You know what’s worse than handling a sick baby? Well, it’s being sick yourself with a virus that’s easily transmissible in a house with two young kids who need you to tend to their daily needs.
Our family got a rude shock a few weeks back when my husband tested positive for COVID-19. There was a gap of 3 days in the onset of his symptoms and us receiving the final report. So I knew to a large extent my kids and I had already been exposed to the virus and escaping it wouldn’t be an easy option.
When it comes to any sickness as a parent, the anxiety and dilemmas are very different—How will the kids get their food? Who will take care of them through the day?
Now imagine that into 1 million, because that’s how you feel when you have COVID-19 and are not sure how the disease will progress for your individual case, whether you will pass it on to your children, how will they cope if they’re infected, and so many other fears.
The Battle Begins: The Diagnosis
A week after my husband tested positive (and he was quarantined in another room), I developed my first symptoms—high fever and sore throat. This was even after taking all the necessary precautions and measures to keep the virus at bay from myself and kids!
My first fear was about my kids.
We Are In This Together: The Road To Recovery
The most difficult and confusing decision was to reach a conclusion about whether I should be around the kids and cook for them, or make some arrangements and send them off to a relative or friend to save them from the infection.
Frankly, I have always believed in the power of a mother’s touch. It is indeed the most healing medication a child can be given at such a stressful time and I would go as far as to say that it shall help the baby successfully cope with any virus or infection. This decision was validated by our paediatrician; though I observed basic precautions like wearing a mask at all times and washing my hands before handling the kids.
It was also a slight relief to learn that COVID-19 is a little ‘kinder’ to children and the symptoms to watch out for are primarily mild fever and lethargy.
Another dilemma was whether we should get the kids tested or not. We opted for not going ahead with their test as I did not want unnecessary exposure for them. Moreover, I wanted to avoid the trauma for them of going through the swab test.
We got hold of multivitamins and stocked basic medicines for kids should they show any symptoms.
Later that day, as expected, both the kids started having fever and droopy eyes. I went ahead as per the doctor’s recommendations with the medicines and kept a close check on their temperature and other vitals.
Home Remedies We Trust
Besides that, I also added a few desi nuskhe in our daily schedule, like:
- Steam inhalation three-four times a day (for kids as well as us)
- Regular sipping of warm water
- Herbal tea / kadhaa prepared using tulsi leaves, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, ashwagandha, mulethi, giloy and cloves. All these ingredients are known to play an important role in fighting any illness and increase the body’s immunity
- Gargles with water boiled with raw turmeric and salt thrice a day
- Haldi wala doodh for kids
- A well-balanced diet including fruits, nuts, proteins and salads
Apart from the above remedies, we religiously practised deep breathing every morning for a minimum of 10 minutes. Thankfully kids had learnt about this in their school and understood the technique quite fast. This not only helped as a breathing exercise that’s recommended during COVID-19, but also helped us be calmer and feel less anxious as a family.
And We Fought It Out: Emerging Victorious!
With no interaction with the outside world and fighting an unknown enemy, I can surely say that the coronavirus attacks one’s mind more than the body. We were looking for every way to attract positive thoughts. I remember peeping through the window every morning. Outside that window—a neem tree, birds and butterflies, and the reassurance that another world existed was more than enough to give us strength each day. We also tried to keep relaxing music (white noise) on at most times during the day to raise the vibration of the place and surround ourselves with positive energy.
I sincerely urge anyone who is COVID-19 positive or suspected COVID-19 positive to not panic and avoid sending ‘fear energy’ to your family, especially to your children. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to not think, not wonder, not imagine and not question. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best.
After we had come to terms with the reality that coronavirus had very much entered our house and we could do nothing but deal with it, we did our best to brace ourselves to power through this time. We tried to look at it as an opportunity to find joy in the ordinary and utilized this time to rejuvenate our mind, body and soul together.
We listened to music, played online games, caught up on our beloved shows and movies, ate our favourite (yet healthy) food and laughed a little harder. After all, life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.