Covid-19 Survivor speaks
. . . It’s not about being hospitalised
. . . I used home remedies
A Zimbabwean woman who has been living in the UK since 2004 was diagnosed Covid-19 positive 13 days ago. She talks to our Deputy Editor CHARLES MUSHINGA on the harrowing experience of trying to fight the deadly virus that has grounded the world, killing tens of thousands worldwide. She opens up on how she has survived despite having an underlying condition (asthma), how her husband also contracted the virus and the vast differences in their symptoms. The 37-year-old mother of two requested anonymity but her story is pregnant with life lessons on how to handle Covid-19. Read on . . .
CHARLES MUSHINGA: How long have you been living in the UK? Whereabouts in UK do you live and what line of work are you in?
COVID-19 SURVIVOR: I have been here since 2004 in East Midlands, Derby. I work at NHS, in the mental health sector.
CM: How did you learn that you have Covid-19?
CS: I started by having flu like symptoms. My manager referred me for Covid-19 tests and results came back positive.
CM: When were you diagnosed? Do you remember the dates?
CS: Yes, I was tested on the 4th of April and got my results back on the 7th of April.
CM: Were these symptoms bad? Did you suspect that you had Covid-19 or it was just normal work protocol for people with flu symptoms to get tested?
CS: No. The symptoms got really bad. I suspected Covid-19 even before I got my results back. It a different feeling, you will definitely know it yourself that something is terribly wrong. It wasn’t normal work protocol as they were not testing everyone at that time except special requests from managers for NHS front workers. So I was fortunate to get tested. My manager referred me right away because I have an underlying health problem (Asthma)
CM: Take us through the test, is it a blood test or something else?
CS: They take swabs from nose and right at the very back of your throat.
CM: Very deep into your nose? Is it an uncomfortable experience?
CS: The nose swab is quite ok they don’t go that far but the throat one is extremely uncomfortable as they have to reach right at the back of your throat.
CM: How do you think you were exposed to the virus, through work? Where you practicing precautionary measures to the best of your abilities?
CS: I don’t know where I got it to be frank. At work I deal directly with patients. We did not have PPE when the whole saga started because we did not have any supplies. I’m saying maybe I got it through work but it could be anywhere i.e supermarket, gym etc
CM: Did this change after you tested positive? Did they start giving PPE to your workmates? Was everyone at work and at home tracked and tested? Any positive cases that came through from supposed contact with you?
CS: When i tested positive i was so scared it made me feel more sick. They don’t chase you up but they advise to follow government guidelines to self-isolate until symptoms are completely gone. If symptoms get worse they advise you to call ambulance that is only if you are not breathing hahaha other than that ambulance won’t attend you. They advised me to self-isolate from my kids and use different bathrooms, cutlery, plates etc. As for PPE l, i have not been back to work for over three weeks now so I’m not sure what’s happening.
They tested my husband as well since he was exposed to me. They are not testing kids at the moment as they believe that they have stronger immune system and therefore can easily shake off the virus.