Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent

#KeepingTheFaith: Conversations and Community Kept My Mind Off Grim Musings

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    Chhitiz Kumar

    “Conversations and community kept my mind off grim musings.”


CT 22

30 March 2021. I reached Delhi, excited to start a new job. 2 April. I woke up with a slight temperature and cough. I put it down to travel fatigue and new surroundings. Within a few hours, I had a raging fever and a heavy cough. I think these were the early days of the second wave in Delhi, and it caught me completely unaware. I queued up for hours to get an RTPCR test the next day. The following morning, the test said CT 22. I had COVID. Alone and new to the city, I was terrified. 

Vitamin R

Rest was the key. The first three days, I was so exhausted with the fear, the fever, and the aches that I almost slept 20 out of the 24 hours. Sleep helped. So did following the doctor’s suggestions. Living at an ‘OYO Stay’, everyday meals were an issue. But thanks to the kind neighbourhood mess owner, I got fresh meals dropped off at my doorstep. Food on time, medicines on the dot, rest, and cleaning my surroundings; I made these a part of my daily routine. Managing everything independently, together with the COVID symptoms, meant I had needed to rest a lot to overcome the weakness. The headaches and backaches did not allow me to function otherwise.


Imagine calling in sick in the first week of a new job. I was nervous, but I needn’t have been. I have to thank my colleagues and HR for having my back all these days. And for giving me the time and the space to work as I could, without pressure.

Every hello healed

Eventually, I informed my parents. Phone calls were my lifeline. Calls from my sister, close friends and, colleagues offering help or simply chatting about non-COVID things. These conversations and the sense of community kept my mind off grim musings.

Doing your bit

I tested negative a few days back and am on the road to recovery. But back in Buxar, my father is now COVID positive. I have managed to arrange for his Fabiflu meds from the grey market. He is much better now. But we are not out of the woods yet. We are all longing to return to the old normal. But we cannot, without caution. Let’s keep your masks on. Keep busy. And always find a way to help. I am waiting to sign up on the plasma donor database.