5 COVID survivors share their recovery stories

·Contributor
·17 min read

India is about to enter the third wave of COVID pandemic, and experts quoted the coming wave to be “more dangerous”. 

But the good thing is, for the last few weeks, India was able to maintain a recovery rate of 95 percent. 

Although there’s a chaotic ordeal everywhere, there’s a sign of progress with recoveries too. 

Speaking to a few recovery patients, here are some of the “recovery stories of hope”.

1) Tripti (Radio Jockey)

Tripti, a 28-year old RJ from Lucknow got infected with Covid-19 around the end of March 2021. She surmised that the virus got infected from her father. She narrated the incident too. One fine day, her father wakes up with a fever, and post-check up it was found that he was tested positive.

RJ Tripti  back to her normal life with an open smile
RJ Tripti back to her normal life with an open smile

“We were shit scared, because he’s almost 60 years old and he has diabetes too. By the time his symptoms started showing, we were together, doing chores for him, I kinda knew that I was in close contact with my father. Although his symptoms were mild like fever, fatigue, he was home-isolated, but after 2-3 days I had fever, runny nose, and fatigue are some of the starting signs of my coronavirus” says Tripti on how she was infected with the virus and her initial symptoms.

Five days into the fever, later, she wasn't able to drink water. She wasn't able to sit for 2-3 seconds. Being a chaiholic, she didn’t even feel like drinking chai (tea). Her close friend used to drop medicines, fruits and veggies. “I was drained out completely. My father recovered by that time, where he followed everything religiously like taking steam, ayurvedic medicines (giloy and ashwagandha tablets for immunity), but I was worsely affected and started dehydrated”, states RJ.

During her first two weeks of covid-recovery, she had faced a lot of distress with her health. “My face became pale, I lost weight, my lips dried, my eyes popped out, and I got skinny within those 7-8 days”, added Tripti.

We asked about the feeling when she was caught with the Covid-19, she said, “That was the lowest point of my life. I can still feel that feeling. I was so “weak”. No energy to even get up and sit. I could not even open my eyes. I was lying down.” She further added, “I remember it was 2 or 3 at night. I thought I was gone. I messaged my close friend about it. Now that I joke about it, laugh about it, but that was a low moment.”

Tripti’s recovery took 3-4 weeks. She shared how she recovered from the virus. “Sleep is very necessary. The more you sleep, the more you get better. There was a ray of hope I was hung on to. My family kept me sane and they supported me in every way.” Her friend used to get the electoral sachets and her brother helped her in completing drinking it. “Mann na bhi ho, finish it in 3-4 hours”, she quoted her brother. She got better by following the routine for 4-5 days.

During her recovery, she consumed several fruits like pomegranate, watermelon, and all the foods that have water content. The worst part of her recovery was loss of smell and taste. “It took almost a month for me to get it back and start tasting. I was scared that I would forget how things used to taste. I still doubt that it’s not the taste that I used to taste, things used to taste, before I had COVID” asserts the Lucknow RJ. Slowly and gradually, the sense of smell got better, “but it doesn’t feel the same though” says Tripti.

Positive note from Tripti: You can always rely on your family for support. For those people who are, whoever is there in a situation, their family members are affected or contacted with virus, please be there. Your support means everything, more than the medicines, more than the diet, more than the doctor’s treatment. That will make a difference.

2) Rubin Patel (Artist & Creative Director)

Rubin, 35 years old, hails from Ahmedabad. By profession, he’s an artist and creative director. His works involve paintings, murals and sculptor works. Rubin was infected with the virus on 23rd April 2021, during the second wave, a time when there was a spike in Covid cases. It was on 23rd April, at 3 am, Rubin woke up and he felt sleepless. After two hours, he felt even worse. His first symptoms were vomit, followed by fever.

On the same day, he and his wife got tested. “We both decided to get tested as we are in close contact and in the same house so it is safer that way. She tested negative and I tested positive. We took the RT PCR done too”, says Rubin. When asked how he got infected with the virus, he said, “Two days before I got infected, my partner was already suspect, he also got infected by a virus, as we were working together. So, I presume, I got Covid from my worksite”.

His wife, who’s a psychologist, helped him during his recovery process, both mentally and with household chores. About the recovery, Rubin consulted his close friend who is a doctor and showed the reports. “Before starting the covid medicine, and after getting the reports, my doctor suggested that we take a blood test. So that we can know that infection ratio. That was a very smart move. We took blood tests on the 2nd, 3rd and on the 4th day. I was home-treated, and constantly used to monitor the body temperature and oxygen levels. I was treated with antibiotics and supplements” Rubin added.

Rubin during his recovery
Rubin during his recovery

On the 6th day, he lost his taste, which lasted for another 4 days. He recovered on the 12th day, and the very next day, he took the antigen test, like a rapid test at the govt facility, followed by an RT PCR. Finally, he was tested negative. “After 24 hrs, the report came and I was negative. On the 15th day, I had quit my isolation mode, but subsequently, I was in constant touch with the doctors. In the span of 15 days, we took 4 blood tests every 3 days.

When asked what was the feeling during the recovery, he replied: “In the first few days, I refrained myself from social media and news, as it involves so much of similar stuff related to the virus. So that I can focus on my health. It hits your emotional and mental health as well. It does have emotional and mental breakdown. It does make you think about things which are missing. And if things go worse, it'll make you think about your family, etc. It has also hit me and one has to think about it. My wife being a psychologist, she helped me and motivated me in the process.”

For the whole recovery, it cost him INR 20000. It took him 15 days to completely feel free from the virus. Apart from medicines, he said that he used to take steam for a healthy recovery. Hope is one thing that he was hung to while recovering. He also reminisced about his past tragic incident from 2013, where he was badly injured and was in bed for the whole year. So his friends reminded him that he had recovered from something worse before, so that uplifted him from the pain during the virus, and got him back to his feet, as he quoted his friends.

Positive note from Rubin: "Today" is the right time instead of waiting for the right time. Go with the flow. There are things that are beyond human reach. But you have to do what you have to do right now, which is in your hand and in your reach. Do things which are in your reach. Just focus on yourself while you are recovering. Please do not Google, only talk to medical professionals instead. Only take their suggestions.

3) Marilyn Sanjana (Architect)

Marilyn Sanjana, a 24-year old from Andhra Pradesh got infected from the Covid-19 on 18th May 2021. Her dad started getting Covid symptoms, and got tested on 16th May 2021. After a couple of days, Marilyn got infected with the virus. “It was my dad who got affected first. And I got it from him. He went to a nearby town for some work on the 15th or 14th of May 2021. We are suspecting he got it from there”, says Marilyn.

The first symptom Marilyn got affected was loss of taste, followed by headache and fever. Later on 19th May, her mother and brother got infected with the virus too. At a later stage, the symptoms turned worse for Marilyn’s mother and brother, as the virus affected their lungs. They consulted a pulmonologist in the city. The tests, CT scans, medicines, and consultations cost them about a lakh.

Luckily, none of them had the need to get admitted to the hospital. Thankfully, Marilyn got the required help and moral support from her friends, family, and volunteers, especially to cope with her mental health. “Families who were in close proximity helped us by sending us food. Some helped financially. Some families who weren't in the city gave us moral support. Prayed for us. The volunteers helped us by coming home and taking samples for the tests every now and then. We had to repeat the tests frequently. It really helped us because we were not healthy enough to drive around”, shares Marilyn.

Marilyn during her second week of recovery
Marilyn during her second week of recovery

Her family doctor guided them with the medicines throughout their recovery. “The cough and weakness still appears for all of us now and then. Eating a lot of healthy food like milk, nuts, boiled eggs and fruits everyday. And taking steam everyday, drinking hot water regularly, taking steam 2-3 times a day, doing the lung exercises advised by the doctors including the spirometer and all really helped us in the recovery. Mainly a lot of good vibes. Staying away from watching the news and staying away from social media helped with mental health. Constantly talking to our loved ones has also helped us a lot”, says Marilyn about her recovery.

This all feels like life has given another chance to live to the fullest. When asked on the same, Marilyn replied: “I've definitely realised the importance of people in life. Eating healthy is one thing I would do to make my life much better. And refrain from going out unless completely required. Also, I would request people to stay safe at home, and continuously remind them how life-threatening this virus is.”

Positive note from Marilyn: I would request all those who get recovered from covid to spread the news rather than keeping it among your circle. People need to know that “people” are recovering. They need some positivity, if they are going through it. Someone's recovery can be a great boost to your mental health, and for someone suffering from Covid-19. So, I request recovered people to use your social media to help others out there with their mental health condition.

4) Ayandrali Dutta (Journalist, Guest Faculty at NIFT)

Ayandrali Dutta, a 42-year old, hails from Odisha, but now she’s residing in Noida. She’s a journalist by profession and a Guest faculty at NIFT. She was affected by Covid-19 around 20th May 2021. It all started with a slight itch in her throat. She used to get fever only during nights. She had almost lost her voice along with too much coughing and could barely talk. So, without any further thought, she took the meds. On the advice of a doctor, she got a few tests done and later got it reviewed. “Thankfully it didn’t cost me a bomb but it was somewhat around INR 8000-9000/-, including the tests.

Thankfully, her situation didn’t get worse, but the pandemic is such a horrendous thing that not only affects your inside, but also takes away your calmness within you. So was the condition of Ayandrali: “I must tell you that this virus kills you both emotionally and physically. The body felt terribly lethargic and I didn’t even have the energy to make a cup of tea. The pain of not having anyone close to you is just something beyond words”.

Ayandrali back to her normal life after recovery
Ayandrali back to her normal life after recovery

On the road to recovery, she lost 5.5 kgs of weight. Her friends and well-wishers kept on checking on her by sending meals. “There were friends who would drop meds, cash or anything that I needed and would leave. This whole process in itself seemed pretty disheartening. I had totally stopped any news site or even watching any reels that were around the same. I held on to my hope and positivity and trust me music really helps”, she added.

However, she kept on checking her O2 levels on a regular basis. “When I was finally tested negative, it almost felt like I had won a big battle. I have gone back to doing what I love the most- cooking and now I cook and send meals to those who need it the most. The chain of kindness need not break”, asserts Ayandrali.

Presuming that life gave a second-chance to live to those who recovered, when asked the same, Ayandrali replied: “I surely know today that second chances happen and one needs to embrace them. I have become extra careful with hygiene and sanitation and even make sure that I eat right. I have kinda decided to keep my meals mostly homemade and surely focus on something called savings”

Positive note from Ayandrali: Don't forget to share your feelings with people. Be honest with them. But make sure these are people who help you, challenge you, and who don’t let you sit in it. Appreciate small things around you, and a little “shukr” and a lot of “sabr” is what we all need.

5) Vimi Singh (Entrepreneur)

Vimi Singh, a 51-year old lives in Delhi. By profession, she’s an entrepreneur, and runs a home decor store at Market Lodhi road under the brand name of Navya. She’s also heavily into motosport. Vimi got infected with Covid-19 on 31st March 2021, and that too after 24 days of taking the Covidshield vaccine.

Being an asthamatic patient for quite a long time, Vimi said, this was a miracle, as the vaccine somehow pulled her out of something unimaginable. Because, corona sorely damages the condition of lungs, but in Vimi’s case it was the opposite, where she hasn't faced any sort of issues with breathing.

Well, it all started when her 90-year old mother who lives with her had a mild fever and congestion. Despite being very cautious, the virus found its way and affected her mother first. “I used to sleep in my mother’s room, to take care of her, because she needed that care, and I was a prime caregiver. Later, I had a mild cold because I'm asthamatic. I thought it was again due to some weather change”, says Vimi.

Vimi, along with her friend who visited from Chandigarh, took her mother to the hospital in an ambulance for a quick check up, and when the results were out, it was found that she was Covid-positive. “From the moment they announced that she was covid positive, it was like a rollercoaster ride. This friend of mine who sat next to me gave me a sanitizer and said this has such a lovely fragrance, but I could smell nothing”, said Vimi. Other Covid symptoms Vimi was affected with are high fever, loss of appetite, and joint pains.

“This whole tension and stress of my mother getting it was already so devastating and then we got back home, got an RT PCR test done for the whole family. My whole family was tested negative, but later, I started having symptoms like fever, cold, and loss of smell. ”, shares Vimi on how she found that she was infected with Covid.

Vimi with her late mother
Vimi with her late mother

Luckily, Vimi did not lose taste, but her loss of smell stayed for 10 odd days. She said, “My vaccination saved me, because every single doctor told me that if I got COVID, it's gonna be terrible because of Asthma. I was also told that maybe it is because of my vaccination that something is kicking in and it's protecting me.

After a few days of treatment at Moolchand hospital, on the 12th day, Vimi’s mother passed away, and this virus confusion in the family became so stressful for her to handle everything at one time, both mentally and physically. “I was dealing with the agony of losing my mother slowly and myself being down and then worrying that my husband, my son, and the friend who was visiting us are all positive, so we isolated ourselves”, says Vimi.

When a person gets infected with Covid-19, the kind of feeling he/she gets in their mind is definitely worse than imagined. So was the condition for Vimi too. About the feeling, she replied: “When I got the virus, the only thing I was more scared of was dying alone than anything else and believe me when you get it, there is the feeling that you're going to die. The feeling is not that you're going to recover. The first thought that comes to your head is "Fear, oh my God, I'm going to die. I've got it."

She further added, “My first feeling was very mixed with sadness and helplessness and fear. It felt like you've come out of hell and back. Neither can anybody come close to you nor can you go to anybody. No one can help you. You're doing your own thing. Yeah, you're dealing with your own issues alone inside a room. It was a very lonely time to spend it. You don't feel like talking to anybody. I didn't feel like having useless conversations or anything to fill myself up.”

Thankfully, Vimi’s husband supported mentally during her recovery. “It took almost a month to recover. The recovery happened through medication only. My husband kept on telling me - steaming kro, gargle kro, garam paani piyo - that's all I was doing. I don't know how much it was helping me, but after every 15-20 minutes, I used to feel scared and used to do some steaming and gargling. He was the only person who helped us with cooking food, cleaning, and making sure we were getting everything needed”, shares Vimi about her recovery.

Speaking of hope, she said, “I think anybody who's strong minded, and all these things that people tell you, like to stay positive. That’s a little hard to do. Because, you know your body is just giving up and you’re scared. So, there’s little to do and be positive in that condition. The only day my fever went away, on that day I had hope that I might get better.”

Finally, Vimi believes that this is a second-chance to live. On that aspect, she quoted: “If nothing else, I feel that bonding with your family and friends is so much more important than working hard and getting a business going and making money. I definitely want to focus on better health and living each single day to the best that I can, every single day is a new life for me. I'm going to enjoy every single day that I get and I'm going to be as much help as I can to anybody who needs me.”

Positive note from Vimi: I'm sure we can survive. I'm sure we are all not going to die. I'm sure if we take care of our health we will be able to fight it. Only if we are careless, we may hit rock bottom. If everybody supports each other, it will get you through, because even the doctors still don't know what the hell is happening here.

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