Journey to my home…14 Days in Quarantine..!

So , I am finally coming out of my lazy avatar and hoping to write again regularly with fresh content. It could be a current affairs or an entertainment or a technical blog, but I will write for sure. COVID-19 is here and we don’t know till what time it would be here, hope everyone is safe and sound in their home. Please take extra care and step out only if necessary.

So this article was in my mind from the time I was in quarantine as I told myself if everything went well, I would definitely write about these days so that people can understand the need for this isolation procedure. So I was supposed to start my journey to travel to my hometown of Nagri in Himachal Pradesh from 27th March 2020, but the lockdown started from 25th March and that was a clear sign of tough times ahead. I stayed in my PG in Pune for around 3 months which was a nightmare and as soon as flights started even though I was advised not to travel, I had in my mind to meet my parents, my family and stay with them during this pandemic. I booked my tickets, there was a 12 hour waiting at Delhi Airport where I waited inside the airport as outside was never safe.

Boarding pass for the trip

During the journey I took every possible step to make sure I reach safely as I had my gloves, face shield and mask on every-time. During my time at Delhi Airport, I didn’t even eat anything for 12 hours due to the fear of COVID.

Full Safety Gear was ON

As soon as I landed at Gaggal Airport in Kangra, there was a long queue where we were told to fill an online form regarding our journey details as they wanted to track all the passengers coming from red zone closely. As soon as they heard I was from Pune, they told me that I can’t go home and I need to go to COVID Care Centre in Paraur around 45–50 minutes away from my home. I knew this was coming still it was hard to see other people going home and me taking a cab to the COVID centre for which I was charged a hefty amount, as this was also kind of a business for them which was pretty okay for me considering this time.

Fare for Taxi to COVID centre

After reaching the centre, I was offered food which was delicious and then I was in queue for registration. I was given a token number, a toilet number, a bathroom number and a bedding for next 8–10 days. Luckily there were two other people who reached at the very same time with me so we three kind of formed a bond. One was a 50+ uncle working in BSF and other was a 26 year old guy named Ashwini who was with me till the moment I left the centre.

Token number and individual toilets were provided

For people in army, police or BSF, tests were done earlier and they were allowed to do home quarantine if found negative. For others, the tests were conducted on 5th/6th day after your arrival at centre and those 5–6 days were the most difficult days of my life. The place was beautiful, it had greenery, location was amazing, it was a huge place capable of holding thousands of people. It was actually a place where SATSANG used to happen, where followers would come to hear the ideas and principles of different Guru/Swami. We were not charged for anything and also the people who were working round the clock were working selflessly as they wanted to serve and help those in need of care.

Full View of the Centre

We three used to stay together all the time as we used to talk, walk and eat together, together as in at the same time with social distancing. Uncle had himself tested as soon as possible and as reports came negative, he was out of the centre and now we two were left. The most difficult thing during this time was to keep your mask on at all the time, even I used to sleep with my mask on and due to that my ears started to pain. But it was to be done as I could not afford any mistake during this time.

Left: During Daytime…Right: During Nightime

The food was served to us in a well packaged manner which was a great thing and on top of that the taste was top notch. We were served breakfast at 8, lunch at 1, tea at 4:30 and dinner at 7 sharp and they even gave extra to whoever wanted without any issues.

Food is here..!

Another important thing was to stay positive during this tough time. Every second day tests were conducted and then reports were received and if found positive, those people were sent and their beds were sanitized but this used to create panic among the public. People used to worry whether they were in contact with that person or if they would have used the same tap and what not, so those thoughts would often walk in our minds. Also, the number of people were increasing as days progressed.

Left: Day I arrived…Right: After 2 days

Beds were filling, more people were accommodated in a single block and now there were long queues for taking lunch or even for evening tea.

One thing which I can say was in my favor was I had lot of things to do there which gave me very little time to think about COVID and stay positive. I had a charging point next to my bedding, so I had my laptop on at all the time as I used to work, play game, watch movie or any show so that I can forget about all this and be calm. I even finished one novel which was around 600 pages, I played PUBG at night so I tried everything which I could to keep myself positive and be normal in this horrific time.

My setup at COVID centre..!

Finally that day came when they were supposed to take our samples, but since it was a second saturday, rumors started that it was a holiday and samples will be taken on monday then. But then doctors came and our samples were taken, it was hardly a 30 second process but felt very uncomfortable and more tension was on the way as results would be announced after 2 days.

Moments before samples were taken..

Usually if reports were positive for anyone, they would receive the news beforehand and by the next day itself person was taken to hospital but that didn’t happen for our batch. All 40–50 people for whom samples were collected were found negative and they were allowed to go home and I was in those people.

Proof of -ve COVID test

My parents were coming back from Chandigarh after my mother’s operation and my reports also came during that time, so they came directly to take me home. The journey was only half done as home quarantine of 6 days was still pending but nothing can match that moment when I saw my mom-dad waiting for me at the same point where the cab left me on the very first day. I couldn’t hug them or kiss them, I simply put my luggage in the trunk and sat on the back seat. Recently my brother also came from Noida, so he was already home quarantined and I got the room next to him. We called ASHA worker and my details were added to the poster where my brother’s details were already there.

We had separate rooms…separate buckets to wash our utensils and food used to come in disposable plates with full social distancing.

I started working full time from the very next day and I really wanted to thank my office colleagues, team lead and manager as even though I was not able to give my 100%, they never questioned me about anything. On the contrary they were fully supportive and were constantly asking regarding my health. Even though my brother was in the next room, we were not able to talk the way we used to do.

This is how we used to meet and greet..on the doorway!

For what it was worth, below is the way in which I used to talk to my parents and see them during my home quarantine time..

Finally after 14 days of total quarantine I was able to meet my parents and met my brother after his quarantine was over. We both didn’t catch any virus and were completely safe and healthy. I urge to everyone to follow social distancing and isolate themselves if they travel long journeys in bus, train or flights. Stay safe and be in quarantine if you want to see your loved ones happy and ever smiling. May god bless whoever is reading this article, eat good, stay fit and stay healthy..☺☺☺

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VLSI Engineer with the urge for sharing knowledge.