We’re all fighting a common enemy right now, and that is Covid-19. We do everything in our abilities to make sure it stays away from us and our loved ones. But what happens when it comes knocking on your door and makes itself comfortable in your home?
Jimmy Xavier, Bangalore’s beloved RJ on Radio Mirchi, was tested positive for Covid-19. Thankfully he overcame it and is doing great. His journey isn’t the one the media portrays. It’s not full of panic and morbidity. It’s something very different and, believe it or not, but it’s not scary. It’s a side the news channels often ignore, but we wanted to highlight.
Here is our exclusive interview with RJ Jimmy, a Covid-19 Survivor. Hopefully it’ll give you a ray of hope ( and make you realize that getting the Novel Coronavirus is not the end of the world).
What made you reach for a Covid-19 test?
I live in Bangalore and the protocol is if someone in your family travelled or tested positive all the members of the family get tested. I had a fever, a light cough and body soreness though so somewhere at the back of my head I was thinking, “Boss, Virus is there”
Do you know how you caught covid-19?
I don’t think I caught it, it caught me. At this point we don’t know for sure. My mother caught it first. There are some theories, but they are all just conjecture at this point. It’s quite hard to pin it down really.
What went through your mind when you got your positive result?
In my head, the filmy ‘nahinnnn…’ echoed over and over. But it wasn’t out of fear of the virus, but the inconvenience I would have to deal with. SO much inconvenience. Because this virus is an inconvenience more than anything. I would have to be hospitalised for a minimum of 14 days, my family would be quarantined in a Government facility all the way across town, and my dog would be sent to a boarding home. It was inconvenient all around. During this time I think my family touched all 4 corners of the city.
However, I wasn’t scared. I knew that 80-85% of people only get light flu-like symptoms and only 3% need critical care.
Plus, I have a deal with the universe that I’m going to live to be 100, so this virus was just going to have to pass.
How was your experience at the hospital where you were admitted?
I was admitted to Victoria Hospital in Bangalore. The staff members were amazing and looked after us with so much care, love and empathy, despite being in those hot, full body PPE suits which prevented them from eating or using the bathroom for 6 hours!
All us Covid patients became a mini family. Most of us were asymptomatic and constantly joked about our situation, which took the edge off. The only ‘essential’ item we had was our phone (which is an infection in itself). We were all put on a Whatsapp group and the requests started rolling in soon enough. Towels, lungis, clothes, tooth brushes, toothpaste, shaving kits, coconut oil, sanitary napkins and many more were asked for daily, and all were met. Dr. Banu, arranged deliveries for all our requests, all free of charge! She even conducted painting competitions for the kids and sent them prizes if they won! It was incredible.
What treatment did they give you?
The STAR treatment! As in, I was treated like a star. There is no cure for Covid-19, so the treatment they gave just kind of ensured that there was no other infection in our system and somewhat brought down the viral load (the amount of virus) in the body. It was a 5 day course with a combination of 3 tablets. The actual ‘cure’ lies within our bodies. The body has to kick the virus out – so there is a need for nutritious food, lots of water and sleep. So if you actually look at it objectively we were on a kind of a fully paid low budget vacation.
Did you face any stigma when you returned? From neighbours, friends etc?
I fortunately live in a very supportive society so we have received nothing but love and prayers during our adventure with the virus. However I know of other people who haven’t been that lucky. Some have even been asked to vacate their houses by their landlords! This is all a function of unnecessary panic. And it’s cruel. The people who have got infected are victims of the virus who have been cured. They are people, not walking Covid threats, and I wish more of society realized this. Covid-19 survivors need love, empathy and care, not hate and fear mongering.
More so, this stigmatic attitude might stop people from even reporting their illnesses! If that happens, we have a much larger problem on our hands.
What according to you is the biggest misconception people have about COVID-19 ?
The biggest misconception is that if you get the virus – it’s a one way ticket to meet Yama. And that’s plain bullshit. 80-85% will have no symptoms or very light symptoms. Only 3 % will need critical care. So it’s not nearly as dramatic and daunting as people make it out to be.
Does the media hype it up according to you?
I think the media has a huge responsibility to get people to calm down. As much as they should report the numbers, they should equally focus on positive stories and recoveries. There is more space given to the morbid and negative stories – the positive ones need to be highlighted more so people can celebrate the victories more, and that might help reduce the fear.
After speaking to Jimmy, I realized that more than anything, it was his positive attitude that helped the most. Panic, stress, anxiety, and negativity will only make the situation worse. Laughing about it, staying optimistic and taking it in your stride is what you need to do.
The frontline fighters deserve much more credit than they get, and at MirchiPlay, we recognise their sacrifices and hard work, and greatly appreciate them for that.
Jimmy has also shared a few interesting tips to deal with Covid-19, which you can read HERE
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