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I TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

I have found it hard to make this post because of the stigma I have seen some people face when people around them know about their status. But if you are reading this, then I have found the courage to share in order to help you mind your safety.

So, some of you know that I am a teacher and of course when schools were closed, for us we were already equipped with an online platform to carry on with the teaching. This kept me occupied most of the time and helped me deal with the anxiety of what would come next. So I was home and mostly inside the house. I was very afraid of corona. The few times I went to the shop to pick a few things, I would shower the whole body because I felt washing only the hands was not enough. For 5 months, I was home teaching, eating, sleeping, watching tv and repeat cycles. I started gaining some weight because online teaching had me sitting a lot in front of the computer so I started exercising inside the house. Even when private transport means were freed, I still couldn’t find the courage to leave home. Ndabika nze eyasinga okutya korona.

Fast forward, we were to start the new academic year at school so we had to go back for first week meetings. This was the first time to officially leave home. I was even shy you people. I felt like a virgin again. I made sure my hand sanitizer was first in the pocket and face mask. I even made sure the money I had was charged already to avoid people giving me charge when I paid for anything. I was avoiding people getting too close to me, I obeyed and observed social distancing for sure. I took a taxi. Lemme skip…….

On Wednesday (19th August), I had a Covid-19 test sample taken from me as it was my workplace’s policy before we resume work after a long stay home period. I waited for the results and on Saturday night at around 9 pm, the HR called me and said, “Douglas, how are you? Where are you?” I didn’t know what to reply because this was a call from an official person beyond office hours. Then she said, “Douglas, you tested positive for covid-19!”

(silence) 

There was a moment of silence for some time. I froze in the chair, I lost appetite for the dinner I was eating, I started shivering, I wanted to vomit, urinate and pupu at the same time. A montage of positive patients I had seen on tv since March started running in my head. In my mind, it felt like a week-long of images but all this was seconds. Then I heard the lady call me on the other side of the call and I got out of the trance I was in. My heart was beating faster than Cheptegei’s after that 10,000m world record race. The house was shaking in my mind and I was breathing fast uncontrollably. 

Then she said, “So what you are going to do, pack a bag with some clothes because the ministry is coming to pick you up!” This thought even made it worse. I started imagining myself being taken by those guys in white protective suits into the ambulance. Banange…….! 

You may ask where nalongo was. Well, she was seated in the chair opposite mine and she stared at me all this time. She saw all the transitions on my face since I picked up the phone until I hung up. After the call, I told her, “THE RESULTS WERE POSITIVE!” She froze in shock but at this moment I was personally stronger and I told her all is well. She touched me to feel if I had any signs that were talked about on tv but I had none. 

All this while I didn’t have any fever, cough, sneezing (okwetyamula) etc. I was very fine. She started packing my bag so that we start waiting for the call from the ambulance to ask me where my home is. We waited from 9.30 pm to 11 pm when we decided that we go to bed and if they called we would pick. I have never had such a long night you people. Ohhhhhhhhhh, I was restless, I was dreaming yet was not sleeping. The bed felt like it had thorns in it, the ceiling seemed like it was falling on me, I started seeing the coffin men standing in the corner kwegamba, buli kimu nga tekikola sense. I spent the night trying to track where I might have picked this covid nigga but all didn’t make sense at all. I imagined how I had kept myself safe since March and then after all that, I am a victim…

Finally, it was Sunday morning. I woke up and sat next to my bag in the living room waiting for the call. I kept chatting with HR about any information but she had none. She told me to keep home until they call and indeed I obeyed. The day was slow but time moved of course and evening came and night but I had not been called about being collected. So I started thinking, I am not one of those badly off patients. 

Now the following day our new online teaching term was resuming and I had been told to plan my lessons then give them to another teacher who would cover me. When I saw no call coming in, I told myself, “Daaga you are on your own!” HR got in touch and they organized a pack of medicines (Vitamin C and other immunity-boosting stuff) recommended by a certain doctor and they sent them to me at home. I was told guidelines to follow for feeding (fruits, vegetables etc) and also steaming myself (lemon peelings, eucalyptus leaves/oil, mango leaves, menthol ointment) twice a day. I started doing these and still nothing like signs or symptoms came. I felt I had been given wrong results.

I was sent a number of someone on the frontline team to call them and tell them about my status and I did. They gave me a number of someone in charge of Wakiso. I called them and the dude told me that the ambulance team was going to add me to the list of people to be collected the following day (5th day since my results returned) and I agreed because I had no choice. However, my biggest worry was, how will it appear to the people in my neighbourhood when they see these MoH come to pick me up? Wouldn’t they send me away from the village? So I started thinking about nearby places I can walk to with my bag so that the ambulance doesn’t come home. And I had a place in mind. 

Following day, I called the guy and he told me that the ambulance was coming so I was ready. I waited you people, as if for the second coming of Jesus but waaahhhhhhh…..nothing came obudde nebuziba! I gave up nenkita! I continued with my online classes mu bitiibwa. BTW what I had not told you, I moved to another room and nalongo stayed in our bedroom alone. This went on for a month.

In the 2nd week is when I found out the truth about the virus. I started getting fevers every night. I would spend most of the night feeling cold, uneasiness, sweating, stomach ache etc. I knew something was not right. I consulted the doctor and he told me to keep on the medication as we monitor the situation. I kept a positive mind and believed that all would be well. I was feeding well, taking the medicines and exercising. Then another thing happened! I started feeling very high temperatures only around the chest. I thought it would go but it stayed, and next, the symptom spread to the hands from the wrist to the fingers. Temperature was high in those 2 areas. This bothered me so much, I couldn’t have peace of mind. I thought the virus was eating or burning up my lungs, liver and heart. I told the doctor about this and it was weird to him too. He said, “I don’t know what has caused that. Do you drink too much coffee or energy drinks?” and my answer was a NO!. He still told me to keep on the medication. 

Meanwhile, it was 2 weeks since the first test so I had to retest. The Covid team from Makindye drove and came to my home to take a sample. We waited for the results for over a week and into 2nd week, they called and said that the results were lost between the lab and the results place. This was funny but true. My workplace helped me book another test after a week which I took. This was a month and 1 week now since the first test. I was feeling ok and healthy by the 3rd test until I was called and told that I was still positive.

I was bothered, what was not right? The other people who were on the same medication as I was given had healed after 3 weeks longest. The doctor told me that it was time to add something on the list and chloroquine it was. I had to take it for 5 days together with vitamin C, steam and eat fruits and any immunity-boosting foods. It was not cheap banange. Because I had to teach online during the day, I would take the medicine at night just in case I may get side effects it wouldn’t affect my online teaching. After 5 days, I got stronger and by the 2 nd week, I was now thinking of how I was going to get a test. 

I got in touch with the guys who had come to test me from home and they took my sample. I waited for another week for the results because I wanted to return to work. I was tired of the house and missed my daughters because the long lockdown found them at their granny’s. Guess what……..the guy called me and he sent me the results, I was negative! I had recovered! I had not died! I had not gone on ventilators! I had not gone to hospital! I AM COVID-19 FREE after almost two and a half months.

Why am I sharing my story and experience? I don’t want you to go through what I went through. I was lucky to have a very supportive boss who was understanding to buy me medicines and also keep checking on me and, in addition, my salary was coming every month otherwise I would not have managed the immunity-boosting diet. The stress that comes with knowing that you have the virus is a lot. You can’t know until you know you have the virus. Your strength and faith is tested my dear. Yes, anyone can get infected (I don’t know how i got it) but don’t be careless by not wearing your mask. not social distancing, not sanitizing etc, it’s deadly. Actually people have died from this thing and I am lucky I am alive to tell the story.

KEEP SAFE. WEAR YOUR MASK. SOCIAL DISTANCE. SANITIZE/WASH YOUR HANDS. PLAY YOUR RESPONSIBLE PART & LEAVE THE REST TO GOD (IF YOU ARE A BELIEVER).

I hope this helps you be more careful. I am back to work now and I am fine!

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