During the month of my 1-year anniversary of Work From Home (it’s March 16, 2021 for me), I finally got my close encounter with Covid-19.
Life works in such a mysterious way. Just when the vaccine is coming into the spotlight. I got the virus.
Friday, March 5th, 2021
So one Friday, on March 5th 2021, I went out of home for personal reasons. I need to sort things out with myself. I finally got the professional help I need. But that day I cried so much, my head hurts, my rhinitis flared up, and my ulcer hurt so bad.
So I consulted my condition to an online doctor in Halodoc app. Got my medicines sent by online service. Did a combination of banana and bread, promag and tremenza, bedrest – the usual.
I also saw my parents coughing and sneezing that day. I thought, oh, another flu season.
Saturday and Sunday, March 6th-7th, 2021
I got fluctuating fever and muscle ache. The flu got into me – I thought.
Stayed in my room for those 2 days. Cooked my own chicken soup because I need my comfort sick food. Going nowhere, just stay at home. Mom and Dad’s coughing and sneezing sounded worse than before. Started to think that something was wrong. But decided to look for my tomorrow’s condition.
Monday, March 8th, 2021
Feeling better. Working from home as usual. My friend told me to take antigen swab test but I’m not sure. I mean, if I did get the virus, what will happen to my mother and dad? They’re sneezing and coughing. I didn’t want to face that reality.
Later, I will feel stupid for this coward decision of mine. There’s so much fears waiting for me and my family if we turns out to be infected, and I was not ready.
It was never about ready or not.
Wednesday, March 10th, 2021
Felt much much better. Woke up fresh. Ate breakfast at 9 am and realized that I can’t smell and taste anything. Felt the horror.
Parents were still coughing and sneezing at that time. Their symptoms were getting worse. Asked them to take the PCR swab test with me. They refused. They were scared. My mother is sick with another serious condition that requires her to visit the hospital every month, so I was extra worried about her. She has more risks with covid infection than me and my dad, and this was a very scary situation.
Told my sister and niece (that live at Tangerang but usually come home on the weekend) not to visit house this weekend and the next weekends. Sister asked why. My answer: because I lost my smell and taste and I was 95% sure I got covid. She’s horrified. Told her to wait for the results. Asked her to talk to mom so we could all get swab pcr test.
Drove the car and took the d*mn pcr swab test near my home after lunch by myself. Can’t focus on my work for the rest of the day.
Thursday, March 11th, 2021
Got the result: positive. I could never forget that feeling of hopelessness. Hoping that this is a lie.
Told my parents the bad news. Saw the horror on their face. The sadness.
I asked them to stay away from me because I was afraid that they were negative, and I needed to find a way to isolate myself. They still managed to buy me bear brand milk, gave me food. Kept trying to get close to me even if I said go away. I kept asking them to take the PCR swab test. They finally agreed to take the test after lunch.
They got home after test. And they looked like really tired and scared. Slept as soon as they changed their clothes and took a bath.
When I saw them, knowing that their cough weren’t getting better even after almost a week. Knowing that they are not healthy. Something was wrong. On the back of my head I knew they were positive. I just knew.
I saw them from afar when they were sleeping and I got this voice in my brain:
There are two roads. You know where the other one ends.
If you give up, you and your parents were dead. Period.
If you don’t give up. You don’t know where it ends yet.
I swear that at that time I feel like I want to lie down and sleep. Just cry and sleep. So tired. So confused. Afraid. Don’t have anyone to depend on. I got relative who died because of this virus and I kept thinking will that happens to my parents too? To me?
I can’t sleep anyway. So I wore my mask, washed my hand, and started working. I cleaned the house. Swept and mopped the floor. Wiped the table, every surface that my family touched. Washed the dishes. Boiled the utensils. Cooked dinner extra hot, extra time. And then I sprayed every surface with disinfectant. Especially the bathrooms. I prepared extra bedroom for my dad, so he could use a separate bathroom from my mother. I also got my own bathroom.
After that, I texted my family and friends who I thought would know what should I do right know. Many friends of mine got covid and survived. They were young, of course, but that’s a chance. The percentage shows that there are more cured patients than patients who passed away. There’s hope, for me, my father, and my mom. I asked the survivors what medicines that they took. Should I go to the hospital? Should I ask for the local medical help?
After dinner, I bought my covid medicine through halodoc app. Some of my colleagues at work, Mas Banyu and Pandu (thank you guys), they survived covid and shared me a list of medicines I could try. Got vitamins: Zinc, C. Some anti-free-radical pills that I still don’t know until today what it did to my body (my skin got really smooth after day 5 of consuming those pills). Azithromycine the anti-bacterial medicine. And the anti virus medicine: I used Isprinol.
My cousin that works as a dentist advised me on the step I should take after I got the result. How to report my condition to the local medical facility, to go to nearest emergency room so I could register myself to the hospital.
I already got my oxymeter because Asropil advised me to buy it last year on June, when I got scared because I became one of the suspects. My colleague at work got covid and everyone that met him 2 weeks before the diagnosis need to take the test — including me. I got negative result at that time.
Drove and visited the nearest hospital at 8pm. Planned to isolate myself in the hospital, so I could protect my parents from me. Still hoping that they just got the flu. The nurse checked my condition and decided that I wasn’t suit for hospital care: my oxygen saturation is still more than 95. So they gave me medicines (headache, stomachache medicines) and sent me home.
Friday, March 12th, 2021
Parents’ results were out: positive. Dad cried a bit when he saw mom’s result. Mom cried because she didn’t want to go to the hospital. She didn’t want to be separated from Dad (she’s like that). And she was afraid of all the media news. She didn’t want to be alone in the hospital. She didn’t want to die alone. I knew that if I keep her at the hospital, her mental will fall first, and next her body. Home isolation was probably my only solution at the time.
I felt like going crazy. Took a leave from work for the rest of the day because I can’t think about work at the time and I need to find solution and medicines for my parents.
Told my sister my parents’ results. She cried too. I forbid her from coming home. I thought, if something bad happens and we need to go to the emergency room, I need her and my niece to be healthy.
Tried to contact local medical facility. Called our usual health facility. They told me to contact Makasar district local medical facility, because they can’t help me. Went to that place using grab car protect (they provide clear screen and hand sanitizer for the passenger) because I can’t bear looking for parking spot when I got there. I wore the mask, the face shield. The health worker that I met at my destination told me to visit Cipinang Melayu sub-disctrict instead. And to buy vitamin D3.
Got so angry inside. Why can’t anybody help me. I just need medicines for my parents. Solutions for me. Held my tears. Went to the nearest apothecary. Bought D3 vitamin and disposable medical masks (because I need to change mask 2 times a day at least and I don’t have time to wash my colorful reusable 3-ply masks). Ordered another grab car protect. Went home. Decided to throw that Cipinang Melayu sub-district visit away. At that time I think: Let’s focus on something that isn’t annoyingly unconvincing. If nobody could help me, I could help myself and my parents.
*Later on week 3, a covid-tracer from Cipinang Melayu sub-district health facility was finally contacting me. She helped me get the health confirmation letters for my family. But at that week 1 I was just so tired and confused.
Decided to buy similar medicines for my dad. Still thinking what to do with Mom. She already got her routine medicines and I’m afraid it might clash with the isprinol that I took for covid. Gave her only vitamins for a while.
Cried a bit at night, alone in my room. Scheduled emails for Asropil and my niece in case I’m not surviving this one. Rhinitis flared up because I cried. Consumed my tremenza so I could sleep.
Saturday, March 13th 2021
Got my parents to sunbath at morning. Got my own dose of sunshine. Not sure about everything but trying to keep everyone’s mood up. We can do this. We can do this. I got solutions.
At noon, my cousin’s husband who works as a medical doctor (I totally forgot), Mas Eka, contacted me and offered to help. He said that home isolation is totally doable. Just make sure to check oxygen saturation as often as I can (report to him 3 times a day) and go straight to hospital if oxygen saturation drops below 90. Together we defined my day-1 transmission as Friday, March 5th 2021, told me to get another swab pcr test at the next Saturday.
Glad that my mom kept oxygen tube in the house, Mas Eka told me to give Dad and Mom 15-minutes oxygen therapy every 2 days, to help improve their lungs and breaths. He told me to make sure that the air in everyone’s room isn’t damp, because we need to prevent bacterial infection that leads to pneumonia. He also checked my medicines and added N-acetylcysteine and methylprednisolone. Bought what he told me as soon as I can through halodoc app. He reminded me to contact mom’s medical doctor from her usual hospital and asked him what medicine to give to my mom so it won’t complicate my mom’s routine medicine. But he told me that Azithromycine, that anti-bacterial medicine that me and my dad consumes as part of our medicine regime, should be fine with my Mom. Gave her that.
Felt like a fool because why I’m not thinking about contacting my mom’s doctor sooner. Told my sister. Sister got an appointment with Mom’s doctor at Monday.
Sleep better because everything is finally feel more sure than before. Checking my mom and dad’s oxygen saturation before sleep. Prepared all the documents if we need to go to emergency room. Printed the pcr results. health support card. ID card copies. Checked money. Prepared clothes.
Sunday was just like another day. Continue to Week II.