While many Nigerians still think COVID-19 is a hoax, some people who have survived the deadly infection have chronicled how they contracted and survived the virus.
They shared their experiences and recovery journeys in response to a tweet by social media influencer, Dr. Joe Abah.
Abah had tweeted through his verified Twitter handle @JoeAbah that he wanted to hear the experience of anyone that had survived the global pandemic.
“I would be interested to hear the experience of anyone that has survived the coronavirus infection.
“Can you tell exactly how, when and where you caught it?
“Apart from known symptoms, what else did you experience? How long, after testing negative, did you get back to your old self?” Abah had tweeted.
One of the people that responded was a Nigerian journalist and Supervising Editor at the CNN, Stephanie Busari, who said she caught COVID-19 in late June 2020.
“I caught Covid late June last year. Don’t know exactly how, but likely from reporting assignments. Lasted around eight weeks in all. The first 10 days, I was extremely fatigued and couldn’t get out of bed. Symptoms: chest pains, cough and strange icy heat sensation in nerve endings,” Stephanie tweeted.
She narrated that she had a strange and terrifying experience but she used a pulse oximeter to measure her blood oxygen levels.
“It was a strange and terrifying time. I got a pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen levels; this helped greatly to help me know I was not in immediate danger. Steam inhalation, Zinc and vitamins C and D also helped,” she tweeted.
Also, a woman who identified herself as a medical doctor with the Twitter handle @lolasparkles said she thought she had malaria until she tested positive for COVID-19.
She tweeted: “I am a Dr, so I can’t point out from whom exactly I got it.
“I took the precautions, always had my face mask on till I entered the house.
“I wash off everything I take to work and bath everyday. I eat lots of fruits, drink water enough, but still I got it. Still recovering though.
“I thought it was malaria, till day three of antimalarials and there was no improvement.
“I had this serious fatigue and couldn’t do anything. I lost my sense of taste and smell for nine days.
“I ran the test immediately after the completion of the antimalarials and there was no relief.
“It came back positive and I had to wear mask in the house because of my toddler.
“I took all the regimen prescribed. Still on it. The cough is yet to subside but I’m glad to be alive.”
One Aziz Adekoya with the Twitter handle @deoziz said six months after his COVID-19 recovery, he became more sensitive to cold temperatures.
“And after three more days of slight fever (high body temperature) and slight cough, I was okay.
“But it’s the post-recovery that was weird. Before COVID-19, I used to boast of a high tolerance to the extreme temperatures, but six months post COVID-19, I couldn’t take my shirt off when the air conditioner was on,” he tweeted.
Also, Vikki W Gaal in her response via her Twitter handle @Vikki2481 said when she caught the virus, every breath was like she was inhaling glass.
“Caught it at work during the first wave. The fatigue was something else. In the acute phase, every breath was like I was inhaling glass.
“I lost my exercise tolerance for months. Later had the antibody test which was positive but swabs and saliva tests have been negative since.”
She said inhalation was painful for her. “Very painful. Even post-isolation, I was still struggling.
“Luckily, my breathing improved within two weeks. COVID is really ruthless.”
Also, Lucid Dream, who identified himself as a human rights activist, tweeted, “Immune system is everything, the virus attacks everything, it will look like your body isn’t making any progress, at night, you are alone with the virus and it begins to torture you with unimaginable pains. You’ll transition into different dreams in one night, soaked with sweat.”
Another person, Enogieru Osasenaga, said his experience was weird and he had mouth sores and a runny nose.
“Mine was a bit weird. Few days to my last Lagos trip in 2020, I had some mouth sores and runny nose.
“Arrived Lagos on a Thursday and by Saturday, I was very weak I could barely eat.
“Monday morning, I couldn’t go to the office, had meetings lying in bed. Went to the clinic to run some test – Malaria – FBC – X-ray, yet nothing showed.
“My sense of smell disappeared on Monday evening, had a very bitter taste in my mouth.
“The fatigue was the worst. I could barely stand up, sitting wasn’t comfortable either.
“By Thursday, the office sent a doctor to the apartment to run test and that was when we realised it was COVID-19. It took about a week after that to get back on my feet,” he tweeted via his handle @OsasenagaEno.
So far, the total number of infections in Nigeria is 120,602; 95,901 persons treated and discharged; while the total number of deaths is 1,502 as of Saturday night.
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