My Covid-19 story: Support from friends and others helped me

Mr Joseph Mubiru said everything changed the day he started feeling ill and all signs and symptoms showed he was Covid-19 positive. REPRESENTATIONAL/FILE/PHOTO

Joseph Mubiru who resides in Ottawa, Canada, expresses his gratitude to God for being among the Covid-19 survivors.

Mubiru, a 28-year-old who works as a sales person revealed that he knew his job was risky in as far as contracting the disease was concerned but he complied with all SOPs put in place by authorities to contain the virus.

“One day I was at work and my body didn’t feel right. I had joint aches in almost all my joints. Later that night, my temperature would rise and fall. I would feel cold one minute and the next minute extremely hot. I knew that was fever,” he said.

However, suspicion that he’d contracted the viral disease compelled him to check with Google for the signs and symptoms which only confirmed to him that he had the virus- even before doing a scientific test.

“I had almost all symptoms. Later that morning, I was so ill that I called in sick. I felt a little better but at exactly 10am, I had lost my sense of smell. I decided to go for testing,” he reveals.

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Prior to testing positive for Covid-19, other symptoms Mubiru experienced included a stomach-ache coupled with a running stomach, fatigue, restlessness, flu and cough.

After several days of contemplation, Mubiru says that ‘‘opting for a Covid-19 test is one of the hardest thing he’s had to do in life’’ as he ‘‘knew what to expect but was still in denial.’’

“This was a disease that had already killed millions. I was scared. The queue of those testing made me more anxious. Also, the test itself is- very uncomfortable,” he recalls.

Lonely battle

Dealing with the disease- mostly by himself was extremely challenging.

“I told my family and employer because I got sick on a weekday and I work from Tuesday to Saturday. Initially, I feared to tell my loved ones because I didn’t want to worry them,” he adds.

He says when he informed his friends in Canada, they often called to check on him and find out how he was progressing. Nevertheless, he felt abandoned.

“I couldn’t get groceries or anything that I wanted. I had to opt for online deliveries which would take a lot of time to reach me. I resorted to ordering for food stuff in bulk so that I didn’t have to do it every day,” he narrates.

Being alone in the house worried him a lot especially at night when the fever would go so high and he had no one to run to for help.

“I was so lonely. Even though people wanted to be there, they couldn’t. I face-timed my friends and families more than usual. My lifestyle changed. I spent my days sleeping and watching TV,” he shares.

Despite being alone and frightened, health authorities constantly reached out to him.

“In this foreign country, I got more support and care. Ministry of health officials regularly checked and called me while also providing assistance once I was in need,” he says.

Dealing with stigma

Mubiru said after testing Covid-19 positive and informing his friends, stigma stood his way.

“I couldn’t move out because most of my neighbours found out that I was infected. When the symptoms reduced, I had energy to move around but I couldn’t because of the stigma around me. Every time I would move out, I would hear someone ‘talking’ and this forced me to stay indoors until I was sure that I’d recovered,” he says.

Sorting his craving would later match him to recovery from the disease.

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“If you test positive, first, stay home, drink a lot of ginger, lemon and electrolytes. Rest, give the body what it wants at all times, and don’t force it. Drink a lot of water and wear a mask when you can’t avoid being around people,” he advises.

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