Wednesday, 18 May, 2022

My Brush with Covid-19

Nasih Ul Wadud Alam

How Did I Get Covid-19? Although I received inoculation twice, the Omicron variant entered my nostrils to send some confusion around my body in one fine Saturday morning on 15 January 2022. I woke up early in the morning. My lungs were itching, and I started coughing infrequently. I had breakfast and went to a bazaar to buy groceries. Even while doing bazaar, I was not feeling 100 per cent right. There was something in my mind which kept telling me that I had to return home as soon as possible. I did so. After returning home, I took shower. I was feeling feverish and had to take medicine. After sleeping, I felt better.

The next day I went to the office. After coming home, my fever spiked and my cough got so terrible that I started fearing the worst. For the next three days, my fever continued thereabout. I could eat well and did not have any loss of smell. Upon my family's insistence, I consulted a doctor who prescribed me the rapid antigen test. I had my test done, expecting a negative report. In the interlude, I drank tea with my wife in the hospital canteen.

When the unofficial report came out positive, I was slightly taken aback. True, in course of time, the realisation starts to sink in. A couple of days later, I started wondering why I caught Covid-19, while none of my family members and many people around my neighbourhood and workplace have not yet been afflicted with. Why me?

Why Did I get Covid-19?

1. Not wearing a mask all the time.

2. Attended a private ceremony where nobody maintained social distance.

3. Not washing hands frequently enough.

4. Not behaving well with people. Became arrogant.

5. Not taking Covid-19 seriously enough.

6. Probably, it is just bad luck.

Mental Dilemmas of a Covid-19 patient

A) Becoming Judgmental: Being in quarantine is a mentally challenging battle. It is not easy living in isolation for a couple of weeks. Let me bring an analogy here. A smoker wants others to smoke. Similarly, a Covid-19 patient might want others to catch Covid-19, too. At least, I want to hear the news of people suffering as much as I am. Do not judge me wrongly. I am just speaking my mind here.

B) Work-related Concerns: All of my colleagues are great souls. They have made inquiries about my health. My dean, Professor. Quazi Mostain Billah has always granted us leave whenever we wanted. He makes inquiries about our health whenever we miss office due to ill-health or home-related concerns. I will always be indebted to him. Despite receiving all the amenities, deep in my heart I feel that I am letting down my colleagues by taking so much leave. Not popularly known for taking much leave, I have ended up taking a week off already. That bothers me. It also inspires me to get well soon in order to recapture the lost days. Following the government's decision, our university will be going online from 23 January 2022. It is a welcome relief for me. Alas! I will miss interacting face-to-face with my colleagues daily.

C) Loss of Energy: One of the effects of Covid-19 is losing your energy. For that reason, it is important to drink plenty of water and sleep well. Many people suggest doing physical exercise. I am a lazy Bengali, so do not expect me to walk right away. I will take my time before getting into exercise. Walking is my only and favourite exercise. I need to do a lot more to revitalise myself.

No matter what people say, never take Covid-19 for granted. It has a lovely way of biting your back. Prevention is better than cure when it comes to this deadly disease. Even if you are cautious, the Delta-Omicron variant can catch you off guard. You could be 100 per cent cautious, but still the virus could enter your body. At the end of the day, Covid-19 is endemic, and it will not go away any time soon. Therefore, we need to stay in quarantine when infected and go back to work when free from it.


The writer is a lecturer, department of English, Chittagong Independent University (CIU), and assistant coordinator, CIU Creative WritersClub (CIUCWC)