'I tested positive for Covid-19 after a supermarket trip, I'd been indoors the entire lockdown'

Illustration. Photo by Getty Images
Illustration. Photo by Getty Images

* Going to the grocery store has become a more frequent activity for many of us and in some cases, it has become the highlight of our days during the pandemic.

* According to the World Health Organisation, there is currently no confirmed case of Covid-19 transmitted through food or food packaging.

* However, 45-year-old Unathi* tested positive from just visiting the grocery store. 

When South Africa had its first confirmed case of the coronavirus, I immediately became cautious and did my research on the virus.

I was probably one of the first few people who went out to buy supplements and stock up on immune-boosting foods to add to my diet. I was still working from the office and only started working from home when we had to go under the 21-day lockdown. 

READ MORE: Now that we've all been washing our hands, here are 5 items you should be sanitising regularly too

I made a conscious decision to buy more groceries online rather than going out to the shops to buy them as I have diabetes and I’m at a higher risk of getting severely ill from the virus. 

When the 21-day lockdown was extended, I had already conditioned my mind that I would not be in contact with family, friends and even my domestic helper. 

I had been under a severe lockdown for over three months, where I literally did not go anywhere, not even to walk around my residential estate before I contracted the virus. 

READ MORE: Visiting a hair salon under level 3? If these 7 safety precautions aren't adhered to, it's a red flag

It was the end of June when I urgently needed to go to the grocery store to buy my essentials. I was anxious, but I had no choice as I placed my food delivery order too late, and it would only be delivered within three days.  

So, I plucked up the courage, wore my mask and face shield, I also carried my bottle of santizer to the nearest grocery store during off-peak hours and said a prayer before walking in. I know it sounds dramatic, but this pandemic is real and it’s quite scary. 

When I returned home, I thoroughly washed my hands, disinfected my kitchen countertops and wiped the food items. 

After that, I drank my vitamin C shot and made myself a cup of ginger tea. I was still a bit anxious, but I had taken all the necessary precautions, and that eased my anxiety a bit.

READ MORE: This is how you should be washing your clothing and bedding in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic

After three days, I started experiencing a few of the Covid-19 symptoms. I had flu symptoms and a loss of taste and smell. At first, I thought I was just under the weather, until the symptoms worsened and got to a point where I could not even get out of bed. 

I immediately knew that it had to be the virus. I called my doctor to seek medical advice, and she advised me to test for the virus. True to form, I tested positive for Covid-19. I was emotional and could not fathom how I contracted it from just going to the supermarket.

It just did not make sense to me. I stocked up on medication, immune boosters, several teas, and food to fight this virus. It was probably one of the most challenging times of my life as I had to fight this alone. 

READ MORE: Covid-19: Here’s how risky normal daily activities are, according to doctors

I am grateful for my family and friends who always check up on me via video calls and even ordered flowers and food for me.  I started feeling better after 15 days and completely recovered within 21 days. It was not easy, but I am grateful that I am healthy and alive. 

The sad and scary thing about this virus is that there is no cure and people have let their guard down. Now more than ever is the time to stay home (if you can) and take appropriate precautions.

I did everything by the book but still tested positive from just going out to buy essentials, and it could happen to anyone. 

Have you tested positive for Covid-19? Tell us about your journey here.

* Name changed.

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