COVID-19 Self Quarantine by a Quadriplegic - Day 09

Again I was settled with a routine to complete rest of the 6 days of self quarantine without any further hassle. It was the day whole country was observing “Janta Curfew” to rehearse social distancing at an unprecedented scale. It was the first day when I was not feeling alone in my fight for containment of COVID19.

I woke up and followed all my routine including wheelchair propelling and other physical activities till lunch. It was after lunch when I was lying prone on the bed as part of my skin care, my caregiver told me ” Sir Ji, my cousin is standing at the gate. You take rest. I am coming in 15 minutes.”

Though I was not fully convinced but as he is local resident of Chandigarh, there was high probability of him being truthful. Family must be anxious to know about his wellbeing. He was regularly doing video calls to his friends and family. Still it gives full satisfaction to see your loved ones physically in wellness. I allowed him to go till the gate to meet his cousin without touching anything and maintaining a distance of 2 hands from anyone else.

I got engaged with reading and playing chess while lying prone. I couldn’t keep track of time since he left the room. It was almost 1 hour when I started to get worried. I started to keep calling but he was not picking my calls. Finally he picked my call after calling him for more than 25 times and said “Sir Ji, we had gone to get pudi (local terminology for weed dust) and police caught us violating curfew”.

It was the time, I had lost both my patience and cool. I immediately cut off the call and instantaneously decided to let him go. I called my permanent caregiver to pack clothes for 5 days and come to my room. Either way my preventive self quarantine was going to be compromised. I consulted with incharge of rehabilitation center where I work and reside. He supported me in this decision on condition of ensuring that my permanent caregiver comes to me wearing gloves and mask after handwash and without touching anything in the way. I did multiple check on him so that there is no lapse. It was easy to ensure that he doesn’t touch anything in the way as he could come walking to me for 600 meters.

Once he reached at the door of my room, he discarded used gloves and mask in the dustbin. I asked him to pack things of current caregiver first after doing handwash and keep the bag at the door. Once my current caregiver reached at the door my room, I didn’t allow him to enter and I asked him to go to his place. Everything went amicably as he was well aware of all the protocols of self quarantine after doing so for 8 days.

Once he left, I felt peaceful but a bit worried for my permanent caregiver Vicky. I was feeling very selfish to bring him at risk. I was ensuring ultra precautions for him. I was totally exhausted by day 9 of my quarantine and I had come to a stage when I started praying of not being already acquired Coronavirus.

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