What you shouldn’t overlook in Covid India 2021.
We all believed covid will be a part of our lives in the coming years, like a flu or dengue, where it is superfluous to be taken seriously. It would have been true, if not for the second variant.
With the rising cases in India, only an unfortunate event will make you aware of the practical hurdles and prerequisites for the medical process, apart from the obvious shortage of beds and oxygen supply.
Here are a few takeaways, which I gathered practically in due course of a covid-critical emergency. Points I believe everyone should be aware of and is a need of the hour.
Never leave a symptom unattended, if tested positive.
The second variant comes with a strong mutation which is generally asymptomatic and mostly affects the lungs, leaving the first symptom as cough. Symptoms including fever, body pain, headache, diarrhoea and weakness are all mild. Cough too, is not abnormal strong or continuous, which prompts us to take it lightly in the early stages. It might be the first signal from the body when the corona lesions reaches the lungs. The infection is invasive. If left unattended, it brings down the healthiest body down, in a matter of 2–3 days.
Takeaway — Get a CT(Computed tomography) scan done at the right time(Doesn’t mean it’s the first thing to do). X-ray report gives you a first cut view of the impact, but still leaves you in suspicion.
The chicken-egg problem
There is a deadlock here in India. Even if we were serious in its primitivity, no laboratories will be ready to take a covid suspect to their scan rooms. The max is to get the doors open for blood tests alone. (This might not be the case in all states in India).
“You need a CT scan to be done in private laboratories? Please get your RTPCR / Antigen test negative.”
If your RTPCR test is positive, these scans are done only in the hospitals with a dedicated covid department. In the hospitals it’s a different story, due to the shortage of beds.
“You need a CT scan? You need to be admitted.”
“Okay, get me admitted.”
“Sorry, your blood reports and physical appearance doesn’t seem to be critical enough for an admission, there are more suffering and critical patients already.
Getting the timely treatment in a hospital is backed by sheer luck or good contacts / high-profile referrals to get an admission.
Takeaway — With early symptoms, get RTPCR done. It is not merely to confirm covid-positive, but also a ticket for your first move to the medical department. There is always a waiting list in the hospitals. Get an entry in them soon, if your symptoms are getting serious. Try the best for personal recommendation to get an entry.(Sadly, only the last one really works well). Convey all your symptoms properly. Try to keep a record of measurements and symptoms from day one. Hospital admissions are based on your history too.
Edit(19.05.2021) — This seems to be resolved now with the updated laws and policies to allow patients for the scans even without / positive RTPCR test.
Cytokine Storm ?
COVID-19 infections are marked by pneumonia, acute inflammation and blood clots. The inflammation and clots together cause organs to fail. In the early stages, these might be asymptomatic and left unnoticed. Micro blood clots are something which has to be closely monitored with the appropriate blood tests and to take immediate steps to prevent the so called Cytokine Storm.
Takeaway — Keep a watch on the blood coagulation levels with appropriate tests (D-Dimer etc). The best natural anti-coagulants are turmeric and ginger which can be passively paralleled even before a covid diagnosis. If off the limit, don’t be overconfident to rely on these natural home remedies.
Faulty Pulse Oximeters
Now that the hospitals and clinics are running on full capacity, it’s not possible to rush to the hospital for everything. Even when identified with a positive result on covid test. What next? Apart from the observation of cough and constant temperature (This could be even mild fever, for longer days), what is the best measure to decide on the rush? The best is to tag observations along a pulse oximeter. These are available in market as individual devices or in good quality smart watches.
Current challenge is the counterfeits, produced like toys, with the color and shapes of reputed brands and sold at high prices.
Takeaway — Evaluate the device properly before taking it for a call. Most of them shows random values and shows it even with a pencil in place of finger, and are totally unreliable.
Prevention! As there is no cure.
There is a good awareness on the prevention, needless to repeat.I have personally felt the effectiveness of a medicine in homeopathy — named Arsenic Album as a prevention.
It is a weak body where covid can affect disastrously. At this time, it is not only covid which has to be precautioned but anything that keeps the body weak.
Disclaimer — The above are only my personal learnings and observations. I felt a gap in the practical awareness for an immediate need, in Covid-India. Most of the misfortunes are a fall in this gap. Take care.