A woman coughing (possibly due to covid). She is wearing a grey sweater and has a shawl wrapped around her.

March 4, 2022, by aqykd2

My International Christmas Covid-19 Experience

I was thrilled about spending my first Christmas in England, although I knew I wouldn’t be able to meet my family. But I had a flatmate who stayed back because she was an international student too. We saw all our other flatmates off together and decided to explore cities nearby over the Christmas break. Two days in, my flatmate, with who I had been in close contact, tested positive for Covid-19. This was the moment that I had been trying to escape for two years, but it had finally caught on. I had a little itch in my throat when I heard from her, but I knew things would worsen in the coming days.

Luckily for me, I was loaded up on food because I had been grocery shopping the previous day. But things start to feel a little difficult when all nutritious foods need to be cooked and you don’t have the energy for it because you’re feeling poorly. 

But our hearts are right,
And on Christmas night
We’ll jolly along with you,
Despite the pains and aches that come
In the trail of the gol-dinged “flu”

– Jack W. Yoes in The Vancouver Sun

This was my first time doing meal preps for when I knew I would be worse. The helplessness that surrounded me with knowledge of how my health was going downhill added to the unpleasant experience. I quickly took an RT-PCR test and called my parents to update them. The first few days are the hardest! But I began to occupy myself as I felt better. I decorated my room, watched movies, and painted. A part of the package was me trying to convince my mom that booking the next flight from Bangalore for herself was utterly unnecessary. But I survived! On that note, I have compiled a list of things that helped me prepare for the adversity that might be of use for you.

My Covid-19 Survival kit: 

  • Honey
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Lemon 
  • Porridge 
  • Tissues 
  • Disinfectants 
  • Non-acidic fruits (apples, avocados, mangoes, etc.) 
  • Entertainment (lots of it!) 
  • Cough syrup 
  • Ibuprofen
  • Strepsils
  • Decongestants 
  • Vaporub 
  • Lateral flow test kits

I was impressed by the mental healthcare facilities made available to me by the NHS. They gave me an option to seek counseling services as staying alone within the room’s four walls can get upsetting. Irrespective of the restrictions being lifted by the government, the university is encouraging its students and staff to remain cautious. The number of students we now see on campus reflects how we have achieved a great deal together by maintaining precautions. I share my experience to add to those that have been shared to reassure you that preparation can help your situation significantly and that fear is not going to help the situation. Stay calm and optimistic!

Posted in #WeAreUoNKhushi