Coronavirus Life & Style

These COVID-19 patients coped with isolation and anxiety in their own uplifting ways

Leading change from a hospital bed

As I work with a hospital, I was busy even while I was admitted there after testing positive. I was constantly on the phone, replying to various queries on beds, vaccine and medication. When I was not able to talk, I was messaging.

Being on a hospital bed and battling the virus made me understand the plight of the people seeking help and I couldn’t turn my back. This also helped me feel stronger and diverted my attention.

— Sai Ram, marketing professional

Comfort in reading old favourites

The only driving forces that kept me strong were my mother, wife and sister. Every day as I felt weak and fatigued, I’d tell myself, I have to be strong for them and fight it out. I wasn’t in a frame of mind to read a new book, so I started re-readingthe Harry Potter series, followed by Ayn Rand and the Inheritance series. I also re-watched The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit. All this even though I knew that Sauron and Voldemort would be defeated, I just wanted to go back to those familiar scenes.

These COVID-19 patients coped with isolation and anxiety in their own uplifting ways

The other most important thing my family did was to be on video most of the time; it was our way of being connected. Since my wife and I both tested positive, it was my mother who kept a watch on us. She would keep the video on in the kitchen while she worked, so that was like our window to the world outside.

— Mallik Thatipalli, content writer

Transistor by my side

I am 81 years old and am not a big fan of music, but I do have a transistor by my bedside right now just to listen to the political discussions. News is depressing. But since I like reading, I finished Ashwin Sanghi’s Chanakya’s Chant. That book was gripping and made me forget my lethargy.

These COVID-19 patients coped with isolation and anxiety in their own uplifting ways

I read Sanghi’s The Rozabal Line too. I also call my daughters and friends to check on their well-being and also use the opportunity slyly to ask them if I sound feeble.

— Dharma Kanta Sharma, retired teacher

We’re in this together, on video call

After testing positive, I assured myself that I will be fine. I reminded myself of having the privilege of a safety net in the form of supportive friends even though I was away from my family. Staying connected with my wife and daughter through video calls kept me happy.

We also made a pact that as a family we would be honest with each other about our feelings and well being. My friends kept me engaged with jokes and chats, jumping in to help with whatever I needed. A strong support system is very important to keep you in the right frame of mind.

Sajan Pookkodan, communication professional

Vadivelu memes will save us

When my mother, brother and I tested positive we preferred home quarantine. We stayed in our respective rooms and decided to stay away from news bulletins. We also spoke to each other from our rooms instead of communicating through phone. I sailed through my isolation days with Vadivelu memes and jokes.

These COVID-19 patients coped with isolation and anxiety in their own uplifting ways

Seven days after we were allowed to mingle with each other, we played a lot of board games. As a household that survived COVID-19, my request to others is, be kind to those who are sick. That really lifts up their spirits. I am actively talking to my friends who have the virus now. I want to keep them motivated and do whatever cheers them up.

— Bakiya Sri, analyst

I needed to feel like myself again

Cal Newport’s book Deep Work was my companion at night when I couldn’t sleep. During the day when I was not coughing, I was on call with my parents and niece. My husband and I both tested positive, so I had company in isolation.

These COVID-19 patients coped with isolation and anxiety in their own uplifting ways

I am also part of an NLP group that shared motivational speeches and conducted virtual community meetings. It gave me the push to get dressed, do my hair and wear my earrings, so I could feel like myself again. By the 12th day, I got onto social media to see how I could be of help to others.

Shilpa Nainani, emcee

Same hospital, different rooms

When I was hospitalised, I kept myself focussed and positive to recover for my wife. COVID-19 hit her severely and I was only focussing on her recovery. For a week, we couldn’t see each other even though we were in the same hospital. That was very frustrating.

To distract myself, I read Bahula by A Appala Naidu, a 500-page socio-historical fiction based in Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh.

— Venugopal N, journalist

Nothing beats Telugu music, not even COVID-19

I spent many days in three different ICUs. Right now, I am home and recovering, but with limited limb function. While in the hospital my friends advised me to practise Vipasana, they sent me chants, verses from the Gita, and suggested meditative music. I tried them all and honestly, I found them depressing.

Instead, I found my mojo in popular Telugu film songs; their upbeat music made me feel alive — I wanted to break into a dance even in my bed. I insisted on doing some basic exercise. Calming music and meditation didn’t work for me. Everybody is different, so one should be allowed to listen and watch whatever gives them joy.

— Vanaja C, journalist

All Illustrations by Satheesh Vellinezhi


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 10:28:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/coronavirus-covid-19-india-patients-dealing-isolation-anxiety-mental-health-with-hobbies-and-family-support/article34495949.ece

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