ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Recovery Is Not Retrieval

Can a return to a far-from-healthy past be considered recovery?

In the first week of April 2021, I had tested positive for COVID-19. Those were the very early days of the devastating second wave of the virus in India. Those who could afford to, were still learning to live in between the waves. My 15-day home isolation was true to its name—isolating, and burdened with the arithmetic of guilt and blame (How did I get it? Who did I pass this on to?). But it was mostly very bearable. It was when the 15 days overstayed their welcome that I realised the beginnings of a strange encounter with a murky in-betweenness, a limbo between illness and recovery. A numbness in the legs that would often morph into a strange weightiness, lasting exhaustion and fatigue, brain fog, nausea and an eventual inability to be mobile was to become a daily ordeal for the subsequent two months. “Nothing wrong if the medical tests are anything to go by,” I was told. “But it took me over two minutes to recall a friend’s name,” the voice in my head protested against the declaration of normalcy.

At some point, long COVID-19 began to be recognised as an official medical diagnosis. When more than one doctor confirmed that this was indeed long COVID-19, I remember having felt an initial relief. Nobody really seemed to know the “length” of the “long” though. Sometime in the midst of it all, I lost a beloved uncle and a cousin, merely five years older to me, within a span of five days. The illness, which had come to characterise the “recovery,” worsened.

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Updated On : 19th Nov, 2022
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