The Pink Room: A conversation with a COVID 19 patient recuperating at her New York home

Amid the coronavirus outbreak across the world, a COVID 19 patient shares her story as she recovers in home quarantine.
The Pink Room: A conversation with a COVID 19 patient recuperating at her New York homeThe Pink Room: A conversation with a COVID 19 patient recuperating at her New York home
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"Bran thought about it. 'Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?' 

'That is the only time a man can be brave,' his father told him."

George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

If we had spoken on any other circumstances, I would have described New York-based Vaishalli Khurana as a chirpy and happy woman; but perhaps, the word brave would not make a list. Speaking over an IP-call, she was also brave despite the laborious breath and intermittent cough bursts. I offered if she would want to talk at another time, but she was insistent. "I want to do this. I want to speak and share my story. There is nothing to cry or worry about. I am not dying. In fact, I am recuperating from COVID-19. Therefore, people need to know that they too can survive this," she says while catching her breath in the middle of the statement.

It's been two weeks since Vaishalli stepped out of her New York apartment where she stays with her husband. She states it's a beautiful feeling to step out. "On 3rd March my husband and I travelled from New York to Brussels for some unavoidable work. Though the airport wasn't as crowded as it usually is everything seemed fine. We had heard about the cases of COVID-19 and therefore, we followed all precautionary measures of sanitisation…We reached New York after a short sting of two weeks in Amsterdam," she breaks to cough and catch her breath. It is evident that the infection has severely impacted her usual pace of the conversation.

She continues, "I wasn't feeling any of the symptoms when I was travelling. When we returned to New York there was no checking at the airport. We made it to our home as if nothing was happening." Due to her recent travel history, she was advised by the authorities to go on a self-quarantine for two weeks.

"It was the 10th day of self-quarantine when I thought I should visit my sister's place. But I felt something in my throat. I thought it might be just a normal cough. Later, I woke up with mild fever, cough and slightly running nose. I decided against the visit to my sister's place. Paranoia started gripping me, but I convinced myself that it was just the result of over-exposure to information on COVID-19," she says, drawing in a quick breath.

"Then, it hit me that I don't usually get cold and cough. Thankfully, my husband did not show any symptoms. I took over-the-counter drugs and took rest. The next day, I had a headache and the day after, it developed into high fever and cough. I started taking a lot of vitamins; especially Vitamin C. I did an online call with my doctor to confirm my diagnosis. He informed me that my diagnosis was right. I was now a COVID-19 patient," she says while confessing that her first reaction was to deny the possibility of the infection.

The news quickly spread within family and friends. What followed is anyone's guess. "They scared me. They made me feel as if I was terminally ill. I got so many panic calls and messages as if I am dying. People who have not been connected for the longest time spoke to me. I am happy about it. But then when you are not feeling well, you just feel like switching off from all these," she says.

"Soon, I lost my sense of taste and smell," she says with a tint of sadness in her voice. Who wouldn't be sad? After all, she could even smell or remember how her favourite perfume smelled or how her favourite cuisine tasted. "If I used to spray perfume, I couldn't smell but only feel the wetness on my skin. Whatever I ate, I could just describe the texture…it was very uncomfortable," says Vaishalli.

"I lost my appetite. Consequently, I lost around three to four kilos in this period. I am still losing weight. I wanted more assurance before I started my usual diet. I commenced after my doctor confirmed that I could resume," she adds.

"Since the last fourteen days, I haven't left my bedroom. I stay in a one-bedroom apartment with has only windows and no balcony," Vaishali says. "Distancing from my husband was most challenging. Since I couldn't get up from the bed, my husband shifted to the living room. My husband used to pass food to me in a plate in our bedroom. I had a bedside table to keep my necessities but we were keeping distance. We demarcated the safe zones," she recounts.

However, she gulps thinking of the day when her husband came down with a fever. "Thankfully, it was a result of exhaustion and nothing more. He was taking care of both of us and was very stressed. It took a toll on his health," she clarifies.

I do read about India, and it worries me about my country. In fact, I have been snapping on friends and advising them to stop watching such things and freaking me out. I am getting messages on messenger apps, forwards from friends and family. One thing I learnt is to maintain distance. Therefore, I refuse to look at them," she smiles once more before concluding the call.

Editor’s Note: The Pink Room scrutinises how a day in the lives of different professionals have undergone a change during COVID-19 pandemic

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Comments

Did you actually get Covid or faked it for this article, sounds like it was latter

No doubt it is challangingfor girl like u who is so social and always lived with so many people around had to face this situation alone.but such situations make us brave and prepare us to fight our battle alone and make you tougher

Usha

Inspiring story to tell all

very inspirational story for Covid-19 affected people, keep going Vaishalli - Porus

Get well soon vaishali I know you'll come out of all these soon

I am glad that you are feeling well. Your story will inspire others with COVID 19 that you can recover and should bot panic. One comment is That you live in NYC and you should be equally concerned about this country and not just your country india.

You live in NYC and you should equally be concerned about this country and not just your country india

Vai you are brave! Keep going

May Allah bless you with health

Informational message for people.

You are extraordinarily brave Vaishali-ved

You are extraordinarily brave Vaishali- ved

Good

Take care Vaishalli. Long distance family will only call when you win a lottery or when you are on a death bed.

Correct message for people

V. V. Pinky

This is ap good. Pink room we need these days

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