COVID-19 Update

My Covid-19 Story: I thought COVID was for old people until it nearly killed me

A health worker prepares an Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine dose (File Photo)

Of the experience, Eddy says, “I’m sure as of now everyone has heard people cracking on with drivel about how it’s not that bad or it’s just like a flu. The ongoing effects have made me change my early viewpoint about this virus.”

Story by Henry Mugenyi

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the life of every Ugandan in one way or another. This could be in the restrictions that have altered your work. You may have had to cancel plans to see family and friends. You have certainly changed how often you wash your hands and greet people.

The Ministry of Health together with the government of Uganda , have worked so hard to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Nonetheless almost all of us have, in some way, been forced to come in contact with the virus in some way. For Eddy, this contact was in the most direct way possible. He contracted COVID-19.

After the dead year that was 2020 with intense lockdown, Eddy could not wait for a chance to travel again. This is what he did in mid-May to get away from Kampala to western Uganda. The trip was a chance to relax, unwind from the “prison” Kampala had been and do some work on the side.

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Unfortunately, Eddy had chosen to travel just as the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic hit Uganda. He remembers with dread when it started to dawn on him that after avoiding the virus all of 2020, he may have contracted it finally, six days after returning home from the trip.

He says, “Around 5 out of the 17 people in the travelling group contracted it. Some of them were asymptomatic the whole time, some of them have been really sick.”

Eddy’s symptoms were minor; in fact, the first changes he noticed in his body weren’t even listed as some of the common symptoms of COVID-19. But as an avid tourist, Eddy knew his body pretty well, and he could feel something wasn’t right; he was able to get tested and diagnosed.

“I had an elevated heart rate and my blood pressure was up,” he remembers. “I also started to get a minor headache. I and my wife who rang the Covid hotline and they went through the criteria and said that I needed to be at the health facility for a test.”

At the time, Eddy wasn’t overly concerned about his diagnosis, focused more on the impact it would have on his partner and the family as whole.

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He says, “My views have changed now, but at the time I thought that most people in my age bracket and my level of health would be fine, so I wasn’t too concerned. I was more worried about my partner – I didn’t want her to get sick. But now seeing what has happened worldwide and people who have died who are young and fit, it’s much scarier.”

Eddy and his partner had to isolate from each other within the confines of their two-bedroom apartment.

Eddy who was regularly called to check for symptoms and condition, which worsened as time went on.

Nearly two weeks after testing positive, his major symptoms began to subside. At two weeks, he was given the all-clear to end his isolation.

Of the experience, Eddy says, “I’m sure as of now everyone has heard people cracking on with drivel about how it’s not that bad or it’s just like a flu. I’d say to them that for me, it wasn’t a major sickness, but the ongoing effects have made me change my early viewpoint about this virus and how it affects people like me. This is serious and we need to keep taking it seriously. Covid is real and deadly.”



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