How does coronavirus really affect? Autobiography of a COVID-19 Patient


Past couple of weeks have been a havoc emotionally, physically, psychologically, financially and spiritually. I lost my father due to Covid-19. Before it occurred to us, honestly, we weren't paying much attention to this virus and considering news about it as a “hype” as that’s how mostly they present things in news everyday. Dad was the only person who was telling us that his brother in Canada is calling him periodically to make him realize how deadly this virus can be. So we should all be taking precautions and mustn't go out. Who knew that our non-seriousness would cost us so much for life.


We are a small family (my paternal family). A family of 4 (me, my brother, my mom and dad). After my marriage my father was feeling alive after long when my son came into this world since he had been a patient of depression for many years due to some incidences that he had faced since he had born and later as years passed. Nonetheless, crux of my father's life was that he never lived just for himself. He was always available for everyone in every thick and thin. He was a drummer when he was young and was in Moscow for his higher studies. Even, at the age of 65 (age at which he died), he had more energy, power, enthusiasm and spark than any of us youngsters in the family had. He was the nucleus of all wedding celebrations and musical events and gatherings since he sang and played bongos perfectly and like none other. But what I have learned is that those of us who make lives of other people easier and happier, are the ones who are left alone in life and at the time of need.

When he got sick, no one came. Obviously, sabko apni jaan pyari hai (Roman Urdu)..Everyone asked me to go back to my in-laws for the safety of myself and my son when dad was sick and was being looked after at home with oxygen mask on, along with chronic cough and fever. How could a daughter leave her father like this? At least not me. My father is equally beloved for me as much as my son is. In fact, I had spent 30 years with my dad, in short my whole life till date. There was no way I could leave him like this. I kept going to him without mask to make him eat, nebulize him, talk to him out of the fear he was developing in his mind regarding disturbed breathing and deadly corona and he never wanted to go to hospital. When he coughed, I could see the fear and worry in his eyes for us, as if he was feeling guilty of being a Covid patient and didn’t want any of us to catch it from him. My son was very much attached to him. He used to go out with him, sleep and eat with him. When dad was around, I was never worried about Zayan (my 2 year old).
When dad was being hospitalized, he fell from the stretcher while shifting in ambulance. My heart stopped a beat. This was the first time an ambulance came to our home or my dad was ever about to visit a hospital. So I couldn’t digest seeing him in this condition. We had to manage hospital visits, medicines, home matters, hospital expenses, conveyance, pick and drop and arranging shifts of day and night stay all by ourselves. None of our so called friends, family or relatives volunteered or even asked for the sake of just asking. Second last night of my father’s life, I, out of sheer frustration and being overburdened, had called and literally begged some of the people in my circle to offer their services for hospital shifts since my mother and my brother were exhausted and had gotten sick (cough, flu, fever, body pain, diarrhea and vomiting). Doctor strictly asked them not to come to hospital at any cost and arrange someone else to manage things at hospital.


June 28, 2020, at 10 a.m. I was arranging medicines for my mother as her lungs X-rays were not good. That was the time when I came to know dad’s oxygen saturation level had dropped again and was in 80’s. We got worried but not much as it kept fluctuating and my brother had talked with dad over phone that morning. Dad asked him to get him out of hospital as he said that he was tired of staying there and was feeling difficulty in breathing. At 2 p.m we got a phone call from hospital and came to know that the doctors had decided to put him on ventilator. We as a family got very much upset and were in a dilemma whether or not we should have him put on ventilator. Another call came, and we came to know that the “line is straight”, he is no more, the one who gave me life has himself given up on his. He had lost his heart. My father who had been fighting is battle with Corona since past 12 days, had given up as his 65 year old heart got tired of pumping heavily due to lack of oxygen. Oxygen had dropped to 65 and he had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. Ahhh.. Dad, we are so sorry we couldn’t save you. You had always been our hero and a savior. Only if there was a way in medical sciences to donate my heartbeat and breadths to you. 

I had to skip the thought of my father’s death as my mother was next in line. Her condition was bad and family doctor had asked me to have her treated right away. I called many pharmacies and clinics if they could send someone to inject her with anti-clotting injection that was mandatory to be given to her right away but no one was willing to come home as we just had a death in our home due to Covid and my mother was also a Covid patient. Only a counted number of relatives came to our home and none stayed for long. I could see the fear in their eyes while hugging us for condolence. As if they were fulfilling a formality or as if there was an attendance chart where they had to mark their attendance. It was painful. The dead body came. I wanted to take him out of there and lie there instead. Couldn’t believe my eyes. The last I saw him was on bed, talking to us. And they took the coffin. My father was taken away from us to be buried. To a place from no one has ever came back and will never come. I was feeling like a triple personality person at that time: 1. The one who was in sheer mourning and state of shock and denial due to her father’s death. 2. One whose mother and brother were badly sick and had to keep herself together to make timely and right decisions for their treatment. 3. One who had to send her son away from her to her in-laws for the first time for his safety. In all this, there was no room for negligence, losing my mind, intolerance, going crazy or putting myself into a shell to avoid the situation. Certainly no room at all no matter how strongly I wanted to run away from all this.

Sooner I got to know, that I myself was a Covid-19 patient but asymptomatic (the one whose symptoms don’t show up). I didn’t pay much worry to it. I kept myself going with the flow for fulfilling my responsibilities towards rest of my family and my deceased father. We hadn’t seen anyone other than ourselves this whole time. People were calling for condolences but since mom and brother weren’t in good shape so again, it was me the whole time who was attending to all calls and messages for condolences as well as for asking about mom, brother and myself. And that’s why I had to put a status of requesting not to bombard me with long calls. Most of the people got offended by my status and taunted, bashed and insulted me for putting it instead of understanding the reason behind it. Additionally, I had to keep a check on my son too as I had to make sure my son and in-laws weren’t developing any symptoms. And off course, most importantly, I had to listen to doctors’ phone calls, messages, and feed backs and share reports with them along with arranging daily medications and lab men to have us tested.

Unfortunately, death only takes your loved ones away from you. It doesn’t take their responsibilities and errands along. Bills, daily matters, salaries, rents, taxes, groceries, utility needs all were intact and were waiting in line to be served. So since dad was no longer there, we had to take care of these matters as well. Death doesn't wait nor the worldly matters. Clock keeps ticking just the way it used to tick when dad was there.

Today, more than a month has passed since “the happening”. We all are okay (clinically). Covid had bestowed its mercy on the rest of us. Suffering through after effects of corona like weakness and depression along with facing two plated faces of people on daily basis, coming in contact with un-expected responses and behaviors of people for whom we were highly available every time. This trauma has slowed down our recovery and so has shown the insensitivity of people. We are alive, but feels like that one of our vital organ has been removed. There is not even a single day we don’t miss dad or cry for him. I cannot sleep unless I take some sleeping pill. I want to cry as much as I can as I had held in for long. But now, tears don’t accompany the pain in my heart. I used to be a talkative and lively one, now I don’t feel anything in me other than rage and sorrow. I know death is mortal. It is the act of God. But my pain is real too and alas, people were, are, have been and will be oblivious.

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