add no symptoms. With this, they don’t need to call me.

One very important factor was the creation of a whatsapp group by the hospital’s management where everyone who had contact with the index patient was added so we could communicate. Some of the directors and head of department were also in the group to encourage everyone. This was a welcome development as it made everyone in this saga feel not alone.

Of particular concern was the panicking I noted in most people. While the doctors were a bit relaxed, others could not hide their fears and it was obvious in many of the communications on the group.

Note, until you experience something that limits your movement, you may never appreciate freedom.

I was alone at home and had food, there was light and I could see so many movies and do other things but the fact that my movement was restricted bored me seriously.

About over a week or so into the isolation period, the issue of testing us all for COVID was raised and it was agreed on. This was to help decide whether we may need to return to work or complete the isolation duration. This further heightened the fear for a lot of the people.

The fear was based on what could happen if one’s result was positive. That would mean being taken to government center where COVID positive patients were being treated. As at then, only a few functional facilities were available and many believed they were I’ll equipped.

Date for the sample collection was fixed and we all looked forward for it with uncertainty.