‘I didn’t know my body could lose so much water!’

Vinnate Hall says she wanted to share her COVID-19 experience in the hope that it will help people who are still not taking the virus seriously to start doing so right away. Coronavirus, she warns, is not something to trifle with. Here is the story she shared with COVID CAPERS:

By the time I was tested positive for COVID-19 on March 17, 2021, I had seen enough to know that what was happening to my body was not the normal illnesses I have had from time to time over the years.

Construction work was going on at my house in Kingston so I decided it was best to go stay with my partner, Curtis, in Hellshire, St Catherine. The first sign of trouble was a deep headache behind my eyes that I had never experienced before.

I thought it might have been a sinus headache with which I was familiar. But as it persisted for two days straight and became more excruciating, I realised it could not have been because of sinus. Still, I stubbornly refused to take any pain killers because I had weaned myself off tablets sometime before.

Just before the onset of my headache, Curtis had begun to feel a bad pain in his legs that also went on for two days. The house had just been sprayed for termites, so we thought it might have had something to do with that. Then he was hit by pain to one side of his head. He went to see his doctor who prescribed Cataflam.

He developed a fever and I soon followed. My doctor told me that from his experience with a few other patients, I had probably contracted the virus and I should get tested. I asked for a referral letter for both me and my partner to do the test.

By that time people were telling me that I would have to go abroad to get the PCR test which is said to be the gold standard for COVID-19 tests. We decided to get the antigen test at Winchester Medical Centre in Kingston. The process was smooth and professional and we got the results the same day.

We were both positive.

I developed a dry cough that was very disturbing and we decided to stop sharing bed and bathroom. Then I started losing water like never before. One night, for example, I went to the bathroom at least 20 times to urinate and it was not a mere trickle.

I never imagined the body could lose that much water. I had to start rehydrating as I had a feeling of “inside fever”. The doctor put me on a five-day treatment with drugs including Azithormicin and Avamys nasal spray and recommended Becozinc, vitamin D3, Cetamol or Panadol to build up the immune system.

He suggested I get a pulse oximeter to keep track of my breathing and oxygen level. The machine had a balloon which I used in the breathing exercises essentially breathing out as if I was blowing bubbles. It helped.

It was recommended that I go on my knee and cough, preferably with someone tapping me on the back. All that was about keeping the air passage clear. My eating routine was also changed.

I had turned off meat and couldn’t stand the smell of cooking oil or the sight of gravy. I lost about eight kilos although I am now back to normal weight. It was clear that this virus had launched a serious attack on my body.

On March 31, I went back for a second test which wasn’t required but I wanted to see where I was, as my doctor had told me of persons who had done three tests and were still positive. He said one person tested “positive-negative”, something no one was expecting. Thankfully, Curtis and I are now negative.

But we kept up the routine, walking in the sun, which we found very useful, and breathing in the fresh air.

I should mention that trying to get re-tested was not easy. One had to get a referral from a doctor. Even places where you could walk in for a re-test, they were telling us that the Government stipulated that they had to send us to a doctor to get a referral. This, of course, meant spending more money.

Neither could I end without saying how kind and helpful friends and family members were during our quarantine when we had to stay at home. Without them, I don’t know how would have managed.

Share your COVID-19 experience and help someone to get serious about the virus and to get vaccinated as soon as it is available. Send to allend@jamaicaobserver.com or riffraph54@gmail.com.


Charles Clayton: There are two types of vaccines. The Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines that do not contain the virus. On the other hand, both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson use weakened strains of the virus and are no different from the traditional DNA vaccines.

Clevon Russell: I am unapologetically pro-vaccine, but just to add some balance to the topic, a lot of the people who are anti-vac come to that decision because of the speed with which the vaccine was put out. To them I say, what was cut was not the science but the red tape and the bureaucracy. Also, funding was made available immediately worldwide. Just my two cents.

Ronnie Sutherland: Good point, Clevon, but you should add that the research and development of the vaccine did not start after the discovery of COVID-19. Research work against such a virus has been going on for almost two decades. They were so advanced in their research that the actual design of the vaccine took only two days.

Denholm Wongie: Just to add a thought to the vaccination issue. In many countries, there is a strict immunisation schedule for infants to 18 year olds. Children are vaccinated adhering to the schedule against polio, tetanus, flu, hepatitis A & B, Rubella, measles, whooping cough, mumps, chickenpox ,and diphtheria, to name some of the many diseases. The irony is that many of the anti-vac folks are “healthy” because of the very vaccine they are now fighting against. If they pull their medical records they will realise that they have been vaccinated many times over, and those vaccines actually include a sampling of the DEAD virus. I HAVE taken my vaccine and beg others to do likewise.

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