Health

I confused my sniffles with Covid-19, and the struggle was real

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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Covid-19 has been around for a while now, which is why every single time when we catch sniffles or suffer from fever, our minds run into a tizzy. That’s what happened to me recently.

“Oh, just rest it out” — this was a common phrase that was previously used when we came down with fever or sniffles. That is history now! God forbid, if you suffer from any of these symptoms today, all hell breaks loose. No kidding, such are the Covid times. The scare is so real that the virus seems like a nemesis of Voldemort — he who must not be named.

Well, with the new Omicron variant lurking around the corner (yes, it literally feels like that), our guards are up again. And amid all this panic and pandemonium, I was struck with sniffles and body ache. I won’t deny it scared me a little in the beginning; but I told myself to ‘chill’ (it was already freezing too!). “Just sleep it out, you will be good” — that’s exactly what I told myself, while sipping on a large mug of hot chocolate.

But to my horror, the next morning was worse. I woke up with a high temperature, a sore throat, body ache and sniffles — “Covid, is it?” — I hesitatingly kept asking myself, but I was too worried to blurt it out at home. After all, my parents are senior citizens and the fear is real.

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Is that sneeze covid-19 or allergies? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Overwhelmed with emotions

Trust me, Covid-19 doesn’t just impact your physical health, but also your mental state. Ever since the virus entered our lives, we’ve been living in its shadow, which isn’t the best situation. We are ridden with anxiety, fear, and panic, and it’s even more scary, when you know you live with elderly parents. As we already know, Covid-19 is known to have high transmission levels, and the very fear that I will impact my parents was troubling me. Let me be honest, I was going through severe guilt.

My mind instantly traveled to the time of the second wave, when there was suffering all around. I couldn’t help but imagine worst-case scenarios; such was the damage that has been caused to us. After all, we all lost some near and dear ones; let’s just say it all hit close to home.

So, my next 24 hours were spent recalling the number of times I socialised with my friends. I had also attended a few weddings in the last two months, and had travelled too. So it just felt like this was waiting to happen!

But after dilly-dallying enough, I finally gathered courage and told my parents that I felt sick! Within a few hours we decided to see a doctor. While she turned out to be reassuring and told us to calm down, these words were said, “if this doesn’t get better post-medication in 48 hours, get yourself tested for Covid-19.” Those words stayed with me all day and night!

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I have to take the test so I did! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The mental ordeal

The situation didn’t get any better the next day, even after popping a few antibiotics and gargling my throat at least a million times. So well, I had to face the situation and get myself tested. By now, I was pretty sure I am the newest victim of the virus, and I requested my parents to maintain distance from me. As someone responsible (or I would like to believe), I asked everyone who had recently met me to check for symptoms and get tested. Trust me, I scared everyone!

Also, read: Papad to glowing masks: 5 bizarre things you’ve heard around Covid-19 in recent times

Anyhow, the tests were done, and the wait to get the result was rather uncomfortable. It felt worse than an exam, because well, here you wanted to fail, and for good reason. The silver lining was that my temperature had come down, but again, I couldn’t be sure until the reports arrived. I rested it out all day, and took good care of myself. My mind was working overtime, and I am certainly guilty of that!

The D-day

And finally, the D-day arrived, and guess what? I tested negative. I don’t think I have been as happy in a long time! I texted everyone and told them about the good news. Let’s just say we all did a happy dance in our heads. The relief was all too real, and I couldn’t thank the universe more for protecting me!

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Battle against Covid-19 isn’t over! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

But if there’s one thing it made me realise: Covid-19 has altered our mental health for good! Never will be able to take regular sniffles for what they are. And god only knows the number of times we may have to shudder and shiver, before we can differentiate between the two!

Until then, the hit and trial game will continue!

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