Singapore’s Covid-19 cases may be on a slow and gradual decline, but it’s inevitable for some residents to contract the virus for various reasons even with restrictions in place.
My family has been trying meticulously hard to be vigilant, maintain distance and regularly test ourselves—only to one day have it culminate into a dreaded positive result. And it belonged to none other than me.
As a relatively fit 39-year-old, I was stunned when I tested positive. Surprisingly, I experienced a combined feeling of relief of finally contracting Covid-19 (while not having any symptoms) and trepidation that it may get worse. I was concerned for those around me. It has been a mental rollercoaster of isolation, peace, confusion and rest.
Below, I will share more about my recovery journey.
Last year in the epicentre of Covid confusion, my sister contracted Covid-19. She is a healthy 35-year-old yoga enthusiast, and in September of 2020, being unvaccinated, the virus definitely took a toll on her. She recovered well but being unvaccinated made it arduously harder to fight off the virus. I remember her genuine fear when she found out, compared to my reaction when I tested positive. Being vaccinated and not having major symptoms, made me slightly fearful but I accepted I just had to ride it out. We all routinely test at home with our Antigen Rapid Test (ART) kits, which was how I found out I was positive. I wasn’t feeling unwell, just a little tired. Of course, everyone’s reaction to the virus is different; depending on age, underlying health concerns, and other factors. I felt positive that I could take this virus down. I just had to stay isolated, positive and as healthy as possible.
Preparing for Positive
One of my closest friends recently described how she has kept her guestroom prepped and ready in case someone in her household of seven comes down with the virus. I thought that was forward-thinking and practical, and when I tested positive, I immediately took control of my bedroom.
In hindsight, I wish I had arranged a few items ahead of time, such as Vitamin C and zinc, pre and probiotics, extra fluids like coconut water, paracetamols, thermometers, tissue boxes, more rapid antigen tests, and a few cleaning supplies.
Having these items on hand can help with the initial anxiety and sets the rest of your household at ease as well. I also brought in my laptop and work items, yoga mat, and body roller, simultaneously transferring my husband’s items out the door.
When my husband told my 11-year old daughter Lara that I tested positive, I heard emotional wails escaping her—as if the world was about to end!
My little eight-year-old son was slightly less expressive, but with some tears in his eyes. I told them I was perfectly fine and just needed a few days to rest it out. I felt mother’s guilt I couldn’t be there for them, but I realised I had to rely on others in my house to do it for me. I almost had another round of mother’s guilt from being relieved that I didn’t have to deal with homework, classes, school drop-offs and tantrums!
I could hear my kids through the door with their usual antics and my patient husband trying to run the fort. I knew that while I was isolated, engrossed in my relaxation music with essential oils diffusing—my kids were also using their devices more, eating junk food, and maybe not doing everything they were supposed to. But I was fine with that. I needed to let go and focus on me, my health and my mental state to come out stronger for us all.
Remember there is only so much you can control while sitting alone in a room. I tried to be grateful that I didn’t have major symptoms and felt relatively fine.