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First-Person Account: My Friends Got Covid But I Tested Negative. What I Think Saved Me

A man walks past a graffiti of people wearing masks in Mumbai. (Reuters)

A man walks past a graffiti of people wearing masks in Mumbai. (Reuters)

A News18 journalist believes two layers of masking saved him from the deadly infection. Read on to know what his experience was.

After remaining in home isolation for six days, I have finally been tested negative. It’s a relief for me and my family.

My entire family had to go through a lot in these six days, with everyone praying to the almighty for my health.

For my 22-month-old daughter, it was really hard to understand why her Papa was not hugging her or playing with her despite him being at home.

Every morning for six days, she would search for me from one room to another. Finally, she would come near the stairs and shout “Papa, Papa” several times. This used to break my heart as I was not able to respond, knowing that if I did she would want to come into my room, where I was in isolation.

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Now, here’s why I am writing this piece: I believe my story has a little message. It’s about how I was saved from the coronavirus, whereas four others with me tested positive.

Since the onset of the pandemic last year, I ensured that I had covered my face whenever I went out. Since the second wave started, I have been wearing two masks.

I wear a surgical mask and then another N-95 mask. Because of my turban, I have to be careful. If they get loose or I take them off, it takes a lot of effort to fix them back.

Most of the times I don’t remove any of the masks when I am out no matter what.

Last week, I went to do a story at an oxygen generation plant on the outskirts of Jammu on a fine morning. There, I was joined by a few other media colleagues from other networks.

The day was hot and humid. After sending the feed of our stories to our offices, five of us sat together in a small place. We ordered soft drinks and some potato chips.

As I was about to open my masks to sip on the cold drink, I realised that if I ended up doing so, it would be really difficult to tie them back again. So I decided against having the cold drink.

The others, who removed their masks at that point, kept on insisting that I too should do so and have a few sips. But I refused.

We all sat there for some time. And then we left for Jammu.

Later that day, I received a call from a colleague who informed me that one of my friends in that group had developed fever in the afternoon. He was taken for a Covid-19 test and was found to be positive in a rapid test.

I was worried and called my doctor, who advised me to immediately go into isolation and wait for four days to get tested. I followed his suggestion.

I went for the test after four days and waited for the result. In the meantime, bad news continued to pour in, as all four of my media colleagues who were with me that day tested positive over the next week.

As I waited anxiously for my test results, the centre informed me that it lost my samples and I needed to give fresh samples. I went for another test on Friday.

Finally, I heaved a sigh of relief when my report came, as it read that I tested negative.

I think my masks saved. That all four of my media colleagues had contracted the infection before that day seemed too much of a coincidence. Even if that’s the case I feel lucky that I decided against removing the humble surgical mask and the N95 mask I had on.

After reading the lab report, the first thing I did was to rush to my daughter, hold her and give her a warm hug. I fall short of words to express my happiness as well as the reaction after my daughter.

Please wear masks. They save lives.

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first published:May 01, 2021, 16:53 IST