For many, the reality of COVID-19 has not truly set in. Some believe that the virus won’t touch them, or that they are not affected by the pandemic. In reality, we all have a part to play in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

Amanda (38), an employee of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), recently shared her and her sister’s COVID-19 experience and what they’ve learnt in the process.

The sisters attended a funeral in Graaff-Reinet on June 20. A few days after the funeral they both developed a dry cough. On June 25 their cousin, who had also attended the funeral, informed them that she had tested positive.

“I was shocked and immediately called my doctor to ask for advice on what to do,” says Amanda. She was advised to stay home and self-isolate.

Both women went for tests on July 2 and got their positive results back on July 6.

“Thankfully I stay with my sister. Neither of us even considered going out after suspecting that we had COVID-19, because nowadays coughing in public is met with glares from strangers and friends.”

The isolation wasn’t easy. Both sisters were frustrated at times as they were stuck in their flat. Luckily, Amanda received support from her co-workers, who stayed in contact with her throughout her isolation period.

“My HR Manager, Ms Nontobeko Klaas, also tested positive a while back and she was the first one to call and comfort me. She shared some home advice on what home remedies worked for her including ginger, garlic, lemon, honey, and inhaling peppermint or eucalyptus vapour when my chest felt tight or heavy.”

Amanda advises anyone who suspects they may have the virus to immediately go into quarantine in order to protect others. She also warns against contributing to the stigma of testing positive.

“People should not stigmatise those who tested positive for a disease because it helps no one. Those who tested positive need support more than anything else.”

She concludes that ignoring the virus and continuing life as normal could negatively impact the health of your fellow citizens.

“Live as healthy as you can and avoid gathering in large groups. Stick to the rules. COVID-19 is real and ignoring this fact might cost you your own or another person’s life.”

Also read: The reality of being a nurse during COVID-19

Picture: Garden Route Municipality

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