My COVID-19 Story – Dr Josephine Okechukwu

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Dr. Josephine Okechukwu is a Director of Public Health at Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT). As a frontline staff working to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic since it broke out in Nigeria, Okechukwu has done everything right as far as observance of the COVID-19 safety protocols is concern. Yet she caught the bug. In this exclusive interview, she shares her COVID-19 experience with AfricaSTI.com from one of the isolation/treatment centres at FCT, warning that the second wave might be more devastating if Nigerians do not adhere to the safety protocols.

 

The shock

I have been a frontline staff since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.  For the period that I have been in the frontline, I have had multiple experiences. But this is something that I have not experienced before and wouldn’t want any person to go through. I want to tell all Nigerians that COVID-19 is real. I’m now an infected person. I have COVID-19. I came down with it three days ago (….). My experience was a sudden one, developing symptoms in just 24 hours.

By the time I realized what was happening my result came out positive and I was admitted in one of the treatment and isolation centres in FCT.  I am undergoing my vital signs now.  I thank all the doctors and health officials in this centre for the way they have treated me. The treatment has been distinct.  I am not yet a survivor. I am undergoing the treatment.

Second wave of COVID-19

The message I want to send across is for everybody to be careful.  Coronavirus is not something to play with. COVID-19 is coming back. There are new cases that we have started peaking. For the past two weeks, COVID-19 has been on the increase in the FCT.  It doesn’t matter what people think about it. What I believe is that COVID-19 is true, and it is very, very fatal.  Many people have died and many people are dying without being diagnosed. I am now with the sickness, and would want everybody to know that all we are doing is just to make people safe.

Neglect of safety protocol and festivities

People are no longer adhering to the use of face mask, social distancing and physical distancing. This will not help us because in the next couple of months we’ll have another crisis. So, everybody should please start wearing their face mask and start maintaining social and physical distancing. Now that we are going into the festive period of Christmas and New year, It is only God that will help us. But we need to help ourselves because of what we are seeing now.  The cases are going up and many people are coming up with the diseases. Unfortunately, I have been so protective. I have been wearing my facemask and maintaining all the COVID-19 safety protocol. But I don’t know how I came across the virus. So I want to tell people out there that COVID-19 is real. I am infected now but I will survive it. And I don’t want people to come down with the virus. Keep wearing your face mask it is very necessary. And always wash your hands frequently. Most importantly, maintain physical and social distancing. It is very, very important and let stop staying close to ourselves and causing more problem to our country. I’m just praying that God makes me get through this alive. So everybody, please, please, please COVID-19 is real. Wear your face mask and use it properly. I don’t know how I got it I don’t even know who I contacted it from but you can never be too sure so let us stay safe.

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