On the 24th of June, my daughter called me and in between her frantic sobbing, she told me that she thought she had covid as her boyfriend was tested positive. She had been around him for four days previous to this so needless to say I was worried for her but tried to remain calm as I placated her with words of ‘Inshallah it will be fine’ and ‘we will deal with whatever comes’.

I left work shortly afterwards as the notion that I could also be positive entered our minds and the safety of everyone around us was a real concern.

The next day she was tested. A nurse came out to do the test, which took place in the car park. The swab, taken from her throat, went to the lab and the results were due in a few days. She also experienced a fever and headache, followed the next day by chills.

After two days, she was very weak and lethargic and had all the symptoms of the previous days in full force.

The test came back negative, which was surprising to all of us as the contact to a positive person had been constant and close. We decided she should visit the doctor to see whether she needed another test and to plan the way forward.

The doctor said that she had probably had a false negative and that she was positive and probably tested too early. She discouraged the idea of taking another test and said to carry on with the medications being used (panado/linctagon/flugon/throat spray and herbal boosters).

During the days that followed, the headaches were constant and she experienced a blocked nose, a sore throat, fever and chills. I spent this time praying and making dua. I was constantly chatting to Allah at every opportunity for a speedy recovery, for protection and for guidance.

For most of her quarantine, she didn’t work but lay in bed trying to rest while battling the symptoms she experienced.

Her concern extended to me too as to whether she had passed it on and how would my body cope with it. I kept my distance from her room door and she often reminded me not to touch anything in the vicinity. Her bedroom and bathroom became her only space for the two weeks of quarantine.

On day 17, she felt almost normal again barring a stuffy sinus blocked nose.

During this whole ordeal I stood literally on the sidelines, on the inside looking in, not being able to cross over and hug her or fuss over her as I normally would have. It was extremely hard and scary, as I knew how anxious she was and how concerned we both were as to whether she would develop a cough and shortness of breath especially as she had a weak immune system already.

All I could do is make sure she had enough medication, make nutritious food, encourage her to eat and remind her to stay hydrated. I also made sure she was keeping her spirits up by checking on her regularly, cracking bad jokes and discussing what each of us was watching next on Netflix. The feeling of helplessness was so real.

The role of a caregiver in quarantine is one of limited contact but of positive impact and that is the key. Staying calm is paramount, believing and trusting in the Almighty’s plan is necessary and making sure your loved one has all the tools needed to recover is a must.

Alhamdulilah she recovered, I was able to give her a tight hug and I stayed covid free.