The world we are experiencing today is ‘Corontined’; quarantined because of the Novel Corona virus, Covid-19. One can sense panic, uncertainty and disturbance at social, emotional and physical level. Terms like social distancing and home quarantine have become frequent in most conversations. I would like to share how the current chaos impacted me personally and made me aware of the do’s and don’ts for the coming time.
Recently when a close friend and colleague was diagnosed as Covid-19 positive, all hell broke loose at our childcare centre. Rounds of rumors were reaching my smartphone via Whatsapp, messages, images and calls. People were so scared and impatient that no one paused for a moment to verify the information. ‘Select’ and ‘forward’ was the only protocol followed. Ours being a childcare facility, teachers, parents, Montessori students, all felt like world was collapsing and everyone is dying. Thankfully, at least some of the parents and teachers chose to have faith in the official updates I was periodically giving.
As a responsible citizen, I handed over a detailed list of our staff and Montessori students to NMC authorities, because we all had come in direct/in-direct contact with colleague who had tested positive . From the next day we all started getting calls from NMC workers on a daily basis and were being asked about any symptoms that we might be having. None of us had any symptoms. Later we were asked by NMC officers to get ourselves tested regardless of any symptoms or not. Half of our staff dutifully went to GMC and got themselves tested. The next day the remaining of us went to GMC and we were ordered to get admitted. We were also told that unless the reports are published, we will have to stay in the ward no 25 of GMC. It came as an unpleasant surprise for us, since spending hours and hours locked up in a GMC general-ward was unthinkable for us ‘elite’ ladies.
In the first hour after admission, everyone was fearful. Gradually we started to observe the doctors, nurses, asking us for tea, the sterilium hand sanitizers place between beds, the squeaky clean floors of the ward, the emergency equipment lying around, the dedication of the warrior crew in the form of nurses, ward boy and sweepers, who were putting themselves at risk every single day to keep the society normal and healthy. We felt comfortable and thankful to this wonderful GMC staff members who were doing their duty diligently. Soon we were cracking jokes, laughing, chatting and accepting the day as it was unfolding. We decided to fully cooperate with the staff and fight this situation together.
By evening we realized that there was a long queue of test samples and it could take days together for the reports to come. Cases from Yavatmal, Chandrapur had also started pouring in and priority was now given to the symptomatic patients. We again started getting restless at the prospect of spending the night at GMC and greeting another new batch of people to be admitted the next day. All of us were asymptomatic. New people coming for test meant new uncertainties. Therefore, we decided to request that we all be relieved and to be allowed to follow home-quarantine until our reports are ready. This was easier said than done since the staff was not sure about what protocol to follow because of the evolving situation. Finally, after lot of discussions and getting guidance from top Govt. officials, we were given permission to go home and follow home-quarantine. After a couple of days we all got the good news that all of us tested negative! We are happy and thankful, but have decided to still follow home-isolation till 14th day from our initial contact with our positive colleague.
Both from my personal experience and from what I read, I am happy to see that Corona virus spread is being handled by the Government, the doctors and the hospital crew in a very thoughtful and meticulous manner. I appreciate the NMC workers calling all of us each day to ask if we have developed any symptoms. Bengaluru airport called my husband almost daily to check for any symptoms he might have developed after his travel 20 days ago. I sincerely appreciate the relevant administrative bodies, the bureaucrats, the Superintendent of GMC, and the medical officers for the extensive effort that they are putting in to #flattenthecurve and keep the pandemic in check and under control.
I appeal to all the citizens to have faith in our civic authorities and Govt medical personnel and follow social distancing for the coming month. The graphic explains how the disease spreads. It is our responsibility for our family members, our loved ones to keep them safe and disease free. If anyone has tested positive for covid 19, all the family members and close contacts may need to be tested and go through all the ordeal that we went through.
Following are the insights that I gathered during my ‘Corontine’
- Government hospitals are not too bad after all. Much care is being taken to keep the wards clean and hygienic.
- We must cooperate with the civic bodies as much as possible so that we win the war with the virus
- We should be very proud the way India is handling this pandemic.
- Social distancing is the key. It needs to be taken very seriously and it cannot be underestimated.
- Do not panic, have patience to verify the information from authentic source and refrain yourself from forwarding unverified and false news, images and information.
- Keep washing hands, be mindful of what you touch and remain alert at all times.
- Use this home-quarantine to spend time with family just like the good old days, eating homemade food and realizing that staying at home is a blessing.
- Find happiness in everything you do. Even if you happen to be positive and are recovering, rejoice! You are well on your way to recovering and developing a certain measure of future immunity against the virus.
Psychologist, Founder of Toddler Creed Child development centre