Mimansa Mohanty in Conversation with Dr. S. Balraj
India has seen a tremendous increase in the number of COVID-19 cases from the past months. The country has more than 38, 53,408 confirmed cases – 8, 15,430 active cases, 29, 70, 494 recovered cases and 67,378 deaths. The humongous increase in the number of positive cases made India stand 3rd in the most affected countries after US and Brazil. A silver lining is that we have a good record of recovered cases all over the world. Dr. S Balraj, Farm Manager, Central Poultry Development Organization shares his experience of testing positive and recovering physically and mentally from the virus stigma.
- What symptoms did you see before testing for COVID19?
Ans. I felt that I had lost my sense of taste and smell completely and was feeling very restless with shortness of breath and symptoms of viral fever.
- Can you share your experience of staying at the Quarantine Center?
Ans. I was taken to SUM Hospital for quarantine for nearly about 7 days. My overall experience was good. There were regular checkups and the doctor and staffs were supportive, friendly and caring.
- How were you spending your time in quarantine?
Ans. I was mostly on my phone busy with Netflix, YouTube or Whatsapp and sometimes I attended Webinars or simply just read e-Books. Whenever I felt lonely or alone, I used to call my family or my wife and had some heartfelt conversations with them.
- What was your schedule after being discharged from the hospital?
Ans. I was advised to stay in self-isolation for 14 days where I was allowed to do all my daily chores such as cooking and working from home but was restricted from going out.
- What do you think are the biggest misconceptions people have of COVID-19?
Ans. In my opinion, some of the biggest misconceptions are:
- Very close contact with the infected person can spread COvid-19 which is not true. It depends on the immunity system of a person. If one is immuned enough then the possibilities of being affected are very less
- There is a huge ballyhoo that COVID-19 is a very fatal or deadly virus but it can be termed as an extension of viral fever with close signs of asthma.
- People down with COVID-19 or those under solitary quarantine have often expressed a real sense of loneliness. How did you deal with it?
Ans. It’s true that there runs a sense of loneliness in our minds because for Indians like us, staying 14-15 days without any social contact is difficult. I felt that it affects us mentally, emotionally, and socially too.
- Did you feel any difference in the behavior of the society towards you before and after getting treated with COVID-19?
Ans. Perhaps not much, because I am confined to very few people i.e. mainly my office people. My colleagues were very helpful and cooperative. But I felt bad that when I was under self-isolation they tried to help me and unfortunately I was unable to receive it.