The fear of Covid-19 may be slowly fading in the Sultanate as people accept the reality that they have to live with the virus. Though the virus has claimed many lives, the survivors tell tales of hope and confidence. They say there is nothing to fear if infected with the virus “if proper care is taken”.
For Abdul Salam, the ordeal with Covid-19 started on May 12 when he was tested even though he did not have any flu-like symptoms.
“From the very beginning, I was not worried because I did not have any serious symptoms. I was advised to stay in home isolation, take medicine, and proper food. But what helped to survive is the timely detection of the infection,” he said.
Abdul Salam, who works in a mobile shop in Ruwi, is one of many who survived the coronavirus infection and started working with rejuvenated confidence.
“I was initially afraid and was under severe mental stress after getting to know about the outbreak of COVID-19. Maybe the fear got me the virus. I had coughing and mild fever when I was tested positive,” said Rajan Thomas, a salesman at a building material shop in Ruwi.
But he has a word of thanks for his friends and colleagues who fed him with healthy food after being placed in a single room for the two-week isolation period.
“Do not get panic but develop self-confidence. Follow the guidelines given by the authorities to survive the scare,” he advises.
Faizal Ahmed, an Omani, who was tested positive, had regularly been attending office till his swab was examined. “I went to the health centre following a fever-like situation. After being screened I was found to be the carrier of the virus. Now I am in isolation at home without any serious illness”, he told the Observer over the phone.
But Benny Thomas, an Indian national who left for his home country this week, had a different tale to say. “I had many co-morbid conditions resulting from chronic illnesses including diabetes and coronary heart conditions. After being tested positive, that too with serious coughing and temperature, I was admitted to Al Nahda Hospital. But I pulled through thanks to the exemplary service provided by the health staff at the hospital,” he said.
“A sense of discipline and new social habits need to be cultivated to cope with the post-coronavirus world to live fit both physically and psychologically,” suggests Dr. Hamed al Sinawi, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital.
Once people are let out into the world to rejoin their lives, the pandemic will continue to haunt them for years to come. But the human mind can adapt to changes that occur frequently in its culture and habits, he said. “This is time to reflect upon our current state of affairs and consider where we are going and how we might do better. It’s an opportunity to make systemic improvements,” he said.