Sam & I connected through our Living Corona Positive Instagram account. Her story is similar to mine in that she must have picked up the virus while travelling overseas. Upon returning home to Johannesburg, South Africa, she did what was advised at the time - self-isolate if you'd travelled in the last 14 days and get tested.
Similar to me, Sam did not at all suspect that her test would come back positive. The "Coronavirus" was more of a story at that stage and a foreign concept we heard about happening in China which was too far from our reality for us to take seriously or possibly think it would "happen to us".
Sam, thank you for this piece and being willing to share your journey and story with us.
MY COVID-19 EXPERIENCE
Before you read any further, I just want to express (and particularly for those who are not fully appraised to Coronavirus) that this is a VERY real thing, it does not discriminate between age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or anything. It is rife and will only spread like wildfire if we do not take action now. Right now, is the time that we need to come together as a nation be resilient and fight as one. I probably should have posted this a few days ago, however uncertain to how people would react, either with fear or support, I have understandably been delaying these posts.
What was a once in a life-time mom and daughters’ holiday quickly turned into a situation that has been filled with uncertainty, fear, confusion and a big black hole of the unknown. After our trip to Europe we thought we would do the most responsible thing, and all go into self-isolation upon our return to SA. We made an appointment with our GP and went to get tested for the Coronavirus. My mom and sisters’ results came back relatively quickly, and both tested negative, however mine took a gruelling 5 days. My GP called and the words uttered from her mouth were “Your results came back and they are positive”. The moments that followed are quite a blur as the thoughts of “Now what? How sick am I going to get? Who could I have possibly passed this onto?” all ran through my head. This was soon followed by a phone call to my mom to share my results. My mom reassured me that I would be just fine and that I would be able to beat this. From then I received calls from my GP’s practice, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases and the Gauteng Department if Health. All of them were checking in to see how I was doing and as expected, asked me to fill in some forms. The main question was who I had come into contact with. Well, I obviously had contact with my immediate family and a few people who had come around to my house. They all went onto the list and everyone on that list was contacted to see if they had experienced any symptoms. At this point I think it is only fair that I commend the NICD and The Gauteng Department of Health on the superb and extremely professional job they did in not only getting my line of contact list but also to see how I was feeling. Their service and continued follow ups are appreciated and extremely commendable. The reality had finally dawned on me that I was now a statistic to include in the ever-increasing number of Coronavirus cases in South Africa. As I watched the news, the statistics increased day-by-day until the decision by our honorable president, Cyril Ramaphosa, to put South Africa on a 21-day lockdown. This seemed to be accepted by most, however there have been a few mutterings of, ”it won’t affect me” or “I won’t be able to catch the Coronavirus”. Please don’t for a moment think that anyone is immune to this virus. I personally support this decision whole-heartedly as I have first-hand experience of how ‘invisible’ the Coronavirus is and how contagious it is.
there have been a few mutterings of, ”it won’t affect me” or “I won’t be able to catch the Coronavirus”. Please don’t for a moment think that anyone is immune to this virus.
So, I am sure many of you are wondering how am I feeling? Well to be honest, I am feeling alright actually, surprisingly. I have had a sore throat that comes and go’s and have had a headache and sore neck for the past few days. If these are the only symptoms that I experience, then I will certainly count myself lucky. However, I know that I am not out the woods just yet and continue to be mindful of what I am eating even though food stock and variety is limited. Getting food has actually been a nightmare since I can’t leave the house and Woolworths and the likes next home delivery slot is only the 16th April. Nevertheless, Thrupps and Farm Fresh Online came to my rescue and I now have a fully stocked fridge and pantry. There are many things that we take for granted on a day-to-day basis and this can be as simple as going to get an ice-cream or a take-away coffee, which have all opened my eyes to enjoy the small things in life. However, the one thing that I have missed terribly during my isolation is not being able to see my family, to hug them and just being in their presence. It’s is my gran’s 80th Birthday tomorrow (29th March) and we won’t be able to celebrate it with her.
This 21-day lock down period will either make or break this virus. If we stick to the rules (i.e. no unnecessary trips to the shops, going for a run or popping into a friend for tea) we will certainly be one step ahead of it. The Coronavirus does not play games, and neither should we. We must all take this with extreme concern and seriousness Take these 21-days to relax, reflect and enjoy your own or your family’s company. Catch up on things you have been putting off for so long, read that book you have been wanting to start, bake that cake you haven’t had the time for or start a mini gym routine in the comfort of your own home. We cannot fully predict the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic but for now take all the necessary precautions and help contain the spread of the virus. My thoughts go out to all of those who are fighting this virus and their families and more importantly to those on the frontline. You are there for us and not a second of your work goes unnoticed. Please keep safe and healthy.
If you'd like to follow Sam's personal blog, you can find it here: Blogger: This is Me...
If you know of anyone else who has tested positive and might want to share their story with Living Corona Positive, please contact us!