Alida, a midwife at George Hospital, is back at work after recovering from Covid-19 and has decided to go public with her story.
“I made it,” she said.
The 58-year-old suffers from type 2 diabetes and hypertension – both comorbidities which put her at added risk. She also had a stroke a year ago.
Now be back at work, Alida shared her journey. “My first symptoms were a sore throat, pressure on my chest and a cough. I immediately had myself tested and went into isolation. The results came two days later. I was positive.”
When she learned that she had tested positive, she was shoked and anxious. “I was very scared,” says Alida who lives with her son. The 23-year-old cared for her while he isolated with her as he was one of her close contacts.
“He made sure I had a bucket of clean water, a bucket of water and bleach to clean my hands, and a separate bucket for my eating utensils. He also prepared my food when I did not feel up to the task and brought it on a tray. I felt really ill on day three with immense chest pressure. I was, however, in constant contact with the contact tracing team in George, my manager. and hospital management. Everyone made sure I was being monitored and I really felt that I could press on their button any time of the day.”
Alida says that being in isolation can become lonely.
“Loneliness is a big factor during your Covid-19 journey. Two weeks might not seem long but confined to your bedroom or only certain parts of your home, this can be become a very long and lonely journey. I made sure to be in constant contact with family and friends on WhatsApp. Sadly, we also lost two extended family members due to Covid-19 during my isolation, which was especially difficult for me. Mourning without other family was extremely difficult to go through, but our online counselling support network through government meant I could tap into professional help to assist me during this time,” Alida explained.
She credits eating healthy, drinking enough fluids, getting lots of sunlight, and a positive mindset with helping her body recover from the disease.
Alida says she is concerned about the behaviour of some members of the public.
“People need to realize that Covid-19 can cause serious illness in some, and to protect those people, we need to take all the necessary precautions. We need to change our behaviour.”
She urges people to protect the vulnerable by practicing social distancing and wearing a mask when leaving home.
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