Health worker Sakhile Nkosi, 27, has recovered from Covid-19.
Health worker Sakhile Nkosi, 27, has recovered from Covid-19.

Covid-19: Mental and physical battle to beat coronavirus

By Zelda Venter Time of article published Aug 17, 2020

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Pretoria - Know your symptoms and act upon them early. Most importantly, continue protecting yourself and others by following health protocols.

This is the advice of 27-year-old health worker Sakhile Nkosi, who has recovered from Covid-19.

However, he said he was sharing his story in his personal capacity and not as a health worker.

Nkosi said no one should ever lose hope. The tunnel might seem dark, but there is usually light again at the end.

He was inspired by church leader Kim McManus, who said: “Your heartache is someone else’s hope. If you make it through, somebody else is going to make it through. Tell your story.”

Nkosi said when people thought of Covid-19 at the moment, they thought of an application for a death certificate.

“Of course, we cannot deny that in its severest form it can produce devastating complications. But in the midst of everything, we hardly hear personal narratives or accounts about recoveries hence, I wanted to be that narrative. Also, telling your story will help to break the stigma around the virus.”

Nkosi, an audiologist, said his ordeal started around the end of last month with severe migrainous headaches, a burning sensation and pain in his ears, and extreme fatigue. This was apart from excruciating back pain and shortness of breath. He knew it was time to be tested.

“Day two is when I could not see sunrise and sunset. Getting out of bed was a mission. Later, the hunger strikes followed. Juice tasted weaker and my delicious tasting chicken lacked taste.”

Nkosi said that while he self-isolated, he received an influx of messages from friends, who wanted to know how he got infected. Some were quick to advise, while others offered words of encouragement.

“Research does inform us that Covid-19 is now airborne, meaning it just takes something as simple as breathing to contract it.

“But, at the back of my mind, I had a slight bit of peace that the diagnosis validates my symptoms and I know what I am dealing with. What was left was moving to the next step, which is focusing on healing.”

Nkosi quoted world famous neuroscientist Abhijt Naskar, who said: “We learn more in crisis than in comfort”.

“I believe this fully after my kitchen turned into an experimental laboratory, where I blended and brewed all sorts of teas for drinking and steaming. Then recovery started creeping in and I felt like myself once again.”

But Nkosi said unfortunately the battle did not end there.

“Once you recover and conquer physical symptoms, you need to recover from the stigma and achieve mental sanity.”

Nkosi advised that a positive mind and attitude would go a long way, along with following the guidelines of handwashing, physical distancing and wearing a mask.

*For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's #Coronavirus trend page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit

Pretoria News

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