A question that I asked when I heard about the virus and the pandemic and a question that I still ask, even after being asked by my doctor to be a plasma donor.
Wondering what this is all about?
This is my journey from being a COVID-19 positive to a COVID-19 plasma donor.
Before we start let’s go back to how we are born. When the ova and the sperm combine they just form one cell. How is that from that simple cell, an entire complex, an intelligent human being is born, with bones, muscles, ligaments, brains, neurons, lungs, heart, and so on?
A Belief – Your body has been designed to heal. It already has all the knowledge and tools on how to heal and take care of itself.
Being a health freak, I am way into workouts and building the right lifestyle for myself. And I rarely fall sick, other than the occasional fever. Also, let me add I am not into media of any sort for the past 6 years. Hence I am always completely unaware of what is happening in the world. However, with COVID-19 being all round it was hard not to hear about it.
The first things I heard made me think so this is just viral fever – fever, cough, body ache, headache, and so on. What is so special about COVID-19? Answer – people are dying. I checked and there are about 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh people that die every day across the globe, due to various reasons. The death rate for COVID-19 didn’t look high to be. It is less than 2% of the people tested positive. So why are everyone and even the government panicking for that matter?
Came to Mumbai (home) on 23rd May 2020 and my younger sister was pregnant and I encountered the COVID-19 paranoia for the first time. Due to the pregnancy he paranoia for me was weird and at an all-new level. Everything was sanitized, even family members didn’t hug and masks every time we go out and washing hands and legs even you take 2 steps outside the house.
My sister delivered on 21st July and was back home from the hospital along with my mother on 23rd July. Around the 1st of August 2020, I developed a fever and is tagged as part of my PMS or worse case viral fever. The fever was gone within a day and within 3-4 days I was perfectly all right. However, post that my mother started getting lethargic and was sleeping the whole day and not eating for the whole day at times. On insistence from my sister and the doctor we got her tested for COVID-19 along with the rest of the tests. She was positive the next day and we all panicked. The doctor was called. The doctor came home and gave all of us some medicines. All the doctor did was give mom some injections, antibiotics and supplements and supplements for all of us
Doctor’s charges = Rs 4500/per day.
Meanwhile, and the pathology center had already informed the BMC. And the endless calls from BMC started.
In the panic mode, we all got ourselves checked. We all tested positive except, the 7-day old kid.
Panic mode on.
The first doctor kicked out and a new doctor brought on board. We all were completely normal,. I was working normally and even managing the house, as there was no one else to do it. This includes cleaning the house and cooking meals for everyone. What changed was the attitudes of those people around us. We were avoided like untouchables.
And then comes BMC into the picture. Since we were all asymptomatic, home isolation was approved. Between my mother’s test results and the other test results, there was a difference of 2 days. So as soon as my mom tested positive, they came home and would not enter since they are scared. Then BMC sent some staff to sterilize the whole house. Mom was supposed to be isolated in one room, with a bathroom attached.
When we all tested positive the isolation was impossible for 4 people in a 2 BHK. Initial calls from BMC the whole of the first day and even calls from BMC doctors. To the extent that they insisted that my dad, who is 74 years old, should be admitted only because of his age.
Panic mode off. Brains are functioning again.
Why should I admit my dad when he is perfectly fit and fine and even two doctors have not suggested him getting hospitalized? They finally gave up when the doctor signed a letter, taking complete responsibility for our health. Banner put on the gate that this is a restricted zone. Sweepers asked to stop coming for garbage collection. And we have to go down and keep the garbage near the gate. Now since house help is not allowed, we decided to order tiffin services and had to go down to collect them.
Every day at least 2 calls from BMC – one IVR and one a detailed call where every day we were asked if we had any of the multitudes of the symptoms and it were all isolated separately. Calls, which lasted for almost 10 mins. The way they asked about the symptoms for 10 days, with no reference to calls made the previous day, it had me wondering that I could practically imagine that I was having the symptoms.
What did the second doctor do? Nothing, Stopped the antibiotics by the previous doctor. Supplements were continued. Our O2 saturation and pulse were measured 4 times a day. And after 14 days, we were declared COVID-free. Some of the people I know still treat us like untouchables. The calls from BMC stopped after the 10th-day in-home isolation. And my doctor has now asked me – if I wanted to become a plasma donor. As per my doctor, the fever a week before meant I was symptomatic and I am still fit and fine – meaning that my body has now developed enough COVID-19 antibodies.
My question still exists – What does being asymptomatic mean? How can you have a disease and your bodies not fight it? Fever is not a COVID-19 symptom. Fever indicates that there is something in your body that is not meant to be there and your body is fighting it. Yes, AIDs is one such disease that acts as it is part of your body and your body doesn’t realize it exists. However, the behavior of AIDS is the same in all cases while COVID-19 symptoms seem to be changing every day. What kind of virus adapts so fast?
Another question – today COVID-19 has become a business for doctors and hospitals and there is extensive news about tests having loopholes and even tests being incorrectly positive due to the high charges by the doctor and the hospitals. Also, when I went to get my test done, there was a mix-up in the personal information of my sister and me. Also, the non-seriousness of the staff at the clinic makes me doubt whether there is any truthfulness in the test.
Lets now come to the BMC, I do understand the concern; however questions –
- The house sterilized on the first day when the infection has just been detected?
- Isolation means not moving anywhere outside. However, due to the restrictions placed by the BMC, we were forced to move outside our home.
- The BMC doctors never called after the first day. Only calls were made by associates that were more interested in reading a script and completing the call, then being interested in the actual well being of the person.
- No support of any kind was provided.
We all know that COVID-19 is all about IMMUNITY. Do we know that STRESS reduces your immunity levels? The constant calls and the actions by the BMC only added in creating more stress for us rather than anything else. This just makes the possibility higher of me being sick.
I met a laborer the other day that works at the various government sites. He told me that tests are conducted and they are always negative. They are given supplements by BMC. Such people who are taking the least care of their immunity are detected NEGATIVE.
Back to my question in the beginning, what is COVID-19? How did we all get infected despite so many precautions? What was the solution? How and what did I do that helped me develop anti-bodies to become a plasma donor?
Questions that will probably never be answered.