COVID-19 survivors’ tales: grit, gumption and abiding hope

COVID-19 survivors’ tales | For this septuagenarian from Visakhapatnam, it’s just another hurdle to combat

Ramani Rao, a 74-year-old COVID-19 survivor from Visakhapatnam, says one should have a positive attitude to defeat the virus. Photo: Special Arrangement  

“The day I was diagnosed positive with coronavirus, I was sure that I would defeat it and live to see another day with my family and friends. And here I am hale and hearty, after being hospitalised for over a week in April,” said 74-year-old Ramani Rao.

Ms. Rao is no stranger to adversity and the Visakhapatnam native treated the virus as just another hurdle to be overcome with will power.

“I was married to an officer who served in the ASC (Army Service Corps), hence half my life I spent in forward areas and have seen at least two wars,” said the doughty septugenarian and former teacher.

“The year I was married, the war between India and Pakistan broke out on the western front in 1965, and my husband Col. Kona Arjun Rao, was posted somewhere on the Kashmir border. Being a young woman fresh out of college and newly married, I did not then fear any eventualities, nor do I now. And my advice to all is to be brave and face the challenge with courage. Many are losing out on the race due to lack of it,” says Ms. Rao.

Misfortunes certainly didn’t come alone to Ms. Rao. Just a week before she was diagnosed with COVID, she had fractured her left humerus. It was a compound fracture, requiring a major surgery.

“Though COVID has come and gone, I am yet to recover from the fracture. But both coming together was like a double whammy. Moreover, the concern was that I was in the high risk group having diabetes and hypertension,” she said.

She was admitted into the CSR block of King George Hospital, and proved an exemplary patient with nurses and doctors still remembering her energy levels and positive attitude.

Almost during the same period, both her sons were diagnosed with COVID and one was also admitted into KGH.

“Surprisingly, my son’s oxygen level dropped and he had to be put under oxygen. But all through my illness my levels never dropped below the 97. And I tell my children and everybody, to exercise to keep a healthy heart and lungs,” said Ms. Ramani.

A pranic healer, Ms Rao said meditation can calm the mind and reduce anxiety levels during difficult times.

“COVID is here and let’s accept it. There is no need to fear or develop anxiety or some kind of inferior complex. It is affecting everybody and we have to face it bravely. But at the same time to keep it at bay we must follow the COVID appropriate behaviour,” said Ms. Ramani.


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 4:27:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/covid-19-survivors-tales-for-this-septuagenarian-from-visakhapatnam-its-just-another-hurdle-to-combat/article34521380.ece

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