Editorial comment – Tough times in isolation

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete (right) receives the COVID-19 medical supplies from the Chinese Ambassador Qian Bo in Suva. Picture: RAMA

Seventy three days after he was diagnosed, a COVID-19 patient remains in isolation.

Think about that! Being isolated in a room, unable to see loved ones, to touch them, be with them, to feel their love and warmth, care, and appreciation.

Remember the 28-year-old who is Fiji’s fourth positive case of COVID-19 said he had undergone 12 tests while in confinement and was still testing positive.

He said the separation from his family was unbearable.

He shared how he had advised them to visit relatives so they do not miss him while staying home.

He was fighting to keep his sanity.

“I have already recovered, but the results are still positive due to the dead virus particles,” he claimed.

Fiji has recorded 18 positive cases of COVID-19, of which, 15 have recovered while three remain in isolation.

Being in isolation is tough.

It can be stressful. It can be frustrating. It is lonely.

You are stuck with your thoughts most of the time.

You are virtually isolated from everyone you love and care for. You do not have the physical presence of loved ones to reassure you.

Your thoughts and fears, uncertainty and doubt can be overwhelming sometimes when you think about it. You do not have the freedom to move around as you want to.

Your loved ones cannot share your weakest moments, or be with you at your lowest point, or when you are very sick!

You will face that alone, with our dedicated nurses and doctors.

This isn’t a pleasant thought or scenario for anyone. But that’s the reality.

That’s what our confirmed COVID-19 cases have to live with.

This is the reason we continue to stress why it is important that we are proactive and vigilant.

COVID-19 is not a fly-by-night sort of thing. It isn’t the common flu.

This is a sickness that drains you if you don’t recover quickly.

It saps the energy and will leave a lasting impression on your mind.

This is as real as it can get.

The virus is powerful enough to still be around after more than 73 days.

So we truly don’t mind repeating ourselves, or even if we start to sound like an old record permanently on replay mode!

There is a reason why we must continue to raise the issue of prevention.

The virus is unable to affect you if you do not allow it to.

That means doing all that it takes to ensure hygiene is paramount.

Adhere strictly to social distancing rules. Do not shake hands. That is the new normal. No hugging please!

Wash your hands often with soap and water. Reduce unnecessary travel.

But if you have to travel, do not touch your face. Wash up when you get back home.

Sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue and dispose this thoughtfully immediately.

We must stay focused. We must treat this virus with the care and attention it deserves.

We must stay safe, for our loved ones, and for ourselves.

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