By Staff Reporter
UNITED KINGDOM-based human rights activist and social worker, Betty Makoni, who recently recovered from COVID-19, has urged Zimbabweans to take self-isolation seriously.
The Girl Child Network founder made the plea while giving testimony to a Zimbabwe social workers online forum.
“Self Isolation strategy is a very good strategy. I have not yet completely recovered so I am in self-isolation until 4 May. It has been 44 days of self-isolation,” said Makoni.
“It’s really painful, lonely but it’s better than infecting my loved ones. If my time comes as Muzvare, I must not drag everyone to the grave. I will boldly go alone, I love my kids, I love my husband, I love my family and I don’t want to infect my family.
“This virus is not good for anyone. Let’s take responsibility to isolate. The virus is a big enemy and must be fought by a very strong regime of antibiotics.”
She said her doctor prescribed for her a heavy dosage of the antibiotic, doxycycline.
“There is something you can do to your immunity. I had a regime of vegetables and tomatoes. Zimbabwe has a good advantage of everything that is nutritious in terms of vegetables. Vegetables build your immune system, try to take vegetables raw, try to take tomatoes, cucumber, try as much as possible to have a lot of water.
“It (COVID-19) really needs vitamin, in Zimbabwe, the advantage is there is Vitamin D. I had multiple vitamins, it’s a regime where you are trying to restore your immune. You need your immune system working for you in order to fight the virus.
“You need a regime of exercises, cardio because I had no ventilator myself. The only way you can go about it is to bring oxygen into you, so I had my curtains opened, so it meant fresh air was coming into my room,” she said.
Makoni said treatment must not be delayed in the event that one suspects they have the virus.
“If you delay the treatment and make your lungs honey-combs, it will be difficult for the ventilator to bring your lungs back. As soon as you have a sore throat you need to go and get tested. Delayed testing is delayed treatment and it is delayed preservation of life.
“That is the reason why people are dying, the disease needs people to move with speed. Once you get the symptoms you need to get your immunity right, ventilators can help in breathing but they don’t treat. Once the symptoms of COVID-19 find underlying health conditions they become complex,” she said.
Makoni said she started feeling unwell early March as she had a sore throat and was coughing non-stop and her temperature was high.
“On 16 March, I woke up, I couldn’t breathe, my chest was blocked, it felt as if there was a concrete built on my chest, it was not the chest I knew. I couldn’t breathe, at one point I said to myself I have lived for 48 years on earth. I don’t need to be here, I did whatever I could do for humanity, so why can’t my spirit go, I can’t breathe, my breath is gone.
“When I received a phone call from the hospital that I had tested positive for COVID-19, I started panicking. I fell off my bed and called my husband to deliver the news. That’s when I went blank.
“I told my family not to come into my room, so I was virtually alone when I was going through these emotions,” she said.