A mother details her experience of caring for her son who came back from London amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
As humans, only a few of us are overtly empathetic. With the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, we felt bad about those battling with it and sent a silent prayer. As it kept spreading and was declared a pandemic, we reduced our outings and cancelled our travel plans. We also told our son, Fadi, a student at CASS Business School, City, University of London to reduce going to events, not use public transport, wash hands often and take precautions.
Even though we were not taking things lightly, we were yet to face the seriousness of the situation. Considering the way things were unfolding all around us, we asked our son to come back to Dubai, fearing the worst: what if the UK goes into lockdown or the same happens in Dubai? My son left soon and kept sending us pictures of having taken adequate precautions like wearing a N95 mask and gloves.
On March 17, we all went to the airport to pick him up. He had already changed his gloves and mask before coming out and, as has been prescribed, asked us to stay away. After reaching home, he took a shower, changed his clothes and I was relieved hoping the worst is over.
However, when I woke up after 5 hours of sleep, I read a message my son sent me on WhatsApp just before sleeping. ‘Don’t come in my room, mama. A friend of mine back in London has been tested positive. Don’t come near me. Don’t come into my room.”
I felt like the world around me had collapsed and I could not think straight. What seemed like a distant fear before this was inching closer to be a reality. There was an overload of information regarding coronavirus on the Internet but I wanted to know credible advice. Realising that there was no time to panic, I launched into swift action and spoke to my uncle who is a doctor in Australia.
As my family and I practice home-quarantine, here are the seven practices we have been following.
* My son is in his room most of the day. Jet lag works to his
* No outsiders are allowed to interact with him. Social distancing is a must.
*Our staff who works outside the house like driver, cleaner etc have been asked to not come for two weeks.
*We are maintaining limited interaction. Only I enter his room with a pair of gloves
and a mask.
* I disinfect the contact surfaces in his room twice a day and ventilate it.
*He has his own bathroom and no other person uses it.
*There are a separate set of table mat, glass, cup, plate cutlery for him.
*We also use a separate dish washing sponge. All his utensils are washed with
*When he comes out of the room to interact with us, we sit outside
in the garden, maintaining a distance of two meters. He wears a pair of gloves and mask at all times outside his room.
*We wash our hands frequently and use sanitisers which have been
kept at several places in the house. We also apply it on the chair he sits on.
* I maintain a temperature monitoring sheet which is on his bed
side. Every morning and night, his temperature is noted down his temperature. Every member also checks their temperature once day.
*In case he develops any symptoms like cough, difficulty breathing
or temperature, we will contact the medical practitioners.
* He is being given give fruits, besides the food of his choice. He is following a balanced
diet with loads of Vitamin-C.
Other Family Members:
*Those of us who have been in close prolixity with him are in 14 days quarantine.
We are monitoring our fever and any symptoms, but so far, we have not noticed anything amiss.
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