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Do I Have COVID-19 or Is It Just Anxiety?

an illustration of a man awake
My feelings about being the less loved sibling also felt triggered by the obvious lack of care. Illustrations by (c) Reset Fest Inc, Canada

Mental Health

Do I Have COVID-19 or Is It Just Anxiety?

Parental logic remains undefeated.

I’m not sure why exactly it happened, but I woke up with a fever in the middle of last week. The only contact I’d had with the outside world was picking up the pizza dropped outside my door. I’d ordered a cheese burst pizza after consulting with friends, most of whom supported my decision. But down with fever, I thought I was spiraled into anxious thoughts thinking it was the novel coronavirus and I wanted to disown my friends for leading me to make bad decisions. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has primarily been a healthcare issue, but it’s also shed light on multiple fissures in the functioning of our daily lives — lack of trustworthy information, a mental health epidemic and the breakdown of public trust in many institutions. Combined together, these problems have created a tense atmosphere in homes, with fear and loathing ruling the day.

After my fever diagnosis, my family went into overdrive. I wasn’t allowed to step out of my room. My sister wanted me to get tested. My mother called her friends for homeopathic treatments, and my father, who had been actually going to work the week before, decided to stay mum to hide his complicity. They even banned our 60-day old Shih Tzu from entering my room.

They even banned our 60-day old Shih Tzu from entering my room.

No one cared to focus on my increasingly phlegm filled cough, which is supposedly the opposite of one of COVID-19’s key symptoms. I started coughing harder, to make them realize, “look, phlegm, don’t leave me” but nothing worked. I was banished and alone.

They started placing my food outside my door and would WhatsApp me to pick it up when they’d gotten sufficiently further from my room. 

a illustration of a man coughing with coronavirus symbols and homeopathic medicine around him

My mother made me try homeopathic remedies on the suggestions of her friends.

I don’t have diagnosed anxiety, but like everyone in the living world, had been on the edge since the lockdown over various issues and this turned out to be the last straw. My feelings about being the less loved child were also triggered by the obvious lack of care. Would my parents have done the same to my sister, or would they have supported her, not caring for their own safety? This was isolation inside an already 3-month long isolation inside the house.

Despite being feverish and weak, I couldn’t sleep much. Additionally, my friends who’d made me order the pizza thought the episode was comical. There’s been a lot written about living in isolation, but for how long, and under what continuously changing circumstances?

Regardless of a pandemic, parental powers of remembering bad memories remain undefeated.

I decided to not get tested because I didn’t have any dry cough. It created further fissures within the family who thought I was being selfish. As an adult who doesn’t live at home, this gave my parents the perfect excuse to get into histrionics of me not living with them and other selfish deeds from a 28 year existence. Regardless of a pandemic, parental powers of remembering bad memories remain undefeated.

Predictably, my fever passed in three days. Now I’m just being force fed the same homeopathic medicine as when it was perceived that I had contracted COVID-19. How can the same medicine be used as a cure or repellant? I don’t know. Parental logic is undefeated.

Editor’s note: If you develop fever or other COVID-19 symptoms, please self-isolate, call your doctor or any COVID hotlines.


Also read: Why Some Young Indians Are Reconsidering Parenthood After COVID-19


 

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