The author, WONGANI MULANGA, 17, is among 1670 Malawians confirmed to have recovered from coronavirus which has claimed 103 lives from the country’s 3 709 confirmed cases. She shares her story.
I live in Mangochi. I tested positive to coronavirus when my brother got very sick with malaria-like symptoms.
We tested negative for malaria and received antibiotics.
He got better after three days. After that, my parents also started complaining of headache and malaria-like body pains, but eventually they became well.
Days later, my mother said she wanted to take coronavirus tests with my brother since they showed symptoms. I refused to accompany them because I felt okay.
That was Friday, June 26.
When they returned home, mom told me they have both been diagnosed with coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and all family members will be tested the following day.
The next day, the Covid-19 rapid response team came and took our samples.
We all tested positive, except our maid. We did everything we could to protect her from contracting the virus.
Everyone always cleaned the toilet after use. We all cleaned our plates by ourselves. I shifted to another room to avoid infecting her and she stopped coming to the living room where we spent most of our time.
We all wore masks in the house and minimised going to the kitchen and other rooms where the maid spent her time.
Life wasn’t easy, but we have survived by the grace of God.
When neighbours’ children saw the housemaid wearing a face mask while cooking, they rushed to her grandmother telling her and started screaming that she was “wearing Covid”.
Ever since, she became very shy to walk in public. She could not go outside wearing a mask.
A similar thing also happened to me when an ambulance came to our house the day we tested positive. I heard someone shout: “Covid yabwera kwa Wongani’’ (Coronavirus has come to Wongani’s house).
They had already started judging us just by seeing the ambulance!
I asked myself: How would they react after finding out that we really had coronavirus?
I decided not to tell any of my friends or neighbours for fear of being discriminated even after getting well.
Days later, I got used to telling lies whenever my friends wanted to come over or asked me to visit them.
I sometimes lied that I wasn’t home or I was busy. I would come up with any lie, but never told any of them the truth.
Honestly, lying to my friends felt so awful that I just wanted to tell them the truth, nothing but the whole truth.
Then it got worse after rumours that some health workers had tested positive too.
Since my mother is a nurse, I received several phone calls from friends, but I kept telling them that it wasn’t my mom—but another health worker. Most of them believed me.
We all continued to follow all the measures. We insisted on a balanced diet and all the remedies, such as drinking warm lemonade, eating ginger, garlic, avocados and all other food stuff with higher PH (acid levels) than coronavirus.
Most importantly, we all stayed home to avoid infecting friends and neighbours.
Then on Sunday, July 13, the medical team returned and took our samples. We all tested negative! Even the maid. We were all happy! This was the greatest news ever.
It is everyone’s duty to fight this coronavirus.
All those with the virus should not lose hope. Having coronavirus is not the end of the world. They still have a future. You can be cured just the way my family has been cured.
One more thing is that if you have symptoms of coronavirus, you should always stay home to avoid spreading the virus. For those that do not have the virus, I urge you to avoid large gatherings, maintain physical distance and always remember to wash hands with soap.
If possible, please stay home. Coronavirus is real, so protect yourself and your loved ones.
Lastly, do not be fooled that because you are not sick, then you do not have coronavirus. I am a good example of people that have never been sick, yet had the virus until it shed off.
So, please, stop saying negative things about those with the virus. Put yourself in their shoes before saying a word.
The virus itself is already a bitter pill to swallow, so negative sentiments only make the situation worse.
Take coronavirus just like all the other diseases in the world.