Since the lockdown started, Chembur-based social worker Shivraj Ramdas Pandit has been visiting the most vulnerable people around him, helping them with food and other supplies. Despite taking all precautions, he tested positive for
“Since I was regularly visiting the slums, I was taking precautions like betadine gargles thrice a day,” said Pandit. On May 1, he started feeling feverish. The same day he sent his son and wife, who is a cancer survivor, to her mother’s place. He and his daughter stayed in different rooms in the house and maintained minimum contact.
At home, the only other company he had was that of his pet dog and parrot. “All my social activities were conducted over the phone. I had separate utensils. My daughter cooked and kept the food outside my room,” he said, adding that he also washed his own clothes and swept and mopped his room during isolation. He took care to disinfect all surfaces he touched.
Pandit said, “Our hospitals are overburdened with Covid cases. If people with mild symptoms like me, who can manage on their own, opt for home quarantine this burden can come down. We should leave the hospitals for those with severe symptoms.” Pandit, however, said one should call an ambulance if symptoms persist.
Pandit also believes positivity and staying busy help. “One should read, exercise, watch shows or movies. Or do something that needs your complete attention throughout the day,” he said.
“I know my work puts me at risk. Therefore, I started taking necessary precautions early on. I have recovered now and think it’s because I started taking my health seriously from the beginning,” said Pandit.
► Keep yourself busy during self-isolation to avoid negative thoughts
► He swears by the benefi ts of breathing exercises like pranayam and kapalbhati
► Steam inhalation with camphor and roasted carom seed powder can provide relief
█ SHOMA DUTTA, 33, MNC executive, Chembur
Dutta was diagnosed with Covid-19 on May 15. Her first concern was her elderly parents. But she felt that her symptoms were still very mild. Her fever had subsided with paracetamol and she thought of opting for a government facility for quarantine. But she had heard from acquaintances that social worker Shivraj Pandit from Chembur had recovered by isolating himself at home.
“I happened to speak with him and decided to isolate myself at home by taking precautions,” said Dutta, adding that the choice also helped her continue working from home.
Dutta kept separate vessels and water bottle for herself. “The fever, throat infection and tiredness that I felt the first couple of days is now gone. Now anytime I go into the kitchen, I sanitise the entire place,” she said.
Dutta said she drinks turmeric milk every night before sleeping and amla juice in the morning. “I have increased my intake of water. My bottle is always full and I consciously keep sipping on it. Also, I make sure to eat my meals at the same time every day. Some days, I have to force myself to eat. I have to remind myself that for my body to be able to fight this disease needs proper nourishment,” she said.
She said she has temporarily cut herself off from news. “Reports make you sad and anxious. I have switched myself off for now,” said Dutta, who is brushing up her writing skills when not working. “I am also a baker and had started a blog, which I have not had the time to update. I’m posting a lot now. This is, in fact, a great time to do this as most people are taking up baking and cooking big time during the lockdown,” she said.
At other times, work keeps her occupied. “Sometimes, I work so much that my boss has to remind me to take breaks!”
8 am: Milk with turmeric powder
9 am: Betadine gargles
10 am: Breakfast
10:30 am: Offi ce time
7:30 pm: Connect with home bakers and write some blogs
9 pm: Dinner
█ NITIN BHANUSHALI, 32, businessman, Sakinaka
Panic struck Sakinaka resident Nitin Bhanushali when he started feeling feverish on May 4. He asked his wife to move to the other room in their 2BHK fl at. His suspicion about being Covid positive was confi rmed soon after he received his report on May 6 from a private pathology laboratory.
Concerned about infecting his family, he immediately called up civic officials in his local L Ward office and shared the outcome of his test. However, he was told there were no beds vacant in any quarantine facility and was advised to stay home till he developed serious symptoms. The officials visited the same night and saw that there were two bathrooms in his house, one of them attached to a bedroom.
Bhanushali said, “They asked me if I wanted to opt for home quarantine as my symptoms were mild. They sealed the building, counselled my family and neighbours about precautions that needed to be taken.” For the next fifteen days, the 32-year-old isolated himself in one room, with his parents and wife sharing the other room.
The BMC doctors gave Bhanushali multivitamin and
Bhanushali said his father that day made a schedule for him, which he stuck to. He said, “My meals, the immunity boosting drinks and all other activities were done as per this timetable.” It also included steam inhalation, gargles and pranayama, which he crossed off the list every single day.
During isolation, Bhanushali tried maintaining positivity. He stopped reading news and used his phone only when necessary. He practiced playing guitar every day, and used Facebook live every evening to assure his family and friends that he was doing well. “Even when my family was in the next room, we would have daily video calls to check on each other,” he said.
“I remembered that one of the BMC doctors told me that
► He stuck to a strict schedule that included exercise, reading, guitar practice and meal timings
.► Steam inhalation and betadine gargles twice a day
► Kept himself hydrated with 4-5 litres of warm water every day, including herbal mixture with giloy leaves, dry ginger, basil and turmeric
► For half an hour every morning, he performed pranayam and meditation
.► Ate nutritious meals at fi xed timings
8.30 am: Steam inhalation and gargles
8.45 am: Pranayam, meditation, yoga
10 am: Reading time
5 pm: Steam and gargles
7 pm: Video call with family
8 pm: Guitar practice
— Text by Payal Gwalani
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