After coming out of the dark corridor of this disease, I beseech everyone to take this virus seriously. I only survived because I got the very best care available in Nepal, I had access to the medicines, was in a strong physical and mental state, and I could afford the cost of treatment.
Many of us may not be as lucky, which means we have to take even more care – especially if we have underlying conditions, are senior citizens, or have elderly relatives at home. And we have to take extra precautions as we go into the winter flu season, and lockdown restrictions are relaxed further. For example, we have to strictly enforce the PCR negative rule for airline passengers.
Just because you are young, bored at home, or miss your friends, please do not let your guard down. If you get sick, you will not just be jeopardising your own health. You never know where you can pick up this airborne virus. Always wear masks when outside the home, avoid crowded places, maintain a safe distance, and wash hands.
Even when a vaccine is available next year, it is not a 100% guarantee, and you will need to maintain these precautions.
The most distressing thing about Covid-19 is that you are all alone in your hospital. You cannot see your family, the health care workers do not have faces, and it can really bring your spirit down. So, you have to maintain a positive mental attitude, convince yourself that you will beat this virus.
You have to keep your brain very active, not worry too much, and make plans for the future. You cannot let the virus win, and keeping yourself mentally alert is as important as maintaining physical strength. After all, it is the mind that enhances your immune system.
Even with all my crew training, will power and good physical state, I do not think I would have survived without the hospital treatment I got. Remdesivir boosted my body’s capacity to fight back, as did some of the other drugs.
But my advice is not to rely on turmeric, or some of the other traditional remedies, they are not a cure. I am now waiting for my final PCR test, and if it is negative I hope to go home, and after regaining my strength will be back in the cockpit soon.
The SARS-CoV-2 is a formidable enemy. Do not take it lightly. Do not think you are invincible. It is not a flu. It is a killer, and it will take you down to its dark depths, and you have to fight your way back up to the light.
Vijay Lama is a senior Airbus330 captain with Nepal Airlines, and dictated this comment from his hospital bed on Wednesday morning.