Kathakali Dutta is a second semester student of the Master of Communication and Journalism (Integrated) programme at the School of Mass Communication, KIIT Deemed University, Bhubaneswar.
The battle against COVID-19 requires a great amount of strength both on the physical and mental front. The disease has a multidimensional impact not just on the patient but also on their family members.
Similar is the story of Aayush Pathak, a 21-year-old from Uttar Pradesh's Budaun who is currently studying at Maharaja Agrasen College, Delhi.
Aayush started to identify with the symptoms of COVID-19 last month. He experienced high fever that ranged from 101°F -102°F along with body pain, and indigestion. On reporting these symptoms to his family doctor, he was suggested to immediately take a COVID test and soon enough, tested positive after taking both the antigen test and RT-PCR test.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, Aayush shared that his health deteriorated drastically and even older injuries had started to resurface. The family, with limited financial capabilities, had to make several arrangements to deal with the crisis that had struck home.
"The real issues were faced by my parents. We're from a middle-class family and both—my sister and I had tested positive. So, we were isolated on two separate beds and my parents had to spend 20 days on the couch. They had to do everything for us, plus the extra COVID-precautionary steps as well," Aayush recalled.
He narrated that his pet dog had also gotten affected by the situation, "The period was very dark for my little pup. She and I are very close and I used to feed her daily. During the initial days, she stopped eating and started puking as well. We were pretty worried about her. It was a huge task for my parents to get her to eat without me."
Aayush faced challenges in keeping up with the online classes due to the drastic grasp of the contagion. He could not continue his usual study-schedule for at least 10 days. "I had quite a few assignments and tests lined up in the period, but owing to the utter weakness, I was late on submissions and wasn't able to attend any online classes for 10 whole days," he told The Logical Indian.
However, Aayush was extremely disappointed with the government's way of handling the cases. He shared that they had been promised 'COVID kits' consisting of medicines and other supporting equipment but nothing was made available. His parents had to make all the necessary arrangements.
When asked about his diet, Aayush stressed on the importance of a healthy diet during the recovery process and recommends consumption of milk, dry fruits, fruits including pineapple and pomegranate in the morning. He said that he took to gaming and learning Adobe Illustrator during the period.
As the days passed, he could soon feel that he was overcoming the illness. Though not at a very rapid pace, the weakness was wearing off, and he started having urges to eat food and was regaining his sense of smell and taste.
"To be honest, I wouldn't say that I've finally recovered yet. I mean, the symptoms have gone, but the weakness has stayed. My legs and arms are still not able to do function as efficiently as they used to before. I get tired easily and the fatigue really takes away the joy of doing the little things," he added.
Lastly, he said despite taking precautions and not stepping out he was infected with COVID. So, during such times, positivity had played a crucial role in strengthening his fight against the virus and in recuperating.
"I never went out and still caught the virus. When my reports stated that I was COVID positive my initial thoughts were 'Okay, let's stay calm and try to think happy thoughts. This is just a normal fever; my immunity would help me recover quickly. I can handle this.' And honestly, those thoughts helped me beat the virus."
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