“During my last year of university in London, the novel Coronavirus appeared out of the blue and began to spread like a wildfire. In hopes of escaping the virus, I decided to fly back home to Bhutan only to find out that I had ended up becoming sick with it: the irony!

On the 3rd day of my quarantine in Bhutan, I woke up with a temperature. I immediately informed the nurse and had a doctor come in to do a swab test. After spending the day confused and anxious, I finally got a call at 10pm. They said I needed to be transferred to the hospital so they could monitor me as I had tested positive. They had my father break the news to me first to make sure I wouldn’t be alarmed. This was followed by another call from the health minister. She spoke in a calm manner to ensure I wasn’t panicking and told me that I would be given the best care there was. I was overwhelmed.

The 20 days I spent at the hospital wasn’t easy as I suffered quite a few symptoms simultaneously. For a period of about 4-5 days, I had quite a difficult time. But the nurses and doctors checked up on me regularly and the care that I received made me feel better despite the situation I was in. Additionally, the support of myriads of people made it easier to get through it all. One very important thing I learnt in isolation was to stay occupied. It really helped me.

I was really worried about the people who had travelled with me. So it was a great relief to me when all of them tested negative. I also did not want the people in our society to be distressed and tried the best I could to clear up all the bizarre rumours that had spread. It is so important to stop the spread of false news at such a critical time. All a rumour does is add to the already peaking anxiety shared by all.

Currently, I am in very good health. Speaking from experience, you can never be careful enough so please stay at home and look after yourself both physically and mentally! And please, let us not play the blame game – we’re all on the same boat so we must stay united. Stay safe, reflect and count your blessings; that includes being Bhutanese and having remarkable leaders.”

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