A Khayelitsha health worker who survived Covid-19 says she is concerned about the ability of people to cope with the psychological stresses caused by the pandemic.
Senior dietician at the Khayelitsha Hospital, Megan Marais, and her husband both tested positive for Covid19 and had to go into isolation at home.
“She said she had initially tested negative after her husband tested positive. At the time the death rate was increasing.
However, when her husband was in his last few days of isolation, she started having mild symptoms and had to be tested again.
They had been as cautious as possible, even using separate bathrooms, and it was difficult time for her family but they remained calm.
Ms Marais said she wasn’t shocked when she got the positive result as she had suspected she may have the virus.
She was however, greatly affected by her symptoms.
“I slept day and night. The emotional effect is worse than the physical effect. All you do is pray and pray.
“I had my bible next to me all the time. I joined facebook groups.
“I would read my scripture on facebook. It was not easy,” she said with a smile.
The situation took a toll on her and she experienced anxiety, stopped reading and watching the news, and kept praying that she would get back to her normal life.
“The death rate was really alarming. I stopped reading newspapers and watching the news.
“I think now the media should focus more on the positives.
“There are so many people who come out of isolation healthier,” she suggested.
She said it was good for those affected to get support.
Today she is grateful for how she was welcoomed back by colleagues when she returned to work. “When people came out with banners and placards to welcome me, I was shocked.
“This was the best day of my life ever.
“The welcome was overwhelming,” she said.
She encourages emotional support to fellow people who have tested positive as it goes a long way in easing the recovery process.
“It is not your fault that you contracted the virus.
“People should not be ashamed after testing positive for Covid-19, but should focus on their recovery. No one, I mean no one, is immune to Covid-19.
“Lots of people have gone through this and people should prioritise themselves, take care of themselves, their body and mind. Surround yourself with people that can speak life over you,” she said.