Covid 19: My Journey — Part 1

11 August 2020

Tired of my dad’s uninterrupted coughing for over a week, I finally managed to convince both my Mom & Dad to go to the hospital. My dad asked me to check on viral fever clinics, I nonchalantly said, ‘there is no such thing as a viral fever clinic, but there are hospitals and we should be heading towards that’! [Young blood, too adamant to even listen to a piece of advice]

Then I googled, and he was right, just that it wasn’t being called a ‘Viral fever clinic’, but BBMP fever clinic and apparently they take up COVID test for free. I was embarrassed for opposing to my dad, but then I quickly found the nearest center, and we headed towards that. Leaving the house after being locked down forever was refreshing, and I could see some color in my dad and mom too. We reached the Hosahalli Ufwc Uphc [Upper Primary health care ]. There wasn’t much of a crowd. But there were some people waiting to get tested. We waited in the queue, and we were asked for a valid mobile number, residential address, and symptoms. As a family, we gave a single mobile number. We received an OTP once the representative entered information through his mobile. Once the OTP was validated, he gave us a vial each with our names along with a unique id written on it. It is important to make sure that the vial you carry has your correct information, as this is the first place where your identity is established.

We waited for our turn and saw The Swab test being conducted for all, ahead of us. I was surprised to see how the workforce was 80% women [More power to you]! A lady doctor was repeating the words, ‘We have received 3 positive cases yesterday’. I don’t recall how many times she repeated it as if to convince herself! She was too loud and panicking at the same time. She kept justifying all the patients there, to wait their turn to take medicines. She was under tremendous stress. It was too evident.

A lady in PPE suit sanitized her hands and body and the chair where I was supposed to sit. She waved me to come forward. I was asked to remove my spectacles as I handed over the vial to her. She inserted a swab deep inside my right nostril, it did tickle and made me tear a bit [ If you tear up, it means they have done it right]. She broke the swab and put it in a test tube. She asked us to wait for 10 minutes. We watched her repeat all of it for multiple people, then she checked the tubes and asked us to go home. For a few people, she did a re-test with a bigger vial with a red liquid inside it, after 10 minutes of checking the previous test-tube. However, I am not quite aware of the scientific reason behind it. They informed us that the results will be announced on the registered mobile number.

Anyways, after being asked to go home, we collected some medicine from the lady doctor and headed home with a lighter heart. She advised us to drink plenty of water and take Vitamin C tablets which were out of stock at the moment. We consumed the tablets and took rest for the day.

By noon, we received our ICMR Specimen Referral Form for COVID -19 (SARS-CoV2), sent to NIMHANS, Bangalore for the test via SMS. This form is for the collection centers/ labs to enter details of the samples being tested for Covid-19.

RT-PCR sample collected for ANJALI (Id: XXXX) SRF ID XXXX on Aug 11 2020 11:48 AM. Please save for future reference <pdf_link>

In the evening, as the BBMP promised, we received a call saying that all three of us are COVID-Positive!

Our initial reactions were shock, denial, disappointment, confusion if our results were accurate.? We suddenly wanted to have a look at our reports, but the ICMR report wasn’t updated.

On contacting the BBMP SPOC he provided me a link to check our reports. But the site kept saying “No test record available for this mobile number”.

Gloomy faces, we sat in the hall, looking at each other, unbelievable, how did this even happen? The lady doctor’s words were ringing in my ears as if she was talking about us!

You see, My dad works in an essential sector, and he has no option but to go to work every day. And he might have contracted the infection there and passed on to us, but we can’t tell for sure. This is just guesswork. It could have been me or even my Mom who would step out every day to buy milk from a near store. There was no point, playing the blame game as the deed was done already!

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Originally published at on August 20, 2020.