'You came just in time' - Eusebius McKaiser details how he survived Covid-19

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Eusebius McKaiser had Covid-19.
Eusebius McKaiser had Covid-19.
Oupa Bopape, Gallo Images
  • South African broadcaster, political analyst and commentator Eusebius McKaiser tested positive for Covid-19 after experiencing a sore throat.
  • In his podcast, he recalled his experience.
  • He shared seven lessons he learnt.

South African broadcaster, political analyst and commentator Eusebius McKaiser has opened up about how he survived Covid-19, sharing lessons he learnt after testing positive.

In the latest episode of his podcast In The Ring With Eusebius McKaiser, entitled: "I almost died of Covid-19", he revealed that he tested positive after experiencing soreness of the throat that would not go away after three days of tonsillitis treatment.

"I [couldn't] swallow, my throat feels inflamed, not just the tonsils, now I am coughing, the tonsils are not subsiding and my actual throat itself almost feels as if it had been burnt by acid," he said.

McKaiser added that his general practitioner, who he has consulted for many years, initially insisted on increasing his tonsillitis medication. However, he opted to take Covid-19 test.

McKaiser's result was returned the afternoon of the day he took the test.

He received a call from his doctor who said, tongue-in-cheek:

Congratulations you have Covid-19.

"He's not callous. He was obviously just trying to make light of it so we would deal with the facts and not get into an existential crisis. I'm stunned," McKaiser said.

He said it happened "a minimum of three or four days into the onset of symptoms".

The broadcaster started the episode by saying: "I almost died of Covid-19 pneumonia and my life was saved by an absolutely brilliant doctor, who is a pulmonologist by the name of Dr [Frans] Skosana ... "

After gearing up with the medication the doctor prescribed, McKaiser's biggest concern was finding a solution on how to tackle the virus, not just the symptoms.

"He (the doctor) says: 'Fine, we'll treat it with Ivermectin.'"

McKaiser said the prescription didn't "sit easily with me", and it prompted him to get a second opinion from a physician he trusted, who advised him in the past. This second opinion also advocated for the use of Ivermectin.

However, after getting a third opinion, he decided not to take the prescribed Ivermectin.

After consulting with other doctors and his close friend, broadcaster and journalist Redi Tlhabi, McKaiser was admitted to a Covid-19 ward at Netcare Olivedale Hospital on Saturday.

Redi Tlhabi | South Africans should take their Covid-19 vaccine for the collective good

He said he believed he was "lucky", noting that "tens of thousands of people have died during such a period with exactly the same profile".

While consulting with Dr Skosana on the day of his admission, the pulmonologist told him: "You came just in time."

McKaiser also had high praise for the nurses who cared for him.

While hospitalisation went smoother than he had thought due to fast action, he was sent home earlier because the medical staff were able to "arrest the situation" relatively quickly.

"The whole experience was so real. I never want to be in a Covid-19 ward again," McKaiser added.

He said that from his near death experience, he came up with seven lessons:

Listen to your body.

Engage your doctor.

Seek several viewpoints.

Data and feelings both matter.

Vaccinate! Vaccinate! Vaccinate!

Non pharmaceutical interventions.

There was no evidence that God exists.

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