A District Six resident, who tested positive for Covid-19, said people should trust their gut when their bodies are telling them something doesn’t feel right.
“If you feel your throat tingle or you have a nagging headache, don’t try to talk yourself out of getting tested – rather be safe than sorry.”
The 32-year old retail worker asked to remain anonymous.
The man said he was at work in the city centre on Wednesday May 13 before his week off.
“On Monday May 11, I started feeling flu-ish – I had a mild headache and my nose was runny. I had a tight chest, but it went away the next day. I’m a smoker so I thought it was just a smokers’ cough.”
He said while his respiratory illnesses all went away, he still had headaches and a runny nose.
“On Saturday May 14, I decided to get tested. Something didn’t feel right about this ‘flu’ and I didn’t want to take the chance.”
He went to Groote Schuur Hospital, where they had a testing centre near the trauma section. “I was very nervous. I didn’t want to test positive because I’m hypertensive, and there were people around me who looked much sicker than I did.
“Before the test, they screened me, and I thought they wouldn’t do the test because I didn’t have a sore throat. However, I had still been working, so they did the test. They put a long swab inside my nose – it was uncomfortable and painful…”
He stopped speaking because he was out of breath.
He was given some papers detailing some precautionary measures and told him to self-isolate until the results came in three to five days. “I was so nervous, I started cleaning, I disinfected my home in case I tested positive.”
Last week he received a call from the doctor confirming the worst – he had tested positive.
“I was so shocked because I didn’t even have all the symptoms. I had headaches and a runny nose, but it was mild. I didn’t think I could have Covid-19. I was very careful and sanitized all the time.”
Thinking back, he said there was a huge possibility he could have contracted it at work.
“At work, people hand you their cards and cash and items – these are places where germs manifest.”
However, he said he could be wrong and could have contracted it at the store while he was out purchasing essential items, however, he said he spent most of his time at work.
“The doctor told me to self isolate for 14 days, but said there was no medication that could help. I didn’t know what to do to help myself, so I contacted a friend who is a nurse, and he gave me a list of things to eat and medication to take to help me fight off the disease.”
He is now in isolation, and medicates with vitamins, immune boosters and cough mixture.
His diet consists of lots of fruits and vegetables, and 2.5 litres of water a day.
“I felt that the doctor who called didn’t give me sufficient information on how to take care of myself. Our doctors need to give Covid-19 positive cases advice on how to take care of themselves while fighting the disease.”
He said people who get symptoms and think its just a normal cough or flu should rather go get tested.
“The symptoms come and go.
“Today I have a fever and tomorrow its gone. Don’t take the chance with Covid-19, and wake up when it’s too late.”
He was also given a register to write down details of people he was in contact with two days prior to testing positive, for tracing purposes.
The man is now isolating at home, away from his partner, who tested negative but is still in isolation.
“It’s hard to be away from your family. I must use everything separate from my partner – my utensils, my towels – basically everything I touch.
“I need to stay two meters away from my partner and I need to constantly wear my mask and sanitise surfaces.”
He said department of health officials called him daily to check on his symptoms, or if his condition is deteriorating.
But despite the hardships, he says he is keeping a positive mindset.
“I feel like I will get through this. It feels like a normal flu, but just a more dangerous one.
“I am also well aware that anything can happen from now until my isolation period is done.
“I think we will be okay – just eat your veggies, drink water, sanitize and look after yourselves.”