When Covid 19 Moved In
At The Beginning
Right at the beginning I thought Covid 19 won’t reach our boarders. I mean who comes to South Africa? Even when we had 5 cases in March I never imagined South Africa would be where it is right now. I specifically remember Russia and being right behind them in numbers. I watched their numbers climb while we stayed behind. It gave me hope.
As bad as lockdown level 5 was for our country, our economy and so many families, we were always okay. Praise God. We only had fourteen days of doing noting, our school started with a bang at the beginning of week three in lockdown. There was no time to sit around and think of all the different levels, what’s open or even what’s essential. Life pretty much carried on as usual with Barry back at work after only nine days into lockdown.
The only thing that changed in our home was more home cooked meals, much more baking and spending absolute no money on diesel. Level four came and went, level three came and everything started to change.
The Invisible Virus
Numbers started climbing yet no one seemed to really care too much about the “virus.” I mean it’s invisible right? We were careful, the kids didn’t really go out and I only went to town when we needed stuff. Quick coffee dates, wine dates and play dates at home started happening but nothing to serious or to often. Adding two people for a visit to our big family really makes no difference in the numbers. Again how can you fear something that is so invisible? Stats were the closest we got to experience this thing called COVID.
The Invisible Visitor
Friday the 26th June, Barry told me he wasn’t feeling well. I couldn’t determine what exactly his symptoms were, he wasn’t even sure. Maybe flu? Maybe just tired after a long week? Nothing I guessed was the right answer. The weekend came and went and he still wasn’t feeling well. Without any real symptoms accept for “I don’t feel well,” I just gave him Med Lemon with some honey and ginger.
Taking Time Down
He decided to stay home on Monday. Monday became Tuesday and Wednesday. We contemplated testing but on what grounds? So we left it. He developed a slight cough and sore throat by Tuesday afternoon, but nothing serious. He remained home. Resting. Taking it easy. He had an important meeting on Thursday and decided to go, he was feeling ready to go face the world. When I saw him home by 1pm I knew something was up. We decided that it was time to go test. We used the Discem testing station at Cradlestone Mall. They assured us that the results will be sent in three days via email or sms.
I started nebulizing him but by Friday he was sick. I also started him on Acc 200 and Corenza C, together with the Med Lemon mix. Saturday came and went, he slept the entire day. I isolated him on Thursday after his test which was day six of not feeling well. His results never came on Saturday and neither on Sunday. I tried calling Discem, the lab and the emergency number but there was no answer.
Sunday was the same, he just slept. He looked and felt better. His only discomfort was a sore chest and tummy. This seemed normal after coughing the way he did. Maybe sore ab muscles? Lunch was his favorite take away because he kept complaining of not being able to taste anything. Needless to say, he couldn’t taste Nando’s either. As the night sky arrived he decided to take a bath and that’s where everything turned.
The Dark Night
If I’m telling you I got the fright of my life, I am not lying. Everything changed in an instance. After his bath I dried him and put him into bed with seven blankets. I kept telling him to try calm down but it was pointless. He kept shaking. This is where I decided to take his temperature and it was 38. His heart rate was 145, and that’s when all of a sudden he just couldn’t breath.
I didn’t know what to do. How do you give someone air? Never have I felt so helpless in my life. I tried to calm him so that he could breath deep but he was gasping for air. I opened the doors but that made him cold so I closed it again. His temperature went up to 39.6 in 20 minutes. At this point I knew he had to go to hospital. I tried to calm him. Talking to him. Getting him to focus on my breathing. I’m not sure what worked but it helped.
He didn’t want to go to the hospital. Begged me, but I jumped on the phone and started calling hospitals. Asking if they had beds available. One after another they told me they could assist in the ER but they have no beds should he be admitted. At this stage we were still waiting for his results and did not know if it was COVID 19 or not.
I tried to stay firm and calm. Why firm? He didn’t want to listen to me. He didn’t want to drink, he didn’t want to drink medicine or nebulize. His breathing was better but shallow. He looked exhausted. There but not there. I found a hospital that had beds available. After chatting to my friend Caryn, my dad and brother in law I decided it was time to go.
It was a fight to get him into the car. I found a hospital in Roodepoort which was only 25 minutes away. Once we arrived I had to drop him at the door and leave. I watched him go through the doors, alone, and remember thinking ten days after he started feeling funny, “I don’t know if I will ever see him again.”
I didn’t stop at the traffic lights, feeling exhausted, scared and emotional. Covid 19 moved in without us knowing, without a warning, without any possible signs and without results that came in time.
To be continued…:..