Getting Over COVID-19- A Writer’s Experience

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Kaushik Viswanathan, a writer, took a selfie as he passed his time in isolation following a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. (Photo: courtesy Kaushik Viswanathan)

Now that he is over it with no fever for more than 24 hours, Kaushik Viswanath looks back to his days with COVID-19. Compared to some of the sad stories around the world, Viswanath’s is reassuring and possibly, hopefully, what a majority of people will go through.

For Viswanath, who works with the online magazine Medium.com, the move to isolation at home from office, may not have affected his output much, but it did affect his social life.

“I am feeling pretty good now,” Viswanath said recounting his experience to Desi Talk on March 23, 2020, He sent a selfie to prove it.

Lucky for him, he had already taken the option to work from home when the company offered it. Sitting in his shared flat in Harlem, Viswanath began to feel a cough and a fever creeping up on what is already considered an ominous for those who are superstitious — Friday the 13th (of March)

His mind went immediately to his friends and colleagues. “I wasn’t sure what it was but I called up some people I had been with in the last few days so they could take precautions,” he said.

Though his cough did not get very serious and he did not feel symptoms of shortness of breath, the fever persisted, shooting to 102 degrees and hovering at 99 to 101degrees, off and on.

He called the urgent care clinic in his neighborhood on March 15, to ask if he could see a doctor. “They said they could test me if I wore a mask when I came.” He walked the kilometer or so and when he reached the clinic, it was empty. The doctor saw him, tested him first for the flu and then for COVID-19.

“I was surprised that they allowed me to come and tested me. I had called ahead and was not going to go in if it was crowded,” Viswanath said.

The doctor sent him home with some guidelines.

Meanwhile, Viswanath resorted to cough suppressants during the first few days of the symptoms, and used acetaminophen to control the fever.

He got the results on March 18. He had tested positive with the Coronavirus. His fever lasted till March 22. “So now I have been off the medicines for about 36 hours,” he told Desi Talk.

Viswanath does not know how long he will continue working from home, but admits he was a bit rattled when his fever “kept persisting.”

Stories of others who have gone through a positive COVID-19 test have varied from severe to mild. Viswanath was a milder case. “Everyone seems to have a different experience,” he said. “Mine seems to have been milder. My situation was – I wasn’t getting worse, but I wasn’t getting better.”

“I was trying to not have people worry about me,” he said. His parents in India were worried. “I was meanwhile worried about them, and my grandmother, and told them to take it (COVID warnings) seriously,” Viswanath said.

He does not know how long he has to remain in quarantine. And just in case one is wondering about his flatmate – the two have maintained their distance inside the flat and he is fine… as of March 22, when Desi Talk spoke to Viswanath.

Meanwhile, the graduate of IIT Madras, who got his degree in Creative Writing from University of Notre Dame, says, “I am back to work– with me, my laptop and my room,”

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