Yesterday something very unfortunate happened to me. I’ll tell you about it.
Flash back to 23rd March during the early COVID 19 days in Uganda, I was asked to remain in my room ( self quarantine) because I woke up with flu like symptoms, however without a fever. The quarantine was to go on for 14 days if I developed fever that day or by the next morning.
I cried that day. Honestly speaking, I enjoy my work to a certain extent. I didn’t imagine having to spend 14 days in the 4 walls of my intern’s mess room. That day lasted 40 hours in my head.
I was almost 90% free of the symptoms by the next morning, and so I went to work.
I can say I have slowly started to not fear (which is a bad thing) COVID, and probably some complacency has set it, but I promise I wear my mask at all times while I’m out of my room. I wash my hands, I sanitise, I wear gloves.
Yesterday evening was just a wrong day I guess. I got in contact with a patient from Juba who arrived via Elegu border point. This patient’s COVID result turned out positive today .( he’s currently on the road to masaka. His phones and those of his caretakers he’s travelling with are switched off) I’m not sure ministry of health has tracked him yet, but I’ll let you know once I know.
Bottom line, I touched this patient, many times, I took history, I examined him, I took his vitals, did his resuscitation and monitoring him by myself for about 12 hours. I didn’t have gloves on at some point (gloves are available; this is on me). He was a bit confused, so he kept taking off his mask. I probably swallowed enough of the virus. I forgot to mention, I only had a surgical mask on. This was about 13 hours into my shit with no rest, no food, no time to even take a pee. This shift went on till the next 11 hours and I started another day of work.
I’m not saying a word again about long working hours, but could it have played a role in my carelessness with this patient? I don’t know.
The hospital COVID -19 task force has put me under quarantine in my room for the next 14 days. I might be moved to another quarantine area within these days.
God help me to keep my sanity because I’m not used to idleness and joblessness. Its sad how this turns out as the bigger worry for me than the disease itself.😧