Fit and healthy spa businessman contracted COVID-19 – Stabroek News

With no pre-existing health conditions and for someone who lives a fit and healthy lifestyle, businessman Karan Mehra initially thought that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was not a threat to him until he developed symptoms and ended up in an isolation facility for 33 days.

I, being this strong person, I believed that in my lifetime nothing can happen like this. My breathing is amazing, everything is fine. I do my blood test, regular checkups, everything was good..I am very fit. I am very physically active. I always work out and maintain myselfThen all of a sudden something just comes in your body and it makes you feel like you cant do nothing, Mehra, told Sunday Stabroek in an exclusive interview yesterday.

Born and raised in India, Mehra, who is one of the Directors of the Vivaanta Ayurvedic Spa and Hair Salon, explained that it all started for him on March 19th, when he began to experience a terrible headache followed by shortness of breath.

I got normal flu and so before but all of a sudden, I got a like terrible headache and the headache was severe then I couldnt even like sleep in the night, I was suffocating. So all these things made me think that there was something wrong with me, Mehra said.

He is one of the 24 persons to have recovered from COVID-19 disease thus far. As of May 1st, Guyana recorded 82 confirmed cases with 9 deaths.

While Mehra has no other medical condition, he said he would experience sinus issues from time to time. I suffer with sinuses also, so what happens with COVID now is a respiratory illness so when that happens yours sinuses act up and then your nose gets blocked and all of that so I try because I use some stuff at home for my sinuses and that is what I was using, like the nasal flush out and so on, I used that but it wasnt so bad that I needed the emergency cylinder or like that but at least I was getting a feeling that I cant breathe properly.. All I took was just a normal Panadol and nothing else because I was not sure what my body was going through, he explained.

At first, Mehra was convinced that it was maybe just a normal flu. As a result, he monitored himself for about three days but the symptoms worsened, especially the breathing. I thought it was just maybe a flu or something, probably with a headachebut after that I couldnt even sleep in the nights, I was suffocating. I went out during the nights to check if I could get like you know some fresh air and all of that but then my breathing hurt the symptoms were getting crazy. The temperature was there. Everything was there, so I knew there was something wrong anyway, he added.

Mehra said he then decided to contact the COVID-19 hotline to enquire about the process to be tested. .The hotline, they said to monitor for two three days again..something was wrong because they were not doing the testing so regular. So they said Sir, are you okay? Are you okay? I said no I am not okay, Mehra recalled.

On March 27th, Mehra said a team visited his home and he was tested. The results revealed that Mehra was positive and he was taken into isolation at the Diamond facility on March 29th.

From the inception, Mehra said he isolated himself and took all the necessary precautions. The businessman, also travels a lot with the latest being in early February before Guyana recorded its first COVID-19 cases.

Mehra believes that he might have contracted the disease from either a gym which he attended on a daily basis or the Phagwah celebration where he had gathered at a popular city spot.

Three positives

According to Mehra, he was the first person to be placed in isolation at the facility set up at the Diamond Hospital.

Doctors kept the check every day because the routine was that they come in every day and do the required tests to see if your lungs are fine because lungs is the main thing here. So they do a testing on the lungs every day to check saturation and the oxygen level of your body. Initially it was less but gradually it picked up and my lungs functioning improved so that was very positive, he said.

Mehra spent a total of 33 days at the facility before he was discharged on April 30th.

During his isolation, Mehra was tested positive on three occasions. The fourth test yielded a negative result followed by another negative, which deemed him cleared of COVID-19.

Mehra explained to Sunday Stabroek that his second test was done on April 13th. The focus was to make sure it just gets better. After 14 days again, my symptoms actually got very less, it was like hardly anything and they did a retest to check if the virus was still in my body and the results came back positive again, he said.

Another seven to nine days passed before Mehra was tested again.

However, this time, he was not showing any symptoms. At that time, there was no symptoms. I was absolutely fine. All it was, of course, a little weakness. Body gets too weak. So I thought okay, I will be fine, I will be getting my test negative but it was again positive, Mehra added while noting, so the virus was still in my body but it was asymptomatic.

After another week in quarantine, Mehra was subjected to another test. And then when they checked me after seven days again, finally the test came back negativetwo negatives. One negative came and then after two days again, it came back negative again, he said.

Shocking and shattering

Mehra said that when he learnt that he was COVID positive, it was shocking and shattering.

When I learnt that I am positive, of course it was so shocking and shattering because it is such a new virus where you dont know what will happen to your body or how it will react. So all those thoughts came in and it was a very shocking day, he said.

He related that when he was being moved to the quarantine facility, he had to prepare himself mentally and try to remain positive. Because two things doctors and people are saying around this world, stay positive and dont take any stress. Me, being a businessman and I had to likeat that time Guyana wasnt in no lockdown, everything was operating. So I had so many things to deal with, I had to do some offshore work and this and that and then all of a sudden I realised, life is at standstill, I cant do anything, Mehra stated.

However, at this point, Mehra said he had to shift his perspective and focus solely on his health. I am a very strong minded and fit person, physically and mentally. So I mean, with this thing, you cant let something go on your mind and when your mind is negative, then your body gets negative. That creates a lot of problem. Even if you are fine, you are going to think what is happening, what is not happening, what will be the outcome? So all these things, actually deteriorate your health eventually. Its very important to keep calm and of course everybody gets worried but still keep calm, Mehra explained.

Mehra lives in Guyana alone. His parents reside in India.

He noted that the only person who had contact with him was his maid. However, fortunately, she was tested negative. Even at my workplace, my business, it didnt spread at all so I was very much thankfulMy close contacts, they didnt get infected and thats one good thing, Mehra said.

Once his breathing had improved, he did regular exercises. .I talk to the doctor and I said doctor I am feeling very crazy right now because just sleeping and doing nothing and I am feeling like so tired and he said if you are feeling fine and there is no breathing problems, do something. So I said alright, I will just do some, like maybe some pushupsjust to keep fit, Mehra further explained.

Herbal supplements

To date, there is no cure for COVID-19. The standard treatment includes Vitamins, particularly Vitamin C and Panadol.

.There is no medication, there is nothing, all that is recommended and I have been using that is of course about (a) thousand to two thousand milligrammes of Vitamin C a day and you need to drink a lot of fluids daily and of course fruits and food rich in Vitamin C. That is what will help you fight the virus because your immunity has to go up, Mehra said.

With his background and history, Mehra believes in herbal supplements, which he says he consumes on a daily basis.

He said he had proposed using herbal supplements to his doctor while in quarantine and after research, this was agreed to.

Two things work very well because we are from the background of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is the ancient medicine from Indiait means all herbal natural elements. All is in use right now, no medicines were used here expect Vitamin C tablets and all my herbal supplements for my kidneys, for my lungs, everything. I use like six different supplements. So those have specifics of working in your body. So suppose, if your cells are killed by the virus and you want to regenerate them..I was taking a lot of herbal supplements, which doctors said yes you should use it because they advise me when I said doctor this is what I want. Can I use it right now? And he did a research online and he said yes, use it, he explained.

So I think all these things really helped me and people these days dont realise the importance of sticking to herbal medicines. People want a quick fix. If you go to a pharmacy, if you getting a headache, faster you will take any medicine and you are fine but same substitute you have in herbal also but it takes couple days to kick in your system but the efforts are pretty good than the normal medication, Mehra added.

Change in lifestyle

According to Mehra, his experience with COVID-19 has made him realise a lot, most importantly the way in which he viewed life.

In life, it made me realise that no matter how rich or poor, when situations like these arise, nobody can do nothing.I am accustomed to being in AC 24 hours, 365 days, with this there is no comfort. I had to share everything with persons I was staying with, he said.

Mehra said often people tend to be carried away by focusing on their responsibilities and make themselves less of a priority.

People get so carried away in this world that they forget themselves, their life and their healthfrom this I learnt one thing, of course you work and you do everything but of course you give time to your family, focus on yourself and people these days are forgetting that, he said.

While he has now returned home and is recovering, Mehra like every other patient who survived the virus has to continue taking precautions so as to avoid being re-infected.

Doctors had advised Mehra to take three weeks of rest. However, he plans to take the next month to recover. It takes time for me to recover, it causes a lot of weakness in the body and right now I am advised that I need at least three weeks of rest. This month I am just going to recover and rest. Strictly rest, Mehra said.

In the next two weeks, he plans on donating his blood plasma containing antibodies against the virus to help in treating critically ill COVID-19 patients.

Mehra is urging persons to take COVID-19 more serious. People think that okay I am young, okay I am this, okay I am fit and fine. It might not happen to me. This sickness does not discriminate at all so it can happen to anybody. So people should not take it so lightly. And I feel in this country, people do take it very lightly and thats so sad, he noted.

Its very important for people to understand. Dont regret later if something happen to you so at least just follow the basic protocols, Mehra said.

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Fit and healthy spa businessman contracted COVID-19 - Stabroek News

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