On a fine summer evening, when the country was about to go into lockdown, Misbah Awan hurriedly left the city to return to her hometown during which she ‘unknowingly’ picked up the virus. Her hands were covered in gloves and her face was wrapped in a cloth mask, she didn’t touch any food or surface, and she had a warm bath right after she came back, so what happened?
Misbah, aged 24 with no underlying health conditions returned home ‘safely’ without any symptoms of sickness.
Her mother told Hakeem, “Misbah has always been the cleanest of the children. After the virus outbreak, she started washing her hands frantically and she made sure that every one of us was squeaky tidy too.”
After a week, or specifically eight days, Misbah started to lose her sense of smell.
“It was strange,” she said. “I couldn’t smell any of my favorite food and to my astonishment, a day later, everything started to taste the same! It was hard to distinguish the taste. My parents thought that it was psychological but I knew something was definitely off,” said Misbah.
The other symptoms hurriedly followed; a dry, continuous cough and her whole body being lit on fire. She felt tired, nauseated and just couldn’t stop coughing. After she got a fever, she decided to isolate herself from her family.
“I was told that it was just a mild sickness. Not the coronavirus. The doctors said to rest. There was no pneumonia and the likeliness of me having it was low because the other cases were so severe. However, I tested positive.”
After it was confirmed that Misbah had the respiratory tract infection, her family of five was tested. Before the initial symptoms had appeared, she had continued with her regular activities and it was suspected that she might have passed it on to her family too.
“I was concerned about my brother and grandmother the most. He has diabetes and grandma is well, old with many health issues. Thankfully, all of them tested negative.”
Misbah was taken to a healthcare facility where she was kept in isolation.
“I felt happy that I was being treated and checked on at all times. The doctors wore hazmat suits, and the space I was confined in did not have any open windows. But, my symptoms began to worsen. On the fourteenth day, despite the humid weather, my body started to get chills and my cough was accompanied by severe chest pain. There was no difficulty breathing. I believe it is because everybody reacts differently to the virus.”
Misbah was kept in the hospital for five days. According to the doctor, her body fought the virus remarkably well and when she was being discharged after being tested negative, she just had a mild cough. As per the doctor, even with excessive cleanliness, Misbah must have come in contact with an infected person. She was also told that even after having defeated the virus, she possibly could get it again. There is no research signifying that an individual cannot get the coronavirus twice.
“We’re all going through a difficult time and there’s no cure for the virus. I recovered quickly but not everyone is that lucky. I would urge all of you to restrict travel, practice social distancing, consume healthy food, have good hygiene and not believe everything you see on the internet about the disease,” Misbah concluded.
611 coronavirus cases and 5 deaths have been reported in the UAE. 61 patients have successfully recovered.
Recommended read: How to Boost Your Immune System to Battle the Coronavirus
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