On January 4, I woke up and my body was burning. My body temperature felt extremely high so I feared the worse.
Sure enough, my antigen test kit (ATK) results showed positive. I was now a statistic. Despite having two shots of AstraZeneca, I was now one of two million Thais that had contracted Covid-19.
I couldn’t believe it so I got another test to screen for a possible false positives even as my body became wracked with other symptoms. I had a very bad sore throat and a persistent cough. My body was heating up, and my temperature reached 38.7°celsius.
There was no way that this was a normal flu. I got in touch with a hospital.
I was called in to get a nasal swab for a RT-PCR test to confirm the diagnosis. There was no ambulance, no fanfare. I was told to make my own way to the hospital.
Not wanting to risk taking a cab and passing on my infection, I was stuck taking a motor taxi to the hospital.
Patients who had tested positive with at home tests and patients who just wanted to get tested were grouped together the whole day under the same building. It didn’t feel particularly sanitary but I suppose private rooms and segregated waiting areas is a luxury Thailand doesn’t have. If any of us had Omicron then everyone waiting there got it as well.
Medical workers were busy running the queues. The building was crowded with people. Those who tested negative were sent home but that doesn’t mean they weren’t infected that day in that building.
I was left stranded with a body pain for half a day. There weren’t enough seats or staff to inform me what was happening. I was coughing under the three layers of masks while patients who were sent home strolled casually by me.
I didn’t get tested until the evening, I had been there since dawn. I was told to undergo home-isolation during the time I was waiting for the test result. We did not receive medicine, no doctor’s call, no nothing.
It took two days for the doctors to contact me and told me what I already knew, that I had Covid. They said to get registered to be eligible for supplies.
I then registered for the home isolation system with the National Health Security Office (NHSO) to receive guidelines on treatment and hoped that I would receive other medicines apart from Paracetamol to help with my swallowing and sleeping difficulties due to my incessant coughing.
Two days later I received a call from another hospital that they would allocate me necessary medicines and food boxes.
By that point I was already recovering. If I had waited for the hospital and not taken action I would have been dead. Friends and family sent me food and medicine to help me through the first few days.
For those who are saying the infected people are irresponsible, we have been living with this virus for about three years and the system still cannot get it right.