The sun is at its height and the sultry summer winds are making way to our bedroom. The curtains are swinging, protesting to break away and fly. I look at them wanting to fly away myself. But all I feel is the enormous weight of all existing cells in my body, just lying idly on the bed. For the next ten minutes, I keep trying to pull myself out of bed to begin the day even though the clock points at 11 am. During my struggle as I look around, I could see P exasperated with a similar situation. I smiled at my partner, as promised, in sickness and in health.
“Do you feel the fever?” I was asked in a slight tone.
“I guess”, my body crying at every time I shuffled myself.
The next one hour went in getting up, feeding ourselves reluctantly with little breakfast and then gulping an unending list of medicines with almost a litre of water. All of the little energy that we had gathered through the whole night’s sleep was already depleted. Thinking of watching something, we dozed off before even being able to finalize any Season or Movie.
Waking up for lunch was a similar story minus the medicine routine. However, post-lunch being the most energetic part of the day, we assigned each other minor tasks like changing the bedsheet, cleaning the room, washing the utensils, and of course taking a shower if the body strength allowed it. We had to make the space liveable to recover faster. It would make me jittery to think of such little tasks taking more than double the time it would take otherwise and consuming all our energy. But it is what it is.
I lie down again, feeling tired. I pick up my Kindle to continue the book I had started to read on day one of isolation but my eyes just wouldn’t cooperate. Since it’s the body that felt weak but the mind was still very much awake, I stare at the fan, feeling the fever rising up in my body again.
I started to think of the evening before the isolation started. We had been showing symptoms like fever and fatigue for two days when we decided to get tested for Covid-19. The reports came in a day later, just before I had a critical product demo on the work front. After the meeting, as the gravity of both of us being tested positive dawned on me, I had broken down. (Obviously, because that’s my response for most of the situations in life right now!) Sometime later when we declared it to our family, our news was met with sombre silence in the house. The only sounds that banged our eardrums were the slow humming of the fans in the house and the faint music coming from the house downstairs. This marked the beginning of our proposed 14 days isolation period. The house was sealed for quarantine. The doctors were contacted, the medicines were arranged, the diet was discussed – all through calls.
With all these faint images circling the mind, I don’t remember how long it took me to slip back to sleep.
The above routine lasted for about three-four days before the medicines started to take effect and we felt a little better. The days felt a little brighter and the nights, a little calmer. Fever reduced, fatigue left us with its friend cough which would keep us awake most of the time. But the questions that we asked each other every second hour remained the same-
“Feeling any fever?”
“Any breathing issues?”
“How bad is the cough?”
“How tired is the body feeling?”
As the mornings stretched into days and days turned into nights, we lost track of dates of the month and days of the week. Seeing each other laugh at our miserable jokes kept us sane. Though the news of the outside world grew grim, this isolation period became like our own little cocoon. Having each other’s company felt like a gift in this tiresome endless time. Times would go by when I would just scroll down the infinite social media feed, feeling the world disintegrate around me, while he would keep dozing away by my side. Sounds silly, but I would then grab this opportunity to count his breaths per minute because otherwise, he would get too conscious to get the correct respiration rate.
Though the appetite was lost and eating felt like a chore, we couldn’t resist dreaming of delicacies we would gorge on once we recovered. But for now, it was only munching fruits or sipping Electral while gazing into oblivion from the balcony of our room. This balcony was like an escape for us from the boredom of the room-isolation. This was a place where the wind and darkness soothed us, and the stars gave us hope. Even though a mild one, the war with Covid seemed tough on the body but tougher on the mind. The silver lining, as we came out of this stronger together, was that it gave our body, mind, and soul the much-needed break from literally everything else.
Though for most of 2020 and better of 2021 now, we had already spent most of the time together but now with this isolation, it led us to experience each other’s presence differently, for every waking and sleeping moment of the day. We felt grateful that we had someone to talk to because everyone else was only available through calls, video chats, and WhatsApp messages. We found ourselves in a deep-rooted symbiosis, interdependent as we would take care of each other better than we took care of ourselves. Though everyone did keep checking on us every once in a while, but what kept us going was each other’s encouraging smiles. Feeling grateful for recovering steadily, we found solace holding each other in sickness and in health.
Our battle against Covid was finally won! Soon the war will be too.