#BTColumn – My COVID-19 journey

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.

by dr. Basil Springer

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

The end of Trinidad and Tobago carnival in 2020, signaled the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the
first in over 100 years. How do we increase our chances of survival?

Vaccinate, restrict the movement of people, pursue sensible practices, eg, wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance. As the vaccines appeared on the market, they were insufficient to cater to the global demand and countries had to negotiate the best they could to serve their own population.

Those who believed vaccines were experimental and could have serious side effects in the future, while having valuable opinions, were unable to make any major contributions to controlling spread of the disease.

I opted to take the vaccine because, being in the most vulnerable category I wanted to increase the chances of imminent survival. The lockdowns were not a problem for me because I work virtually anyway. Yes, I am a frequent traveler and that would be disrupted.

Virtual meetings became the order of the day, and the dress code became t-shirts and short pants. We grew adapted to the new lifestyle.

National, public and private leaders had to make sure that their decision-making policies balanced the saving of lives and the maintenance of livelihoods in the national interest.

It was not until 18 months after, when an effective vaccination program stemmed the tide of the spread of the disease, that the governments reopened airports and restored confidence in the traveling process.
We started traveling again and visiting friends and relatives strictly observing all the recommended protocols.

Then towards the end of July, after attending a celebratory travel weekend event, Bevan, after feeling unwell the night we returned, was down and out with a high fever and total lack of energy the day after. The next day he tested positive for COVID-19 but recovered relatively quickly to the extent that he could continue his business virtually but at a slower pace than usual.

I followed suit a day later, with a positive COVID-19 test, but was spared the extremes of his experience. We had let our guard down. Then there was an amazing happening!

Bevan engaged in a virtual telemedicine consultation over the phone with a doctor with whom he is registered in the US to report his condition. She recommended, based on the description of his symptoms, that a nasal spray and a decongestant would bring some relief.

Whatever you do avoid visiting emergency care because you are likely to be exposed to a myriad of other viruses, the symptoms of which will be much worse that you have explained today.

The doctor volunteered that she herself is an anti-vaxxer and in her patient group of 1200, less than 1 per cent have died in the last year after testing positive for COVID 19.

Bevan asked her to entertain one more question. “I have my 81-year-old father with me in the car and he has tested positive as well.” She immediately counselled “I cannot comment on your father’s condition because he is not registered in my practice, but please be advised that whatever the treatment that I have prescribed for you would be the same for any patient aged 18 to 81 who presented with similar symptoms .”

Thankfully, we have both now tested negatively and sought safe harbor from the virus infested waters by embracing the combination of inhalation, boosting the immune system, rest and the passage of time.

dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change Engine Consultant. His email address is [email protected] His columns may
be found at www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com

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