Phạm Thái Bình, resident in HCM City’s District 7, prepared to move to the concentrated quarantine site when testing positive to the coronavirus. — Photos courtesy of Phạm Thái Bình
HCM CITY — Keeping a positive mindset and following careful instructions from health providers are the mantra of patients in HCM City, the country’s largest COVID-19 epicentre.
With health services overwhelmed because of thousands of new infections per day, to be able to fight the virus and stay healthy amid the complicated situation is key to making a full recovery.
After beating coronavirus, many patients have shared their experiences on social network sites, offering peace of mind for those stuck in quarantine, with some even volunteering to stay at hospitals to help take care of patients.
Phạm Thái Bình, from the Vietnam Cultural Centre in HCM City’s District 7, said after recovering from COVID-19, keeping a positive attitude helped him and his family get through the tough times.
“In the first place, I was upset when being informed that all of my family members were infected with coronavirus. We were very careful and couldn’t find out the infection source,” he said.
“But then I told myself to calm down and stay positive. This really helped as my wife and children felt better and got ready to fight the virus.”
Bình was the only member of his family to show symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fever. He thought he had flu until the test results came back. The other three members of his family all tested positive not long after.
They were moved to a concentrated quarantine site for treatment but first self-medicated at their home for four days.
Despite a loss of appetite, body aches, and weakness, Bình kept telling his family to strictly follow doctors’ guidelines and keep their spirits high at all times.
“Doctors called us every morning checking our health, giving prescriptions and boosting our spirit, telling us to focus on good diet and regular exercises,” he said.
After a week, his wife couldn’t eat and felt exhausted. She was immediately moved to the central hospital for special treatment where her condition improved.
Bình added: “I was so grateful for everything they did for us, especially when my wife’s health worsened. Their quick decision of transferring my wife to central hospital gave us a chance of being together again.”
On August 2, the RT-PCR results showed that Bình and his two children were free of the virus. They returned home in good health to self-quarantine. Six days later, his wife also came home.
“COVID-19 is actually not that scary if you keep calm," he said.
"The most horrible thing is that we let anxiety and insecurity break us and make the disease attack us faster.”
He believes avoiding skipping meals and ignoring negative information about the disease while maintaining a healthy lifestyle helped beat the virus.
Bình said the initiative to provide home-based care for F0 cases with no symptoms or underlying diseases was correct as it would help patients quickly recover as long as they followed medical instructions. This would also, he added, minimise the infection risks at hospitals and reduce the State’s treatment costs.
Bình's two daughters wear their protective suits. Staying positive and following instructions from health staff helped his family overcome COVID-19.
Phan Thanh Long, who recovered from COVID-19 in District 8, said he would never forget the day he tested positive COVID-19, just as he about to have his second vaccine.
“The first thing that I did was to get quick tests for all of my family," he said.
"My father, my wife and my one-year-old son were infected. Luckily my oldest son wasn't. All the adults had underlying health conditions."
Long said although he was mentally prepared for the disease, what they went through was still a nightmare.
All adults had high fever, loss of appetite, and diarrhoea. They couldn’t walk and only wanted to lie still, but they took turns to check each other's blood oxygen levels to make sure they never dropped below 94 per cent, which was life-threatening.
Long’s father, with high-blood pressure and old age, had difficulty breathing and high fever. Long had sleepless nights, measuring his father’s oxygen level every 30 minutes and helping him receive oxygen properly.
“I was so scared. I was scared that my father would be in critical condition,” he said, worried when his father's blood levels dropped dangerously low.
The oxygen levels kept jumping up and down and he said he became obsessed with the beeping sound of the oxygen machine would make.
For him, following the treatment regime, combined with home remedies such as using lemongrass to clear airwaves, drinking orange juice, as well as drinking boiled fresh coconut water with sugar has saved the whole family.
“I admire my father," Long said. "His condition was the most severe, but he always maintained an optimistic and cheerful spirit to encourage and support the whole family.
"He still tried to have some soup and milk to fight the virus. From the 10th day onwards, his health began to quickly recover."
After beating the virus, Bình and Long have shared their experience on social network pages and helped consult with people, encouraging them to stay positive while fighting the disease.
Bình also joined a volunteer group to support home quarantined patients with oxygen machines, blood oxygen measuring machines and help those with financial difficulties during the pandemic.
“I feel that I need to contribute to help people regain their health, help the city in the fight against the pandemic and get back to a new normal life,” he said. — VNS