Chilling Account Of Covid-19 Patients: When Home Is Not Home Anymore But There’s Light At The End Of The Tunnel - Eastern Mirror
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Chilling account of Covid-19 patients: When home is not home anymore but there’s light at the end of the tunnel

By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Jul 31, 2020 7:12 pm

Menuse-O Max Khieya
Kohima, July 31 (EMN): The Covid-19 patients in Nagaland are battling two deadly viruses – the novel coronavirus and stigmatisation.

The biggest fear amongst the patients is not the apprehension about how to overcome the virus, but the social stigma labelled against them, their family members, friends and relatives just because they have contracted the virus.

A female patient, while speaking to Eastern Mirror, appealed to the people not to stigmatise the patients and those who have close associations with them, since Covid-19 is communicable and ‘no one knows how one is infected even while taking precautionary measures’.

She informed that a young patient, whose result had returned negative after being admitted to NHAK Covid-19 hospital for few days, was eagerly waiting to go home. However, her happiness was short-lived when she received information through the phone that she would not be allowed to enter her colony.

She was left helpless and was crying while sharing her condition with the others at the hospital. “If I don’t go home, where would I go?” the patient had said.

“The virus is not harming us but the mindset of the society is,” she said.

She also shared that an elderly woman who was recently admitted to the hospital, was ‘traumatised and stigmatised by an entire community’. She relayed that the elderly patient is ‘too scared now, even when her phone rings’.

“Some patients are very happy here; the food and all, everything is so good here. But, the society outside is disturbing our mental and inner peace. Not only us but even our friends and close associates, who have tested negative, are looked upon with suspicion,” she said.

Meanwhile, ever since she got admitted to NHAK, she has been receiving ‘unnecessary calls even from those who don’t have any close association with her’.

“When people call us in panic, we feel like everyone is scared of us and get into trauma,” she maintained.

The patient shared how one of her colony leaders has been counselling and comforting patients, to get well and come home soon.

Therefore, when people make phone calls to the patients, she has urged them to be encouraging and boost their morale.

“More than the treatment, we need lots of love, support and prayers,” she shared.

Another patient stated that until they are recovered, they would remain confined within the hospital and not get discharged. People should realise that they are no more a threat to the society as they are already admitted to the hospital as per the protocols, he said.

He reminded that the patients are also those who are concerned for the well-being of the society because they came forward to be tested.

In the hospital, all the tests are done in timely manner and the doctors call them whether they are tested positive or negative, informed another patient. However, a friend who was cured of Covid-19 was not allowed to go back home by his colony members.

“It’s not the virus but the social stigma that is attached to the virus which is dangerous,” said the patient.

Services at the hospital

The patients have appreciated the food service and the medical personnel at NHAK Covid-19 hospital.

“All the doctors and nurses are very helpful and they co-ordinate with us as usual. They try to provide us pretty much everything that we need. So, there isn’t any complaint regarding the service provided by the frontline workers. They comfort us really well,” said one of the patients.

“After coming to Naga Hospital, and seeing a lot of patients and positivity you know, even your mood tends to light up,” he added.

“Coming to NHAK and seeing all the people who are affected and living with them, there is a sense of belongingness and encouragement that everything might work out well,” another patient said.

“If our case is severe, the doctors would frequently visit us but since our cases are negligible or asymptomatic, they only visit us when they give us breakfast or dinner.”

Meanwhile, the patients also appreciated the food provided to them. “The food is cooked so well. We genuinely thank them,” one of them said.

“A lot of false information is circulated on social media but it is not so here. People outside think that the patients would be kept in isolated rooms with severe cases. But inside the hospital it is not so, there is just normal. The only thing you have to do is just eat well, sleep well and boost your immunity which is the only thing to defeat the virus,” another one shared.

Recovered patient

Saniiru Lanah, a young nurse at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, who was detected with Covid-19, recovered on June 9 after carefully self-isolating herself from the rest of her siblings at her home in Delhi.

She shared that she had undergone self-quarantine for 17 days and didn’t move out from her room, which has a bathroom attached.

The nurse, who hails from Senapati district, Manipur, shared that she earmarked a distance, and her siblings would provide her food, water and other necessities. She said that most of the days during her confinement, she drank lots of water.

She added that she used to make ginger and lemon tea to beat the mild Covid-19 symptoms.

“It was very hot (in Delhi) in June but I tried to take maximum of warm water,” Lanah informed. She shared that steam inhalation was very helpful when she couldn’t even smell anything or taste food due to her nasal blockage. She mentioned that she also gargled with salt water for about 10 days, which helped her.

The nurse also apprised that the authorities in Delhi had called her daily to assess her symptoms, while she also shared that she took vitamin C and supplements on their advice.

Lanah informed that her cough was cured after two days of taking cough medicine alongside steam inhalation.

She maintained that those in the medical field are the most vulnerable groups of contracting the virus. As such, when Lanah was infected, she said she too had experienced fear and apprehensions about what would happen if her mother and people back at home come to know.

“I cried a lot,” Lanah said.

She recalled how she felt dejected for few days in the beginning and didn’t want to pick up any call or talk to anyone, except shutting herself inside the room. “Whenever my family members tried to call me, I didn’t really want to talk to anyone. It was very hard time,” she shared.

The nurse however, informed that besides those people who prayed for her and the motivational texts she received over the phone, reading the Bible really encouraged her. “It may sound funny but that really was helpful,” she shared.

“Seriously, I never understand the pain people have before until I had this (Covid-19) myself,” she said and was ‘really hurt to see people making videos of the coronavirus patients being taken away by ambulances’.

“I have had viral fever last year which are more severe than the Covid-19 symptoms, but then, the pressure we have in our mind, the fear of the people towards Covid-19 is too much,” the nurse said.

Lanah said that recovering from Covid-19 is a “blessing” for her. “Now I’m glad that I had this disease, because now I experience what patients go through,” she cited.

She hoped that people would be more kind towards the patients “because being kind doesn’t hurt anyone”.

By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Jul 31, 2020 7:12:08 pm
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