cooking fever

﹛﹛Editor’s note: This news column showcases stories from around the world that bring a touch of positivity to the fight against the deadly coronavirus.

﹛﹛My wife and I never imagined a sense of gloom would engulf us even though we understand life is a mixture of joy and pain.

﹛﹛

﹛﹛Madhulata (left) and Manoj Chaurasia in May.

﹛﹛We had just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with much fanfare in March and barely settled down to our normal routine when trouble came knocking at our door.

﹛﹛I noticed the first sign of trouble when my wife, Madhulata, suffered from cold, cough and fever on April 19. Very soon, I and our two children also got hit by a fever.

﹛﹛Initially, we mistook the illness as seasonal flu. But as my wife’s fever and cough continued, I contacted my family doctor who prescribed medicines used for treating COVID patients. He suggested all of us take the medicines as a preventive measure and undergo tests to confirm if we had COVID-19.

﹛﹛We noticed our sense of taste and smell had vanished. That set off acute panic as we fretted the virus may have entered our home. It was terrifying as the media was rife with reports of a lack of beds, oxygen and even basic medicines at hospitals amid a mounting COVID death toll.

﹛﹛I contacted a few diagnostic centers to collect our swab samples for COVID-19 tests but they refused, saying they have limited staff.

﹛﹛We all rushed to the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences on April 22 and gave our samples for testing. I was told to collect the reports the following day. All the four members in my household tested positive.

﹛﹛The next day, the first sign of trouble came when my wife had diarrhea. I gave her several medicines suggested by the doctor but her condition did not improve.

﹛﹛Her condition was worsening. With the help of my friends, a government doctor arrived in a local police vehicle. The doctor prescribed a number of medicines and suggested administering saline water to Madhulata for at least four days.

﹛﹛Most of the neighbors were cooped up inside their homes and reluctant to interact with outsiders.

﹛﹛At this critical time, one of my sons’ school friends proved to be a great help. Not only did he deliver medicines to my home, he also brought vegetables and other essential daily items to help our family during the home quarantine.

﹛﹛A medical assistant from a private hospital administered saline water to my wife. After four days, my wife’s condition started improving.

﹛﹛One morning, I felt a light smell of the spices while cooking in the kitchen. I shared the happy news with my children, and discovered that they, too, had regained their sense of smell. My wife was also happy to smell the aroma of life.

﹛﹛We are getting back on our feet now, but the horror and the near social boycott we endured will never be erased from our memory.

﹛﹛The author is a freelance journalist for China Daily.

﹛﹛MANOJ CHAURASIA in Patna, India

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