Covid 19 aka Corona began in March with India under lockdown and everyone taking more than extra precaution. K was the most paranoid, me taking it seriously and N being more intrested in news and the why, how?

March, April, May passed off quite quickly, K dabbled with new menu, N took to cooking all over again and Mom wanting to control and organise, since everybody was at home. But she was closeted in her room, because at 84 and her constant illness maladies we did not want to take a risk.

Having suffered and gotten out alive from ‘Swine Flu’ my immunity had been shot to hell. And hence was likely to be more suspectible. But Dr. Mankeshwar a dear friend had put me on vitamins and immunity pills last year, the course which got over in January. And then called me for a checkup at JJ Hospital which was quite revealing but that is for another story.

Finally against our wishes, poor company needs me so N resumed on June 1st and attended till the 13th, coming back tired. On 13th she felt a little feverish so took a parcetamol and went off to sleep. Next day was no fever, and quite fine. She decided to take rest, and asked the GP for cold and bit of cough medication. The entire week passed off quite quickly. To resume office, they asked for a fitness certificate, off we went to the GP. During the weekend, she had lost her ability to smell and so told the GP accordingly and GP noticed a bit of breathlessness, so said lets get basic checkup done. But we insisted and got her certificate for Covid test.

Calling up Subarban, and then uploading the documents, finally managed to get a slot for 23rd June early morning.

During this period mother had been constantly talking about body ache, and wanting to change medication, which is a norm with her for the past 30+ years. Finally managed to get an appointment with Dr. Sheth at Kokilaben Hospital and off we went.

Upon checkup she was pronounced fit, and asked to walk a little which has been a sore point for decades, and also tweaked the medication a bit, adding hi powered and expensive vitamins.

Next day was 24th June and N was fidgeting about her report, which was 48 hours away.

25th June – We get a call at 10 am from BMC, asking for details and confirming: N was tested positive and then other questions such as

  • How big is your house?
  • Do you wish to go to the hospital or stay at home?
  • Is there somebody to take care of the patient?
  • How many other members?
  • Schedule their test immediately

Answering all of the above and more, shared the information with society committee which swung into action. Our floor was locked down, BMC came and put up the notice outside the building gate.

During the afternoon, another call from BMC about sanitisation of the house. They came at 7 pm, completed their task, gave instructions and left.

The three of us called for a test at home, which would happen next day. In the meantime, Mom fell down and everybody had to chip in to cart her on the bed. Problem of concussion etc was negated by the doctor, and in extreme circumstances we could take her to the hospital emergency.

Next day tests taken and by evening results came – K and mom were tested negative; and given that I was with N in the same room for the past 15 days, we presumed it would be positive and come the next day.

Post dinner, going thru mails, realised that Subarban had not updated my email and hence the report which was Negative was sent to my Gmail account 🙂

Then the marathon began: K locked us in our room; she would get up early, make tea, and go back to her room. At around 9.30-10 am I would take that to N and milk to mom. Light snacky stuff – Thepla, idli, khakhara, juice, milk was at 1.30-2.30 pm. Medicines and then K would cook evening meal; a couple of days we got friends dropping it off; ordered some cook at home stuff also. Then she would go back in, N would have the food and I would disinfect the entire area.

K and N would change mom, wearing gloves, mask and disinfectent because by then she had decided not to get up, or eat or watch TV, and practically stop speaking.

Watching movies, reading, cleaning, talking on the phone was how N and me spent time.

WFH, Cooking, Dishwasher, Clothes washer, Jhadu Pocha outside was K’s responsibility and she had to be forced to take a pain killer once in a couple of days.

During this time, there were multiple calls sharing how Ayurveda and Kadha will help or some new tablets. Google, Instgram, FB also got into the act with new age brands offering medication.

N stuck to the 5 day course of antibiotics and HCQS whilst K and me had 1 day of HCQS and then vitamins for five days and then 30 days for all of us.

Finally on the 6-7th day sense of smell was perfect and then the fidgeting started. BMC said there is no need for test once 14 days are over but N was adamant that she wants the test early; so getting the certificate from BMC and then following up with Subarban was more exhausting for me. She was tested again on 7th morning and by evening it was confirmed that it was negative.

BMC removed the board, the AC guy could come and repair 🙂 and Life slowly started inching towards new normal.

N began work from the 13th July 2020. Some learnings.

  • N was asymptotic positive; and many are tested similarly, but they are considered Positive based on the tests.
  • For 1 tested positive there are 9 which slip away.
  • The first 4 crucial days, if there is no fever everyone ends up ignoring. In case of fever also paracetamol or similar is prescribed by GP or self medication and used.
  • Many or most GP do not want to issue a certificate that will allow the test to take place.
  • A family of 4-6 means ₹ 20,000 as Test charges, which worries many.
  • Post this hospital charges etc
  • The Middle class believe it is spreading from the hutments; however they do not follow the basic principles of Mask, Distance, Disinfect.
  • BMC is quite good, particularly in K west ward and the support was excellent. Calls, WA were constant.
  • It is treated as a “SOCIAL STIGMA”. Many acquaintances called and spoke as if everybody had died. A couple of them disconnected when I shared news. Security refused to help bring medicines etc. Society though made different arrangements.

Anyway it was a learning for us. Following the basics, being positive, help and assistance from friends and the well wishers across media.

Written by AD
ex waiter, angadia, travel agent, dotcomer, dukaandaar, marketeer, people watcher. appreciates single malt, food, friends