Dubai: As of April 13, global COVID-19 cases have crossed 1.85 million and the novel coronavirus has claimed nearly 115,000 lives. An important number also gives hope - over 400,000 people have recovered from the disease.
Instagram and Twitter have several recovery stories, some quick and asymptomatic, others painful and long. We compiled a few stories from these public accounts of what recovery from this disease looks like.
"My friend called me, he tested positive"
"I had a fever and a mild cold for around a month.. around March 4 or 5... I immediately panicked.. and I started freaking out," Shaun Khubchandani said on an Instagram live story published on the account @mommydiaries which is run by sister and social media influencer Tanya Khubchandani Vatsa.
Khubchandani continues his account saying a friend who is a doctor who he went in to see said that he needn't be worried since he had a "wet cough" and that he didn't think Khubchandani had the virus. No test had been done at that point. Relieved, Khubchandani went on with life, met a few friends. One of his friends, however, later called him to say he had tested positive and the test was before he met Khubchandani over the weekend.
Two days later, Khubchandani woke up with high fever and a "really bad headache and severe body ache." He was administered a test which showed a positive result three days later.
Later his symptoms got worse. "It was brutal," Khubchandani said. "For a lot of people, the fever is not the first symptom," he said. Dry cough, a headache or body ache, Khubchandani said based on his own and friends' accounts, are the first symptoms.
"I have no sense of smell or taste, whatsoever" Khubchandani commented in answer to some of the questions on the live. He also said he had a strong second wave of symptoms, which were 'scary'. Khubchandani has completely recovered and was in self-solation at the time of the video shot on April 1.
"I was just soaked and scared..."
CNN presenter Chris Cuomo opened up about his battle with COVID-19, which was shared on Instagram.
"I was in a pool of sweat, and 12 hours later, I was in the same place..." Cuomo said in his video post on the social media platform.
"This doctor calls me up and asks me about my symptoms, He is a pulmonary expert," the 49-year-old says in the video. "He asked me, 'Can you get up?'. I said, 'Yes I can get up'. He said, 'Do it'." Cuomo goes on to say remaining active and doing the things he 'couldn't do' because of pain or discomfort helped him fight the virus.
"He told me to breathe deep when it hurts, and it hurts, trust me, I know it hurts," Cuomo goes on to say.
There would be spikes of symptoms over 10 days, he was warned. Cuomo, based on the doctor's recommendation, layered up, drank lots of fluid, had Tylenol and 'is fighting back'.
Cuomo, who first posted his positive test result on March 31, is still in isolation and working from his basement to keep the rest of his family safe.
The symptoms explained
Yvonne Mugure is yet another person who shared their story on social media explaining symptoms and recovery process. In a video posted on her Instagram account @yvonne.mugure, she explained her symptoms.
Firstly, she addressed the most common symptoms in discussion - fever and shortness of breath. "So you can hear right now, as I speak, it is a little hard to speak...," she said, adding "my shortness of breath was so bad that I had to go to the emergency room." Yvonne also lost her sense of taste and smell.
Yvonne added in subsequent posts that after two weeks of diagnosis that she was released and told that she was allowed to be out and about. However, she said in a post, "I can’t bear the burden of possibly infecting someone else because I may still have the virus in my system. My symptoms have gotten better yes but I don’t think that’s an indication of my status."
"On Day 3 of symptoms, and feeling better..."
In a video Janelle - a plant-based food blogger - posted a video on instagram about what happened before and since her boyfriend Marco tested positive for the virus. The couple had gone to Breckenridge for skiing, while following hand sanitisation and social distancing rules in place. They learnt later that there were reports of COVID-19 in the area and decided to self-isolate.
A couple of days later, the couple said, Marco woke up at night with a fever which was then followed by high fever, chills and a 'warring headache' the next day. "It took five days for me to show any symptoms...which is scary...because I could've been out and about or gone to work," Marco said.
By the time the test came back positive a few days later, the couple started practicing isolation and took medicines recommended by CDC for handling body ache. On day three of showing symptoms, Marco said he was feeling better. Janelle, given that they live together, thought she may have contracted the virus but said she had no symptoms whatsoever at the time of posting the video.
"It can drag you down a dark hole..."
Dubai-based triathlete, Shane Manning, recounted to Gulf News his battle with coronavirus, and made an ardent appeal to the public not to take the threat of the disease lightly as it can strike even the fittest if they are not careful.
Sharing his experience of falling from the heights of fitness to the depths of despair in a matter of days, the 42-year old Australian expat said, “I don’t mean to dramatise it, but coronavirus can be like a torture weapon. It can drag you down into a dark hole with your entire world going black. So be smart, be safe and embrace your downtime.”
Manning’s message is particularly significant because his case demonstrates how an individual’s level of fitness is not enough to guarantee a shield against the deadly virus, it can only help fast-track the recovery. Read the full account here.