COVID-19 tests, once results are confirmed positive, psychologically affects the individual. Like a droplet in water with a ripple effect, there goes your own kin, neighbors, friends and co-workers. Your only friends are the contact tracers and the ambulance driver who fetches you at one o’clock in the morning to bring you to a facility where you are mandatorily quarantined for 14 days. In my case, at Teacher’s Camp.
A cubicle with a bed awaits you, and a common toilet you share with four more patients. You are not to socialize with anyone, except the healthcare that does the rounds. Your only activity is sleep, drink and eat. It is a complete vacation, you might say. On the first few days it seems fine, until you become restless, crave for better tasting food, start worrying about your loved ones. Your only companion is your cellphone, if you have one, and start communicating with your family. Boredom sinks in, mentally stressed because you miss your family, you question your own life existence. The cubicle becomes a meditation and confessional box.
Wait a minute, am I sick? You start questioning, feeling, checking any kind of symptom as you hear other patients in the other cubicle coughing. Am I here to recuperate? Or to be exposed to more of the virus? You become determined to fight it, to be stronger and come out of this facility healthy, acceptable and COVID free.
Oh, wait a minute, I still have four more days to go! Frustrated, you sneak out of the corridor, only to be policed, you cannot even dare get out of your own prison cell. Prison? Yes! I know there is a garden, an oval to run, why, why can’t I be allowed physical exercise to breathe fresh air and flex my muscles? Mental stress! I need a psychologist! But where are they?
Why don’t we have a dining area so we can socialize, we’re all positive anyway, instead of being confined in this solitary cubicle. Lucky for those isolated in their own homes with their own bedroom and bathroom. They can still move about doing their own chores, provided with good food, encouraged and assured of their family’s love and understanding.
Why can’t we have the same atmosphere of a home, where our co-patients become our family, and the frontlines become our parents. Please do not treat us as if we are the disease, treat us as human beings with feelings and needs. Be more understanding, please…