The COVID-19 pandemic is a year old. The World Health Organisation termed it a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, nine weeks after the new coronavirus sickened people in Wuhan, China. Since then, the pathogen has travelled far and wide at an incredible speed. It’s become the plague of our times and has killed more than 2.6 million people and infected 120 million more.
A month after WHO’s pandemic declaration, I contracted COVID-19. That’s despite taking every possible precaution. I went to ridiculous extents, sanitising everything that came into my house. That included currency notes. My only weekly trip outside was a grocery run, armed with a face mask and gloves. The coronavirus evaded the firewalls and entered my system.
Why vaccine defence is vital
I was lucky. Incredibly lucky to have walked away with only 10 days of high-grade fever. There was some fatigue. But there was no loss of smell or taste. No nausea or diarrhoea. The only hospital trips were for the PCR tests. I kept a doctor friend updated on my health. His comforting words and prescription of paracetamols and lots of rest helped. And he asked me to drink plenty of water.
I drank jeera water (boiled water infused with cumin). But we always drank jeera water at home, except when we are too lazy to boil some. The rest were home remedies passed on by my father: steam inhalation and saline water gargle. This holds good for any upper respiratory illness. I also sipped hot chukku kappi (traditional ginger coffee) in the evenings. There’s no coffee in it. All you get is a rather bland taste of dried ginger and some jaggery. I didn’t complain; anything to beat the virus.
When the first anniversary of the pandemic rolled in, my tryst with coronavirus has become a memory. But today, I’m more prepared, having had both the doses of a vaccine. In another two weeks, my immune system should be fully primed to fight off COVID-19 attacks.
The variants are a worry. They are the ones causing the reinfections. But then my body is better prepared than last year. So even if I catch coronavirus again, the infection should clear in a few days. But I’m not ready to take any chances. So I follow the safety protocols diligently: masks, hand washes and social distancing.
There has been some slackening of safeguards at home. Not all foodstuffs get the turmeric treatment, but we continue to wash salad vegetables in a salt and vinegar solution. But no more sanitiser shower for water bottles and currency notes too are spared. And I no longer wear gloves to the supermarket, but I sanitise often when I’m in public spaces.
How to prevent cabin fever
I had been stepping out a lot more till early this year. I have curbed my movements yet again. But as a family, we visit malls once a week and eating out too. The restrictions in shops and restaurants have been very reassuring. The trips have been liberating and have helped keep out cabin fever.
But we haven’t been meeting friends and relatives. The socialising can wait. At least for another year. Maybe, when the second anniversary of the pandemic comes around, we might be in the mood for some company. Till then, my family’s the best company.