Azuka Jebose: The Recovery – Trauma Of Surviving Coronavirus


Eleven hours ago, near my bedtime, the death counts here in the United States were 127, 258. This morning, at 6.02, 167 persons have lost a dear family member, during the night, to the spreading coronavirus.

As I recover with my family, I will continue to advocate, reach, and teach, to save any life with my little knowledge of this deadly disease. I have taken my recovery “layabout’ times to immerse myself in research, data collation, and understanding of this thing that put me at the departure hall of death, only to cancel my eternal flight at the last hours. There is a reason I made it and perhaps, using my media outreach to help provide you daily updates and share my journeys through recovery; to encourage you to take your life and healthcare seriously against this pandemic. I hope would change a few ignorant minds.

I do not seek sympathy or empathy in my writings. No. That’s not my intent. I seek to share and educate. I am unapologetically taking advantage of the passages because I earned it. This is about life and a surging disease that is wickedly tormenting and scourging our planet earth, our families and friends are dying suddenly, before their times, lonely and alone, in our hospital beds and most times, without dignified burials.

The trauma and the stress of recovery can be overwhelming with this new transition of our lives. Since I had been telling my stories, I had been privileged affirmations and private conversations with families and friends who experienced similar or worse circumstances but are quietly at home with the painful scars and journeys towards healing and recovery. I have taken the liberty of a few of the conversations to share their stories with you, to humanize their pains so that you would understand that this shit is indeed real.

My cousin, Okwudili, lives in New York with his beautiful family including two great boys. After he read my first post, he contacted me to share how coronavirus sneaked into his family and began to decimate, viciously the health of everyone. “Your descriptions of the virus attacks happened to my family. My boys and I are going through a painful recovery. We lost five neighbors to this pandemic on our street. We are beginning to learn to live again. The post-traumatic recovery process for those of us that survived this is still stressful. But in all of this, we give thanks to God..”

A few days ago, a widow here invited our community to participate in an appreciation of the lives of his son and husband who didn’t have to die. A father and son, felled by a coronavirus, left behind a dear mother and wife to mourn her precious loved ones. How can she move forward from this?

Another father and his two sons, my dear friend, Chris Awah, are at home, recovering slowly but beautifully.

The scars, after the healing, may never go away.

There are stories of caregivers and other members who recovered and went on to commit suicide. The hardest part of survival is the trauma of a stressful recovery. Recovery takes time. During this process, you begin to evaluate your life, rediscover who you were, different human evolution and a new journey of you. What is your purpose. Why were you spared? You become afraid to live again. You doubt the days ahead, not sure of the present. You go into a recluse. Your mindset becomes a disturbance. You become afraid of yourself, doubt your desire and energy to live. My dear, you just get confused: probing to understand how you got here, would you live through the carnage as it continues to spread?. What would have happened to your family, your children, wife, and dear friends?

The surge is unending and there are no available immediate self-treatment kits, practice safety until the world returns to normalcy. It is still very deadly out there. You may have escaped once but that’s not immunity. I am tired of staying and waiting at home for my lungs to heal. I wanted to just visit the store yesterday. I told my nurse of my intents, in morning moonlight to the store. She screamed:” sit your black ass at home for ten more days. You could get re-infected through your weak lungs. It’s not about you infecting others. You cannot infect or re-infect anyone with the infection. But you can get re-infected through your weak lungs and this time it could be fatal. Let your lungs heal. This infection is surging every day and more deadly. Stay at home”. It was a wake-up call for my “stubbornness” sha. Alhaja’s mouth dropped when the nurse told me that.

In one of my shared posts, a lady in Onitsha, Nigeria, Mgbeke, Ocha, posted her recovery challenges her family is dealing with, as her husband struggles to recover:

“My own husband is a TESTIMONY ….until now, he’s still scared of what he passed through. He now acts like a total stranger in his house…….yes! He escaped DEATH. The sound of his breathing alone scared me… I don’t think I would forget it all in a hurry. CORONA VIRUS IS REAL… It was a terrible experience. Just like this very man, my husband gave up totally, he was just at the mercy of God. My husband is huge and tall like that very man….but he lost weight during the whole thing… Do you know that I nearly told him to write his will…I was so confused… I continuously told God to please have mercy on him… Look at the poor me that hasn’t achieved anything yet in marriage after eight years: what would become of me thereafter? Only the victims and the people surrounding them would tell you what the scenario is like. This one no be my husband traveled o….but we dey ONITSHA….Before it happened to him, I already had a mild corona infection….it wasn’t easy on me either but i was strong enough to recover…. little did I know that Oga was the next victim….. TODAY MAKES IT A WEEK TO HIS RECOVERY. And it continues to challenge us. We pray for the best.”

The best recovery support is family and surrounded by loved ones. They give you reasons and hope to get through this. It would not be easy but it’s the best therapy in this attempt to be yourself again.

Coronavirus doesn’t only affect you because you are infected. It goes beyond that. It fragments your existence. The doctors and healthcare providers are guestimating another 30 days to be able to begin to normal or regular life existence. It is not what you wish for any family.

Be proactive. Wear a DAMN MASK. Stay at home. If you must go out, stay six feet behind or in front. Social distance. You do not have to go to a crowded place. We are in a deadly plague season. Do Not Listen to your Pastors or Worship Centers. In Nigeria, Pastors Oyakhilome and David Oyedepo will kill you to get your tights. Your lives are worth more than going to a damn church, a synagogue, mosque, or shrine to worship. Worship at home. Think about the trauma of recovery and its impact on the wellbeing of your family, assuming if you survive the infection. Don’t be a burden to your family.

I shall write again




Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: