By Duncan Mlanjira
Felix Chisoni is living with COVID-19 that he recently contracted and has decided to share his experiences by advising the general public that once infected they should stay calm, positive and not to panic.
Chisoni advises people that once attacked by the virus they should open up as other will be more than willing to assist.
“God is always good — put Him first,” said the assistant librarian working for the University of Malawi’s Kamuzu College of Nursing.
Together with his colleague at KCN, Febbie Tambala, they have since prepared highlights of some of the health tips to take during quarantine.
“My key focus is on what I am doing to keep going,” he says. “I am recovering, tremendously, thank God.
“It was worse and terrible — a nightmare. I couldn’t even lift a spoon to feed myself. It creates a state of confusion and panic.”
He says he is not a trained healthcare worker but he asks the public to follow the health tips when they can’t find any doctor.
“I did some of things mentioned in this document because this is what is in circulation world over. The hospital still remains our trusted source of information and care. So kindly call your nearest doctor if possible.
“I will keep updating this document until I test negative. COVID-19 has no cure. Just treating symptoms.”
The first tip, he says, is having the right attitude because COVID-19 is an emerging health problem in which nobody really knows what to do next — unlike with Malaria and other known illness.
“If you panic, you won’t think of the best remedies around. Please open up, talk to people for guidance. It helps.
“Who will be there to assist if you hide everything? Miracles do come through people often times. Many people are surviving and you have a chance too.
The tablets he is taking as pain killers are Paracetamol, Aspirin (half tablet), Dexamathason (4 tablets3 times a day), Good morning Lung Tonic (5mls 3* aday), Cintrizine, Erythromycin and Multivitamin.
He says he is taking Dexamathason to minimise shortness in breathe and the lung tonic for dry cough.
“I crosschecked Dexamethason with Wold Health Organisation website and also a friend who has since recovered and is based in Lilongwe recommended it as well.”
He advises to always keep warm, preferably in bed and well covered and also take warm meals.
“You can go out to bask in the sun for a minimum of 20 minutes but leave immediately you feel like catching cold.
“At first I used to boil water then bow on top of the bucket, covered in a blanket. I found this very helpful in clearing my chest. I can’t provide any clinical explanation for this.”
He says he later switched to add bluegum leaves, Neem (Mpungabwi) boiled together and covered himself with a blanket on top of the boiled water for 15-20 minutes.
“It’s a boring experience but I felt much relieved afterwards.”
On herbs, Chisoni suggests pawpaw leaves; boil; add salt (at least one teaspoon and take 3 times a day.
“Also drink tea made of Garlic, Ginger, Tumeric, Lemon, Black pepper,
Honey and boil to half amount and drink twice a day.”
He also advises on having a thermometer to test temperature regularly to check if temperatures are going down or not and preferably use Degrees Celsius than Fahrenheit as the later needs conversion.
“They say regular exercise but it’s not possible for somebody who is experiencing extreme shortness in breath.”
He suggests cough exercises by inhaling air as much as possible; hold for 5-10 seconds then exhale — doing it for 3 to 5 times.
“Try coughing to clear your airway. Continue this as many times as you can every day. This pushes oxygen into your system and clears your airways and breath adequately.”
On isolation, Chisoni says keep complete to oneself away from family.
“Only my wife in full mask is coming in to deliver meds and food. She can’t stay long either. For a home its hard but am trying.
“I can’t run away from visiting the toilet, bathroom and basking on the sun probably to acquire Vitamin D, am told its very essential.
“But I need to go out quickly and not come in close contact with anyone. We can’t be perfect but must balance.”
On meals, he says “eat well, take loads of fruits and vegetables and more proteins to boost your immune system” and “enough liquids — 2-3 liters of water a day”.
“Due to lack of appetite, I survived on Custard as it was easy for me to swallow. I am working hard now to diversify my food intake.
“I guess multivitamin is assisting a lot in improving my appetite. Try everything that can keep you going. We are different. Drugs can’t work on an empty stomach.
In conclusion, he advises to sleep in every position, especially lying flat on ones stomach (cha fufumimba).
“Sleep in the most comfortable position as it is not possible to sustain one posture for so long.”
He maintains that he is not a trained healthcare worker but these are some health tips that can be followed when there is no doctor available during quarantine.