Mirror beach near Mumbai

During the COVID pandemic, I was longing for a break for myself and my family. The last break we had taken was in December 2020. So as the second wave hit Mumbai and indeed the entire world in March, I was working as always, juggling online and walk in patients at our Hospital in North Mumbai.

As soon as the kids finished with their online exams and assignments, we planned to take a small break. I explored AirBNB and did find some interesting places but their website was glitching so that led me to use Google Maps and Google earth to zoom in on some promising places.

We first selected Alibag, since it is within four hours drive. My last memories of Alibag were not pleasant at all, a rocky beach streen with garbage, debris and stinking.

So this time I selected a place right near a beach that looked nice. We reached there in four hours. The beach was amazing. It was big, flat and here are some pics!

Mirror beach

The setting sun and the receding tide gave us a glimpse of an amazingly beautiful scene.

I have never seen a beach like this.

Panorama

I went for a morning walk, and saw another side of this pristine beach.

Fisherfolk at the beach

The local fisherfolk use this beautiful beach for doing their big job. I was shocked to see many men doing this in the morning.

Fishermen shitting on the beach [top right]
Local fisherfolk deposited this

Local fishermen say that they have been using this beach for defecation since many generations. One said that they do the same at Worli, sensing somehow that I am from the city.

I asked them, dont you have toilets in your home?

He said, yes they do, but they like to do it in the open, where there is fresh breeze. He seemed reluctant to stop this.

I informed him about the danger from fecal coliforms. I felt that was the best I would do in the short time I was there.

I hope the local administration will tacke this ina socially acceptable manner and that this practice will stop.

Dumped by locals

I also saw locals bringing in these plantain trees and dumping them as well on the beach.

I wish that all of the people here would be good stewards of God’s wonderful creation that they have been entrusted with to care, protect and keep clean.

Hard working sea creatures on the beack

The beach is full of hard working creatures who do their job after every tide. These tiny creatures make burrows in the sand and roll out these small round balls of earth.

There are also many colourful shells and creatures all around.

Shells from the beach

The beach is beautiful but you need to see this as well

The waves return whatever is not needed

I would like to appeal to people to please be careful where you throw trash. The sea will return whatever it cannot degrade.

The beach still retains its magical charm, as you can see from the pictures I am sharing here. I wish this beach to remain anonymous, somehow hoping that this will protect the fragile beauty of this amazing place.

Mirror beach
A private beach for us

Wishing you many short breaks in the days to come, stay safe and happy!

Working more than 9 hours a day can kill you!

Working 55+ hrs/week leading to nearly 750k deaths per year: Study published in the HT on 18th May 2021

Working long hours is killing hundreds of thousands of people a year in a worsening trend that may accelerate further due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

World Health Organization: Its History, Its Mission, Its Role In The  Current Crisis : Goats and Soda : NPR
Creator: Fabrice Coffrini | Credit: AFP via Getty Images

In the first global study of the loss of life associated with longer working hours, the paper in the journal Environment International showed that 745,000 people died from stroke and heart disease associated with long working hours in 2016. That was an increase of nearly 30% from 2000.

“Working 55 hours or more per week is a serious health hazard,” said Maria Neira, director of the WHO’s Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health. “What we want to do with this information is promote more action, more protection of workers.”

Dr S P Mathew, Physician, also added that workers need to take ownership of their time, set boundaries and understand that their life is not all about just working.

The joint study, produced by the WHO and the International Labour Organization, showed that most victims (72%) were men and were middle-aged or older. Often, the deaths occurred much later in life, sometimes decades later, than the shifts worked.

About the ILO
The ILO

It also showed that people living in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region — a WHO-defined region which includes India, China, Japan and Australia — were the most affected.

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South and South East Asia

The study covered the period 2000-2016, and so did not include the Covid-19 pandemic, but WHO officials said the surge in remote working and the economic slowdown resulting from the coronavirus emergency may have increased the risks.

“The pandemic is accelerating developments that could feed the trend towards increased working time,” the WHO said, estimating that at least 9% of people work long hours.

I frequently come across people who WFH [Work From Home] who say that there are no time limits, no boundaries for work. As a Physician, I am concerned about what this is doing for the health of our most productive generation.

Here are some suggestions to preserve your health and yet enjoy your work:

Set clear boundaries, both Physical and Mental, between work and personal life.

Invest in a good chair with elbow support if you are going to be sitting for more than a few hours a day.

Keep a seperate mobile phone for official work and set the time when it will be kept on, with clear communiction to your colleagues and the office on when to contact, the response times and escalation matrix.

Two numbers and two emails.

In the spirit of keeping the two separate, having two phone numbers and two email addresses usually ensures that there is no cross-pollination between your two worlds and this means that if the client calls or tries to get hold of you they won’t be calling you on your personal number or at the weekend or when you’re on holiday (because they don’t have it).

And if you have adopted options one or two above, this ensures a relaxing time away from work.

Exercise regularly. Just 30 minutes is enough. There are three different types of exercise: Cardio, Strength, and Balance/Flexibility.

We are all well aware of the benefits of physical workout, but we are also lazy to dedicate ourselves to spend our time-off in the gym or to do sports. On the other hand, it’s an obvious time-management problem.

How can we manage all the work and find time for a workout? My hypothesis is that we actually don’t consider Exercise a priority when planning our free time.

Your brain is the primary tool you use to perform at your job and you want it to be sharp. Studies indicate that our mental firepower is directly linked to our physical regimen. And nowhere are the implications more relevant than to our performance at work. Some of the outcomes of regular exercise are:

  • Improved concentration
  • Sharper memory
  • Faster learning
  • Prolonged mental stamina
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Lower stress

Instead of viewing exercise as something we do for ourselves — a personal indulgence that takes us away from our work, it’s time to start considering physical activity as part of the work itself. It’s a concept Arianna Huffington popularised as “Work-Life integration” where time-off, training, resting etc. are actually mechanisms that increase our output and outcomes at work.

Exercise can also give you more energy and you will feel more awake at work. Being on top of your game will assure that you perform your work correctly and to the best of your ability.

Regular exercise Archives - DirtCheapMag.com

One way to be more productive on the job is to have improved mental health. Regular exercise can help control and prevent feelings of anxiety and depression. When you exercise, your brain releases serotonin that helps you feel better and improves your state of mind, making the stresses of work easier to handle. Regular exercise may also help you deal better with stress and this can lead to improved relationships with your colleagues and a more secure future at your job.

Power walking, running, weight lifting, swimming or jogging can help reduce your risk of developing certain types of illness and disease. With an improved immunity, you minimise your chances for getting influenza and the common cold as well as your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension and heart disease is greatly reduced.

So if you wish to enjoy your work and be more productive, work smart, not hard. Remember to enjoy your life and your work.

Take care, God bless.

In memory of Elizabeth Rogin

This week has been heavy on my heart. Elizabeth Rogin, 42 years, wife of Rogin and mother to Esther and Rafael, left her physical body behind after a severe COVID infection in May 2021. Her family is very involved in our Life group, a close knit local community that is part of the Living Hope Church in North Mumbai, India.

We had all gone together for a walk arranged by our Life group into the mangroves near our house in February 2021.

Elizabeth and Rogin on a Mangrove walk in Feb 2021

Little did we know that this would be the last time she would be walking these beautiful trails with us.

The COVID pandemic is raging all across the world, and India is no exception. These are the headline news these days:

COVID statistics in India in May 2021. Each life has a story to tell

Sadly, Elizabeth became one of these numbers. The statistics are tragic in itself. But we know that statistics do not tell us anything about the human beings impacted by this pandemic. Equally tragic was the fact that her father passed away in April due to heart failure, and her mother passed away a few days after Elizabeth, due to COVID.

As a Christian, I believe that each human being is of infinite value because of the very fact that as human beings we are created in the image of the Living God. You and I have intrinsic value. I remember Elizabeth, her life, and would like her to be remembered for posterity. She has touched many lives.

I asked people who knew her to send me something about her:

Gillian wrote:

She was passionate for the advance of God’s kingdom and tried to use every opportunity to put faith into action! A gentle encourager in the faith and defence of the Gospel.
She will be missed!

Elizabeth loved God and his Word. She was very committed to different meetings. Loved to evangelize. For the study of the book of Revelation, she and her whole family used to attend. Recently she became a part of my ladies prayer group. Whenever there was a prayer request, she would pray and believe the scriptures over them. She was a woman of faith. Yet she carried such a gentle spirit. I want to thank God for her life, said Julie,

Dominic said: I remember Elizabeth to be a woman who hungered for God’s Word and eager to learn and practice sharing God’s love with the lost.
I remember she was one in our LG to step out of her comfort zone and practice sharing God’s word in Hindi. She also encouraged her children to do.
Lots to learn from her
🙏

Life Group Bible Study time

She was rooted in the Word..she had a no nonsense attitude..never hesitated to speak her mind..even if it meant having an opinion different from the room..she had a radiant smile, added Rachael.

Vinita said: I remember Elizabeth’s gentleness, her strong conviction of God’s faithfulness and her passion to see the lost saved. She was a woman who loved God’s Word and was focussed in obeying what she learnt. Though all of us are heavy burdened by the loss of Elizabeth from our midst, we are confident that she is now in the best place, she ran her race well. Her faithful life encourages me to be faithful until the Lord called me home to a place of eternal rest

Esther aunty added: Elizabeth was a wonderful woman of God. She loved and studied the Word thoroughly and was very passionate for the lost. She may not have talked much, but she was a very loving and caring person. Very respectful and considerate towards the older folks. Will miss her greatly and her smile. Will continue to pray for Rogin and the children for God’s amazing strength,grace and mercy on them.

IC Extension Life group

Jenny spoke for herself and her musician husband Cleon: Kind hearted. Caring towards the needs of others. Confident in the Saviour she worshipped. Warm and welcoming. Prayer warrior. Elizabeth will surely be missed by our family. She was very sweet and loving to us. We won’t forget Caedmon’s first day of school when she stood with Rogin, Esther and Raphael to welcome Caedmon to his school which made us feel welcomed and made it a special moment. Elizabeth was a blessing to our family also by her hospitality after Callan’s birth. Jenny added: Elizabeth will truly be missed and words cannot describe how we feel. We are blessed to have known her.

Miriam John wrote: Elizabeth was a wonderful woman of God. She loved and studied the Word thoroughly and was very passionate for the lost. She would not talk much but was very loving and caring person. Very respectful and considerate towards the older folks. Will miss her greatly and her smile. Will continue to pray for Rogin and the children for God’s amazing strength,grace and mercy on them.

For Elizabeth: beautiful smile, a zeal for God. Always ready to reach out to others needing help. Will miss you. Said Mineta Singh

Keith wrote: Elizabeth – knowledge of the Word of God, very helpful. Loved fellowship and an outdoor person.

Elizabeth was a humble person and very dedicated to Gods word, the time which we spent together in our LG saw her week after week with love for Gods word, wrote Leena.

We have had many moments when we got together as a Life group or as a Church. I remember Elizabeth as the quiet one, who would observe and help others at all times.

At an event at the Hope Centre 2018

She was at the centre at many events and get togethers that we had. She never missed any corporate gathering.

Alverna said: I admired Elizabeth a lot. Although she was a quiet reserved person , she always came alive when learning or studying God’s word and during our church teaching programs. Always asking questions and listening attentively. She had such a passion to study God’s Word. She always had so much love and care in her conversations with me. And I loved her smile. Always lighting up the room. Her Good and faithful work here on earth is so visible in her children who have a firm foundation in Jesus. I will miss seeing Elizabeth in Church and our LG gatherings but I know she is rejoicing in heaven and asking all her questions directly to Jesus.❤️

Ibel said: The time I met her personally at her home, I could see her true joy in God alone and her kind welcoming nature.. I recollect as a VBS teacher in the church, how well and simply she had explained out the message from the Word to the seniors class. She was truly interested in the salvation of every soul she met along the way.. Same goes for Rogin, her husband, together both had passion for God’s kingdom. We will miss her physical presence, but she truly inspired everyone around her to walk and grow in faith.

We held a picnic just before the 2020 lockdown and had a great time.

Sheba added: Beautiful ode to a gentle soul!❤️Elizabeth would drop by to meet us every few months & it was truly endearing to see how her life was completely centred around God & her family. She’d gifted me a book for my Engagement with life lessons whilst embarking on the journey – perhaps the most meaningful gift I received on the occasion. Such was her persona – thoughtful, warm & beautiful inside out!

I also remember a Life Group celebration event we held at the Hope Centre where again she was the centre of attraction, as you can see clearly in this picture.

Life Group Celebration Dec 2020

We will miss her dearly. We pray for Godly comfort and wisdom to Rogin in this time. I believe in this: I know that right now she is in the best place possible. Faith in Jesus fills the emptiness you experience and satisfies your spiritual hunger for purpose, permanence, and pardon.

Anita said: The quiet, ever smiling Elizabeth is my friend and harvest partner. I do not want to refer to her in past tense because she is now living an everlasting life in the arms of our Savior and will always live in our hearts.

She added: Her deep knowledge of the Word of God, passion for the lost are the things I want to remember her for, always. Her child like smile and the twinkle in her eyes is what comes in front of me constantly. Though she was a person of few words, she has left a huge impact on me personally. I love you Elizabeth and want to say that you ran your race very well. Goodbye my dear friend till we meet again.

She has been completely healed and has obtained the promise that the Lord Jesus gave, to free us from Sin, Sickness and Death. She is enjoying eternal life with our Lord and the saints from all ages in heaven. Jesus Christ said ‘For this is My Father’s will and purpose, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him [as Savior] will have eternal life, and I will raise her up [from the dead] on the last day.” ‘ John 6:40 https://my.bible.com/bible/1588/JHN.6.40

This is the choice that the Lord who made us all gives us. He gives us free will to choose. Would you choose to accept the costly gift of forgiveness of your sins, by believing [putting your faith, hope and trust completely] in the fact that Jesus Christ, the sinless man, took on your sins and paid for them by dying on the cross? Remember, death and the grave could not hold Jesus. He came back to life, defeating sin and death itself! Jesus is alive.

The choice that God gives us is simple, either believe that God has done it for you, or keep on trying to do it your way. Some try to even deny that they are sinners. Others try to pay for their own sins by doing good deeds.

Dear reader, the God who made you and me knows you and loves you no matter what. He loved Elizabeth, and she loved, believed and trusted in Him. That is why she is enjoying eternity in heaven now. Not because she did good works, so that she could boast. None of us can do good works to get into heaven or have our sins forgiven. If you have done a wrong, no court will pardon you because you did something right the next time!

Make a smart choice if you have not made one yet.

God bless you!

Oxygen Crisis in India

Shocking news HT April 25th 2021

There is a huge and very serious issue when a nation faces a shortage of such a basic and essential thing like Oxygen.

Then we have the threats that follow:

Threats

This is happening in the Capital city of India, Delhi.

Huge surge in COVID-19 cases. HT April 25th 2021

Here is the headline in todays HT

The Delhi high court on Saturday asked the Centre and the Delhi government about their preparedness to deal with the peak of the second Covid-19 wave expected by
mid-May, terming the mounting cases a “tsunami” and warning that it will “hang any person” who tries to obstruct oxygen supplies to hospitals.
Talking tough, the bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli asked both the Centre and the Delhi government to “interact and co-ordinate” with each
other for ensuring supply of oxygen.

This huge surge could be the result of people mingling together in March for various reasons, including playing Holi, as pointed out by some youth whom I asked for their inputs.

What is being done about it?

Heroic efforts

What is going on, you wonder? Where is the planning and infrastructure and foresight needed, you may wonder.

Definitely there are heroic efforts underway by dedicated people who are doing their best to augment Medical grade Oxygen production and transport.

The Government has also stepped in with tax rebates.

Customs duty and Health cess, why were they even there in the first place?

I am documenting this for posterity, so that I do not forget the situation, ever.

In the Hospitals I manage, the team has really been great, being good stewards of the Oxygen and also going beyond their call of duty in arranging Oxygen for us from far and wide.

God bless all those who are working in this sector, the Oxygen producers and transporters and also the healthcare workers and the patients.

COVID and Vaccination: A Physician’s experience

I am Dr S P Mathew, practising as a Consultant Physician in General Medicine in Mumbai, India since the past 25 years.

There has been a huge increase in the number of cases of Corona once again at the time of writing this.

India’s daily tally of new infections of Covid-19 stopped just short of the 200,000 mark on Wednesday 14th April 2021

Since March 2021, I am seeing quite a few people who get RT PCR/Rapid antigen-positive symptomatic Corona after taking one or even two doses of the IM Vaccination against Corona.

Even more troubling for me is the many cases I am seeing who get breathlessness, fever, and decreasing Oxygen saturation a few days after taking the first or even second dose of the intra musclular COVID vaccine being administered currently.

Their RT PCR test is not done yet or the report is awaited. There is a huge Diagnostic Capacity over load for the RT PCR test, once you book it often takes 3 to 5 days to have someone come over to take the swab. So, many people are unable to test, and hence definitely there is under reporting of actual number of active cases. The HRCT Chest done for these patients shows featured typical of COVID. The patients have to then hunt for a bed in a COVID facility, even though they are not officially positive.

14th April 2021

A few of the vaccinated ones, especially Healthcare workers, who were among the first to get vaccinated in early 2021, developed Corona symptoms with RT PCR and Rapid Antigen positive. They have got good levels of S1/S2 antibodies in their blood when tested. And yet they became ill.

Here is an example of a Doctor, who took the Covishield vaccine as follows:
1st dose 20th Jan 2021
2nd dose 11th March 2021.

Rapid Antigen positive on 2nd April 2021. He had fever with minimal weakness. All routine fever workup tests were negative. We tested him for protective S1/S2 antibodies.

Twice vaccinated and then COVID positive Health care worker

As you can see, even after taking two vaccines and having good antibody levels, he became symptomatically ill and had to be quarantined for 14 days.

The good thing is that he had a mild illness and could be managed at home with basic medications. Ofcourse he could not go to work, and a Radiologist is also a daily wage earner like millions of others.

We repeated his antibody levels after eight days of natural infection.

As you can see the natural Corona infection that he got pushed up his antibody levels to more than 400.

Surprisingly, I have yet to see a single patient who got Corona naturally in the past. and then gets symptomatic and RT PCR positive Corona again.

This led me to ask a few basic questions: There are literally millions who have already got Corona in the last one year in India itself. Why are no cases of confirmed reinfection reported yet in those who caught Corona naturally? Why have I not seen a single case so far here in Mumbai?

Is it because natural Corona infection somehow confers better protection than the vaccine? Does the natural Corona infection give you better local upper respiratory tract humoral immunity? 

I am definitely not advocating that you should preferably get Corona naturally. An infection with the Corona virus can be fatal especially in the high risk populations.

How then do we develop immunity against Corona in the best way possible?

I feel that a nasal vaccine that mimics the natural Corona infection may give you better local and systemic immunity than the present intra muscular vaccine.

Much research is on going on this very important next advance in COVID vaccines., which you can find out by clicking here to open a new tab

As predicted, the intra nasal vaccine is the future, according to Bharat Biotech

As of now, it could be selection bias that as a Doctor I am seeing so many cases who are presenting after taking the intra muscular vaccine.

My recommendation is to consult a specialist before going for the vaccine to make sure that you are safe from the potential side effects, especially if you belong to the high risk groups that have been shown to have a higher potential for side effects.

You can click here to open a new page that will explain more about the latest regarding COVID vaccines, from the WHO.

Another important precaution to take if you are going to get vaccinated is to avoid crowded centres, ensure physical distancing and hand hygeine very strictly.

Also please remember that our bodies and immune systems are designed to work best when the mind and spirit are at peace, the Shalom concept that is vital to good health.

So my plea to you is that you would also set aside time daily to connect with your Creator who has designed you in a most wonderful way, and rest in that relationship of love, acceptance and joy. In that you will get wisdom beyond and above what you get from the world around you.

Love.

Shalom!

What does Christ mean on Christmas?

I am writing this on Christmas Day 2020. What an year it has been so far. So many firsts.

This was the first time in my life that I witnessed, and became a part of a global pandemic.

This was the first time in recent history that the entire world literally went into a state of lockdown. No one was allowed to leave home, unless they were essential service personnel.

We soon realised what and who were truly essential.

Apart from the essential physical bare necessities like air, water, food, nothing else really mattered. I realised that so many industries and sectors were not really essential at all!

The essential spiritual and mental needs of people remain, for which God has had a plan all along, in the person of Jesus Christ.

He is called the sinless substitutionary sacrifice, who defeated sin and death by undergoing the ultimate punishment for sin, death.

And because He was sinless, death could not hold him. The tomb where He was buried stands empty, in sharp contrast to the tombs of every other religion or idea.

This just shows that Jesus Christ was not just an idea, or the founder of another religion.

He came to restore humans to a relaitonship of Shalom to their maker, the triune God consisting of God the Father, Jesus Christ the son who took on human form, and the Holy Spirit.

And that is why we realised this:

Man tries to be good and holy but fails. Only God can transform us.

Jesus Christ, theamazing hyperdimensional being who transcends time and space and will come again in the future to rule the earth, as revealed in the prophetic book of Revelation.

I wish you all joy, peace, shalom and hope, as I have trusted, in the one who holds the future, Jesus Christ the King.

Wishing you a blessed Christmas

I have a fever: Is it Corona? A Doctor’s personal experience

What happens when Doctors get fever? Are all fevers Corona, especially as at the time of writing this we in the throes of a pandemic caused by SARS-COV 2 also known as COVID-19 or the Corona virus, affecting the entire world since over 7 months?

Background

I am Dr Mathew S P, 50, a MD Physician in private practice since 1996. I have my OPD and rounds at Ashok One Hospital in North Mumbai, India. As it is a Multi-Specialty non-COVID Hospital, we treat all medical, surgical, and orthopedic cases and of various other specialties. Since March 2020, at times we have had to admit a few suspected cases [in isolation units] who were critical, stabilize them and refer them, after confirming their diagnosis, to COVID care centers designated by the Municipal authorities, as these centers do not admit cases without a confirmed diagnosis. As I had been working nonstop at the front lines, I often wished that I would get a break, and rightly so I did get a break, in a most unexpected [to others] way!

Onset and progress:

On Wednesday the 2nd of September 2020 I noticed head heaviness and a flu like feeling, took a Paracetamol. On the 3rd as I was returning home from work in the evening, I was feeling sick. By 10 PM I had high fever, body pain and was feeling terrible.

I isolated myself in my bedroom, drank plenty of fluids, and kept a chart of my temperature, pulse and spo2 levels. My fever started rising as you can see in the fever chart below. I was watching my body closely for any other signs but apart from muscle cramps when I tried to bend, there were none.

Fearful thoughts

I could identify with the thoughts that go on in the mind of patients. The C word comes to mind immediately whenever anyone has fever. C for Corona!

As I often counsel my patients, your mind is like your house. There is a door to the house that is closed. Unless you permit, no one can enter your house physically. You have the power to choose, to decide whom to allow inside. It is exactly the same with your mind. What thoughts do you allow inside? I will give you a tip at the end that has really helped me.

I chose to think of C for Christ instead. The only one who defeated sin and death by his substitutionary sacrifice on the cross for my sins, and then coming back to life, because He was sinless. Death had no power over Him. I have known Jesus Christ in a real way in my heart since many years, and it was only by leaning on Christ that I was able to survive these difficult days, I must confess. If not, my mind would have been flooded with thoughts like “What if this is Corona? I will develop all sorts of complications! I may end up on a ventilator, etc etc”

Charting of vital parameters

As a medical professional I am used to recording vital parameters of the human body and I continued to do so for myself.

I recorded my fever diligently.

My heart rate was also tracked by the Fitbit Versa 2 which I wear 24X7

Heart rate on Day 1 of fever
Chart

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Chart

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Heart rate on day 2 of fever

As you can see my heart rate also remained high for almost 48 hours, the entire time I had fever. Of course, my smart watch is not so smart, it thought I was doing fat burn or cardio all the time!

Investigations and Treatment

I rested and thanked God that He has designed my immune system in such a way that it knows the best way to handle this infection, which I was not able to diagnose. I made sure that I was well hydrated. I took a vitamin supplement and had a predominantly liquid and soft diet. My wife took good care of me I must say!

My role was and is always to have a heart that is filled with faith [in the living God who has created me and in whom I could fully trust to do what was needed] and gratitude for the amazing gift of life that He has given me.

I rested in this and knew that whatever happens, I am in the best hands.

As a medical Doctor I knew the protocols for managing fever and hence did the required blood tests on the first day itself from Jariwala Labs who came for a home visit. The reports were all within normal limits. So, I did not take any other medication, except Paracetamol thrice, whenever my fever went above 102 and I was having body aches.

Recovery

After 48 hours, on Sunday the 6th of September 2020 I woke up afebrile! The fever was gone, and I was feeling fresh and had a good appetite. Since then I have not had any fever at all.

I am grateful to all my friends at the Church that I am a part of for praying for me and I believe that faith is vital for the process of healing. However, I did not know what the diagnosis was. I thought it could have been a flu.

Diagnosis:

On Monday the 7th of September I was active and went for some personal work. Then I got to know that my neighbors have already been diagnosed to be positive for COVID-19. I learnt later that 6 people in the apartment next-door were positive.

I was planning to resume work on Tuesday the 8th of September, as I felt that I had taken more than enough of leave! Since the blood tests did not reveal the diagnosis, the BMC Doctor recommended that I get my COVID Rapid Antigen testing done, which came positive.

Quarantine and progress:

COVID positive. Many thoughts went through my mind. I home quarantined for a period of two weeks, I continued to take rest and cut down on my work, doing limited video consultations.  

My activities are always tracked and here is the graph of the same.

COMPLETE ACTIVITY TRACKING WITH FITBIT

I was feeling a bit fatigued. I lost 50% of my smell sensation around the 10th of September, and it returned gradually over a week. I continued with a Vitamin supplement which caused a great deal of hunger! I found that I gained two kilos by the end of my quarantine!

I repeated my blood tests from Clinilabs after a week and they were all normal, including the markers for COVID activity like CRP etc.

Follow up:

I also did the Rapid Antigen test again on the 21st of September 2020 at a camp organised by the BMC at our Hospital, thanks to Dr Madhavi from R North ward, and that was negative also. All my staff also tested themselves and were negative.

I must commend the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai for the efforts they are taking despite limited manpower to screen people for the virus.

After my RAT [Rapid Antigen test] came negative, I also did my HRCT Chest at Vcare which was also normal. I am incredibly grateful to God for this.

After 4 weeks were completed, I did my COVID Antibody IgG test which showed that I have good levels of IgG antibodies. So, my immune system has successfully overcome the attack by the Corona virus on my body.

I also tested antibody levels of patients who had Corona in May 2020 and was happy to note that their antibody levels remain high even 5 months later.

Lessons learnt:

Our bodies are wonderfully designed to protect us from all pathogens.

I thank my Creator for the amazing ways in which He designs our immune systems, just raising the temperature to destroy pathogens. And the various other defense mechanisms that work without us knowing.

That is why I did not try to bring down the fever. It remained above 101 F for almost 48 hours [even after taking Paracetamol which I took three times in 2 days only because I was having body pain] and then started dropping.

Our immune systems are amazingly complex and medical science still does not fully understand how it works. So please, be positive. Rest, and just allow your body to do its work.

BE POSITIVE IN YOUR SPIRIT

I have written earlier on what we do know about the immune system.

I have also seen patients who fear and tremble at the word Corona. Let me reassure you here that the Corona Virus is harmless to THE MAJORITY of healthy individuals.

There is something much more dangerous than the Corona virus. It is called Fear!

Fear can paralyse your immune systems, or make them react in very abnormal ways.

As I have noticed repeatedly in my experience as a clinician over the decades, fear attacks all parts of the human body. In the cardiovascular system it increases the likelihood of heart attacks and hypertension. In the nervous system, it can lead to an increased risk for strokes, anxiety, and depression. It also increases the levels of adrenaline and cortisol in the body, leading to decreased immunity and insulin resistance, which is a predisposing factor in Diabetes.

The cytokine or bradykinin storm that is released in some cases of Corona are all the result of the immune system malfunctioning.

 

What can you do?

I believe in the simple fact that God made me, and that He has designed me wonderfully. If you choose to believe in this fact, your heart will be filled with faith, and love. There will be no room for fear.

Know the facts about the virus, but do not over do it. Half knowledge is deadly.

There is no need to take any unnecessary medications unless recommended by a qualified Medical Doctor.

Follow your healthcare Practioners advice. I was in touch with our team of Internal Medicine and Chest Medicine specialists, Dr Neelesh Kamath and Dr Parthiv Shah and kept updating them about my vitals and investigations. Please avoid alternative therapies, most of them are unproven and cause undesirable side effects.

I want to leave you with this encouragement and exhortation:

‘Finally, dear, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. ‘ Philippians 4:8

https://my.bible.com/bible/1588/PHP.4.8

And do you know what will happen then?

‘Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.

And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]. ‘

Philippians 4:6-7

I have experienced this peace in a way I cannot fully explain. It is real and has enabled me to overcome Corona.

God bless!