The COVID-19 Story, the worst is yet to come
The state of emergency for covid-19, also known as PPKM Darurat, was declared from July 3 until July 20, 2021. However, on Tuesday, the last day of PPKM Darurat, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced on his official YouTube channel a five-day extension till July 25, 2021. The reason for this is that the number of covid-19 cases in Indonesia is rapidly increasing, and I was one of them contributing to the cases.
My roommate developed severe symptoms on Friday, one day before PPKM Darurat was implemented. He wasn’t sure if those symptoms were likely to be Covid-19’s at first. As a result, he went off to work as usual. However, his fever worsened in the middle of his trip so that he wasn’t allowed to use any public transit.
He immediately went to the nearest clinic as soon as he began to feel dizzy, vomiting, and other symptoms. Later, he texted me to inform me that he had tested positive for covid-19 via a Swab Antigen Test. By then, I was astonished that I didn’t feel the same way he did.
Two days after that event, I began to feel dizzy. I guessed, my body temperature was getting higher too as I had no thermometer to accurately test it. As far as I could remember, I had been losing my energy since the previous night when I had terrible sleep due to irritating symptoms. Finally, at 2 PM, I ordered a GoCar in order to take me to Bumame Farmasi, located in Sunter, North Jakarta. It was the nearest clinic I could find from where I lived.
Fortunately, the test-taker didn’t have to wait for the result as we would get notified through WhatsApp. It’s really convenient when it comes to services! When I headed back home and lied on my bed, I received a message telling me that the result was positive.
I got confused about what to do next. Living in a shared house with dozens of other people is the most difficult part. Luckily, my roommate that I previously mentioned was already admitted to a room in a hospital for Covid-19 treatment. Obviously, after all the time and effort he gave, he had to wait for approximately 12 hours in an open-space ICU (on a military camp bed) before being moved to a decent room and facility.
During the first day of my symptoms, I had a terrible experience. Not only did I get a fever and a headache, but I also received other Covis-19 symptoms released by the World Health Organization (WHO) such as sore throat, cough, bone pain dan tiredness. The pain level worsened tremendously over the night, and being alone without any meds or meals was a nightmare. It wasn’t that I didn’t have food supply; it was just that I couldn’t swallow anything but water.
The worst is yet to come
The following day in the morning, as I couldn’t bear any illness any longer, I decided to go to nearby hospitals with the help of Gojek. I visited RS Antam, which is 5km away from my location. As I got there, there were many other patients whose diagnose were also covid-19 I guessed. One of the security guards there asked me to wait after I stated my intentions. After roughly 20-minutes of waiting, a fully equipped doctor with hazmat approached me.
“Is that true that you’re tested positive? Did you have your test result with you?” he asked.
I nodded as a sign that what he was saying was true. After that, I showed him my swab test result.
“I see, but unfortunately, we’re full at the moment. It’s been really hard these days and we can’t even guarantee when there are available beds. If you want to just see a doctor, there’s a long queue already. We’re worried that when it’s your turn, it’ll be after the sun has set.” he explained.
Considering my condition, I didn’t think I could wait that long. I thank the doctor and proceed to the next hospital. This hospital namely RSKD Duren Sawit which is a psychiatric hospital that has been turned into a referral hospital for Covid-19 treatment.
If I could illustrate the condition of this hospital, I could say that this was much worse than the previous one. I asked one of the security guards. However, his answer was somehow unsure, and told me to ask another guard. The second person I ran into asked me to fill in the queue for covid-19 treatment. Once I finished filling the data, I had no clue what I should do next.
After a few hours of waiting, I asked one of the doctors.
“I already filled in Covid-19 Treatment Form, do you know when will I get notified for further steps?”
“Unfortunately, there is no bed available this time. The next patient in line will be notified if a patient leaves. Sit right here if you wish to wait,” he explained.
My energy had been draining after all the effort and the waiting I gave. Besides, I hadn’t had any breakfast or lunch. Around 2 PM when the heat of Jakarta is extremely unbearable, I opted for going home instead. The decision made was not merely concerning my personal condition. In this pandemic, I assumed that there were plenty of other patients who are in need of the treatment than myself. Hence, I went home with nothing but exhaustion.
The Last Hope
On the third day of my home quarantine, a friend of mine suggested I see a doctor in a nearby sub-district level health center (Puskesmas). Since it’s been noon, where Puskesmas was no longer in service, I decided to come the next day instead.
The day where I planned to visit Puskesmas, I went at 09.00 AM. It was jam-packed and overflowing with patients altogether their families. It was just like RS Antam condition, the place where I went to the other day, but in a smaller space. There was this nurse, I bet her age is around 35yo, who was on standby at the front gate.
“I’m sorry, we only serve patients through telemedicine. The majority of the patients are doing home quarantine as well. Please jot this number down and message the contact through WhatsApp,” she detailed.
In less than 10 minutes in Puskesmas, I headed back home afterward. Through the WhatsApp messages, the nurse instructed me to perform a PCR Test which only is held three times a week, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
On Wednesday, I completed the PCR Test and returned home with no medication, still. When I asked regarding the estimated result time. “It normally takes 5-7 days,” one of the nurses replied.
I was wondering in a hopeless manner, what would they do to me next regarding my health?
The story continues …
Can’t wait for the next story
Muhammad Ridha Tantowi
Thank you for reading!!!
Owii😭😭😭 I somehow feel how tiring it must be fighting alone in Jakarta out of sickness. You don’t deserve to experience this but I pray you’ll get better really really soon. I feel a lil relieved knowing you can still isolate yourself at kosan as some ppl I heard being dumped by the owner for being positive with Covid. I hope that would never happen to you. Take care always and I am looking forward for the next story of you being recovered hopefully!
Muhammad Ridha Tantowi
I’ve already made a full recovery. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. A verbal support does matter tho.
Yeah being dumped out of my shared house was the most frustating thing I was questioning. Thankfully, it didn’t happen to me. Take good care of yourself and your loved ones in Palembang. I’m hoping to see you soon as well!