SURVIVORS: The second wave of the coronavirus has hit us hard. So many people have lost their lives but also so many people have recovered and among those are people in the entertainment industry, who now live to share their experience with Isaac Ssejjombwe.
Ronnie Mcvex – Comedian
I got it in transit to my honeymoon
I wasn’t feeling well on my honeymoon but I thought it was fatigue but upon returning to Entebbe Airport, I tested positive for Covid-19. I suspect I got infected while in transit for my honeymoon. I lost my sense of taste and smell. I had a headache, fever, pain in my joints and a funny body rush. I was told to do a lot of fresh fruits for vitamin C, sunbathe for vitamin D and I also bought zinc and azithromycin. Because of the conversations I was following, I did everything, including steaming. My work place also sent me some medicine.
The situation was a mixture of thoughts. I had seen several R.I.Ps on people’s statuses and that worried me but I prayed.
I have relatives who work with agencies that are at the forefront of the Covid-19 fight, so they saw my name in the database, and they called to encourage me. My wife too was supportive. I didn’t really face stigma because most people didn’t know except those I told but the easiest way to not catch Covid-19 is to fight it by following the SOPs. It is real when you go through it. Let’s encourage and pray for those who are ill. Let’s not only spread bad news, it can only do worse.
Kennedy Zziwa – Hair stylist
Music was my solace
I am the type that never falls sick, so it took me about three days to realise something wasn’t okay. I was at work when I suddenly became so weak and decided to lay on a dirty floor.
I must have caught the virus from a workmate who had fallen ill a week earlier. He too had no clue he had it. I got a dry sore throat, difficulty breathing, severe sweating, headaches, weak joints, fatigue, no appetite, zero smell and taste.
With this, I decided to isolate myself and had a caretaker, who would bring me medication and concoctions. It was nothing like I had experienced before. The only feeling I had was loneliness since the caretaker looked at me like I was dying. I don’t think there was any other option besides coping. But I listened to mostly three songs; “Mwoyo” and “Nvunama” by Wilson Bugembe and “Tunakuwaki” by Apostle Grace Lubega on YouTube.
The people that I know who have lost the battle, and knowing that I could be one of the statistics made me realise that anyone’s life can end anytime. So I call upon everyone to adhere to the SOPs, and when you get it, there’s hope, keep strong both emotionally and psychologically.
Sarah Zawedde – Artiste
A TV station announced my illness
I suspect I caught the virus from money transactions because all my contacts were negative. The first week, I got signs of malaria. Usually when I do a malaria dosage, in two or three days I am fine but this time round I wasn’t getting fine. I would feel so cold and after covering myself I would get so hot. The second week, I started sneezing, my nose was blocked, my breathing got disorganised. I went for flu and cough medication and they didn’t work. The third week, my throat started blocking. I couldn’t taste or smell anything and could feel wounds in my throat. I ran to the hospital and they did three blood tests.
It was a very scary moment as it was a strange disease whose side effects I didn’t know about. The medication also came with many side effects. However the doctor said the side effects will go slowly.
I just fought with all my inner strength and of course I kept praying. I took the full Covid-19 standard dosage and I isolated myself to protect my family and friends. It was tough.
With Covid-19, I learnt that I shouldn’t take life for granted as I saw so many people die during that same week I tested positive. I got stigmatised when a TV station announced my illness without my permission.
I advise people not to self-medicate because it has caused a lot of deaths. I advise people to test as soon as the first symptoms arise and on getting results, inform all your contacts to save lives.
Julius Kyazze – CEO Swangz Avenue
I stopped watching news
It was my daughter who tested positive first and it was not long after we placed her in isolation before my signs kicked in.
Fevers, chills, constant headaches, severe body aches, diarrhoea, sore throat that later developed into a cough, severe nasal congestion but our breathing was alright.
We decided that the rest of the family needed to go away for safety.
A few days later, my wife and a helper got ill as well. We decided to bring everyone back into the house and battle it together.
It is difficult to put a finger to one place. In a week you go to work, the bank, gym, supermarket so it could have been anywhere. But I had also just returned from New York through Dubai, but had tested negative.
Our family doctor laid out what I already knew: “There’s no medicine for Covid-19. Let’s deal with each condition that develops while we support the body’s immunity”. So I relied heavily on Panadol, which helped with the fevers, headaches and body aches. The one thing I consumed in plenty were the herbal concoctions and I steamed quite a lot.
I stopped watching news, I cut out all news feeds because the news can kill you. It’s important to keep your mental strength and health. The news doesn’t report recoveries and that’s what you need to hear. It was even more difficult every morning waking up to news of someone you know succumbing to the virus.
I didn’t get stigmatised because the moment we had a case in my house, I grounded myself and informed all my close contacts.
Being a Covid-19 survivor I know the body is strong enough to fight off Covid-19 on its own if it is found in good shape. We need to take care of our bodies, feed well, exercise, and work on our immunity.
We need to stay hopeful that we can fight this. Half the battle of healing is believing. Cut out all the negative news and focus on healing and being healthy.
Andrew Kyamagero – News anchor
I didn’t self-medicate
I learnt I had Covid-19 in early May and because I interact with quite a number of people, I can’t pin who my contact was. I got a pounding headache, extreme body temperature and excruciating joint pains. Unlike others who start by treating themselves, I was hospitalised for close to three weeks.
When the medic was administering anaesthesia, I remember thinking, “I might die.”
Emotionally, it was a very complicated thing but I kept praying and believing that it was my body that was weak due to the drugs.
Fighting Covid-19 is mental. I refused to condition myself to watch as people’s machines went flat and you could see the doctors rushing to unplug and plug another person.
My wife was with me all through to make sure that I bounce back. She, of course, got scared one time and told me “I know you are in there but don’t die, we still need you. I can’t allow you to die before we witness our old age’. All this gave me a reason to fight.
Upon return to the office, one of my colleagues was scared to greet me. Good thing, I was informed of this kind of reception by my doctors so I knew how to handle.
The pandemic unveiled many underlying issues that we have long known existed, specifically health disparities and disinvestment in our public health systems.
It reminded me of the call that I followed to be a journalist – to try to fight this pandemic by giving confidence to the survivors and reminding my fellow countrymen to stay safe. Follow the SOPs and don’t stigmatise those who have won the battle.
Lily Kadima – Artiste
I must have been infected in hospital
I realised I was sick two days after I left the hospital where I had been taking care of a sibling. On being discharged, I started experiencing Covid-19 symptoms. I got a congested nose, very painful joints, headache, body was getting weaker, and eyes getting swollen and breathing was becoming hard. Later, I lost appetite, sense of smell and got moodswings. At first I thought it was malaria but when I started being breathless and coughing weirdly, I got tested.
I isolated myself to save my family members from being infected. I had a prescription from a doctor friend, some friends and family advised steaming twice a day, drinking hot ginger tea with honey almost every after two hours, eating fresh oranges six of them in the morning as I sat under the morning sun, I ate lots of kachumbali, hot boiled soups, jogging and walking in late evenings which helped improve my breathing. I drank plenty of fluids, did breathing exercises and kept a positive mindset that it was a temporary arrangement and I had to heal without a doubt. Above all, the exceptional compassion from my loved ones kept me warm.
It was an ugly experience, it teaches you that there is a thin line between life and death.
I have continued to steam and eat more fruits and vegetables to boost my immune system. I keep sensitising reckless friends and family members and any citizens I meet out there to be careful that Covid is not political, it is real and dangerous.
Lucky Mbabazi – Radio personality
I suspect I got it from my son
I got Covid-19 a few days after I had picked my children from school. I suspect my son because we realised later that many of his school mates had tested positive and he too felt unwell around the same time I did. I got a sore throat, severe fatigue, body ache and congestion, especially in the nose. I was mostly worried about my youngest child catching it because of his health history. Thankfully I was able to beat it because I have a strong support system. My husband and the children were all very supportive. I kept isolated in my room and focused on exercising and keeping a positive attitude. I prayed a lot too. The lesson I learnt is to take good care of your body and boost your immunity always to prepare it for tough diseases.
However, I noticed a bit of distance from a few of my workmates the first few days when I returned to work. But I hardly focused on that since I always rush home after the show.
My advice to the public is to stay calm. Exercise, eat a balanced diet, and get food supplements, especially vitamin c and zinc. Wear your masks, sanitise or wash your hands frequently and avoid unnecessary movements. Many people are recovering from Covid-19 so this too shall pass. Pray. It is therapeutic for your mental state.
Nince Henry – Artiste
I always went by the doctors’ advice
I cannot remember the day but I was in studio when I felt feverish.
It was terrible. Once I realised it was Covid-19, I contacted my doctor, who gave me prescription drugs.
Being aware that you have Covid-19 hits hard but I was strong. I embarked on drinking a lot of water, eating plenty of fruits and kept home. If the disease finds your body weak, it’s likely to do you really bad.
Once you detect the symptoms, start looking at at least three litres of water every day and exercise. Do not worry.
Other celeb victims
Frank Walusimbi-News anchor
Zuena Kirema- Bebe Cool’s wife
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