In the series of interviews with covid-19 survivors Great Dyke News 24 editor Moses Charedzera (MC) speaks to a 35-year-old resident of Chadcombe, Harare (Thomas Mukuta, TM- not his real name as he preferred anonymity due to the stigma associated with the disease) to share his two-week hospitalisation and isolation experience at home.
MC: What made you go for the covid-19 test?
TM: I had to go and get tested for covid-19 because I experienced body pains for four days and I had developed a rash similar to a heat rash.
MC: What was the test results and how did you receive them?
TM: The results tested positive and it was hard to accept. I thought it was the end of me.
MC: How did the family react to the results?
TM: The family accepted the results and they were so supportive. It was quite hard. Having tested positive, I then had to engage a doctor.
MC: How did the disease progress? How were you feeling?
TM: As the disease progressed, I ended up losing my sense of taste even the sense of smell. I couldn’t even differentiate thesmells of different things from each other. I remember this other day when I asked for a boiled egg with chilli.
I couldn’t even feel the taste of the chilli. I said, you guys haven’t put enough chilli so I requested for more but still I couldn’t pick up the chilli taste.
I also felt like I was going to die. I felt like my body was too tired to carry on and it was a scary thing indeed.
MC: What was the isolation plan and how did the family manage this? Is there anyone else in the family who got infected with the disease?
TM: I had to use the bedroom as my own space and we thank God I did not infect anybody in the family because most of the times it was my wife who would attend to me, of course wearing protective clothing. The bedroom was off bounds for the kids. The only time I would see them is when I would go for a walk when I was recovering. They would be putting on masks just like I would.
MC: What medication did you get?
TM: Some drips were run on me. I still remember, on the list of drugs used there was brufen, then there was azithromycin, there was hydro chloroquine sulphate, there was zinc, there was vitamin C, then there was diclofenac.
I was also taking benylin for flue and on top of this I was also taking glucose. These are the medications that I used. Some of the drugs were delivered intravenously and three times the doctor had to rush on call as my situation had worsened.
MC: Did you use other home therapies apart from medical drugs? What worked better for you?
TM: I was steaming with tsunami, zumbani and anions and there was this concoction I was taking comprising of honey, ginger and anions mixed together with water. I was also taking zumbani, the most popular zumbani. The truth is, I can’t tell what worked better for me but I would feel relieved after taking the concoction. Even when my body was rubbed with some anions mixed with tsunami I would feel a lot better.
MC: What were your emotions and how do you explain how you survived?
TM: Twice I felt like I was about to die and having accepted it all but what brough me back is the images, the visions of all the prophecies that were given to me at church and I thought should I really give up, is it time before all these prophecies had been fulfilled? This gave me the strength to push on and on and on.
MC: How long did you take to recover?
TM: As for recovering, it was a bit complicated as I was on the deathbed for two weeks, I should say. So, it took me about twoweeks to recover. It was quite some time.
MC: What advice do you have for the general public?
TM: My message is keep yourself safe because this thing is real. Mask up, sanitise, practice social distancing and stay at home. Do not make some unnecessary movements. Never trust anybody. As for me I was so cautious from day one when we were taught about covid-19 but still I don’t know how I got it. There is always a loophole and it could be that I trusted too much because up to now I don’t know how I contracted the disease.