Being physically challenged, the tight chest, back ache, coughing and the unbearable headaches were the worst symptoms to handle, said Mthunzi Mene, a 48year old Human Resource Practitioner who works for the Gauteng Department of e-Government.

Mr. Mene contracted COVID-19 from his friends and colleagues on the 3rd of July after he had been given a lift by a colleague from work to home. Fortunately for him, none of his family members showed any symptoms of COVID-19 and this was proven after they all went for testing the week after he started showing symptoms.

Mr. Mene got tested on the 13th July and soon after he was tested, his wife and their son aged 9 years went for testing which was on the 14th July. The results came back confirming that Mr. Mene was indeed positive for COVID-19 and he immediately went for self-isolation for 14 days.

‘I self-isolated in our bedroom while my family stayed in other rooms. I was really thankful that none of them contracted the virus and that my wife could continue to take care of our son while I was trying to fight and overcome COVID-19, “said Mr. Mene.

He explained that this all took place right in the middle of winter and his biggest concern was not to infect anyone, especially his wife since she was the one who was taking care of him in his state. “I would communicate with her via my cellphone and it was difficult not being able to hold my child in this time of need as we have a very close relationship. At his tender age he also could not understand why he was unable to see daddy during that period.”

Mr. Mene’s other fear was experiencing serious respiratory complications from COVID-19. “My symptoms included tiredness, coughing, tightness of chest, body aches, nausea, shortness of breath, blocked sinuses and thick phlegm but I managed to get through it all” he said with a grateful smile on his face.

After his isolation period ended, he went back for retesting as the symptoms were no longer visible and results came back negative of the virus. “Recovering from this virus changed my thought process and perspective on life. I would advise people in any working environment to take responsibility, to educate their families and children, especially now that kids are back at school,” he said. Mr. Mene and his family have since been adhering to all the golden rules of hygiene protocols at work and at home to avoid contracting the Corona virus.

The Department continues to educate people on the importance of social distancing, washing of hands, sterilizing and disinfecting surfaces, wearing of masks to prevent the spread of the virus and also being more health conscious and being strict when you have more than one person in your vehicle.


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