IT is important to know your health status first before getting vaccinated.
This was the statement of Floyd Manata, a Solomon Islander living in Papua New Guinea who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Speaking to Solomon Star from Papua New Guinea (PNG) Mr Manata said by knowing your health status first would enable you to prepare yourself for the vaccine.
“…my advice for our people in Solomon Islands is please get the vaccine but before you get the vaccine always check your health status first, this is very important.
“Know your sugar level, know your blood pressure level because some of us our blood pressure can be really high so we need to control these underlining issues first before we get vaccinated,” he said.
COVID affects different people in different ways and Mr Manata, who was not vaccinated when he tested positive with COVID-19 in October last year, what he experienced as “really, really bad”.
As soon as he got his positive result, Mr Manata went into isolation.
“I have a little space where I work so I just stayed there.
“COVID, when you get it, your body will be weak just like malaria, you will have joint pain and most times you will have fever.
“I have to steam three times a day. I steam when I wake up in the morning, in the afternoon and in the night before I go to bed.
“I do this every day and I actually got really tired of doing steaming.
“When you have COVID you will also refuse to eat. You will have no sense of taste and smell. When you go to the toilet you cannot even smell.
“When I eat Ox & Palm I have no taste of it.
“COVID will make you refuse to eat but it is a must that you have some food even though it is tasteless but it will be good for your body.
“During that process I just have fruits.
“The other thing I experience was shortness of breath and when that happens your chest will feel squeezed and painful and for me because I smoke, smoking makes it even more difficult for me because all the glucose in your chest you will try to extract but it can’t come out and when I tried forcing it to come out I spat blood with it so it wasn’t really nice.
“I had to stop smoking.
“So if you are a smoker it is best that you stop smoking when you have COVID.
“When I am breathless, one thing that really helps me a lot is having a steam or inhale the hot water through my nose and mouth.
“You need to continuously steam and drink warm water the whole time, almost every hour just to make sure your throat and your airway is free and open so that you can get oxygen and breath easily,” Mr Manata said.
During his two weeks in isolation, he was also on medication.
“There were medicines I took together with my pneumonia treatment for two weeks.
“My doctor also prescribed some vitamins for me just to boost up my immune system and to help me fight the virus,” he said.
“After that I went and tested again and when I receive my negative result I got another medication for another two weeks to clear out my lungs.
According to Mr Manata, he also reached a stage when he just wanted to give up on his fight against the virus.
“There was a point when I woke up at night and decide whether I fight or just give up.
“So it all comes down to our mindset as well.
“When I had COVID I said to myself a lot of people died from this virus and there is high possibility for me to also die from this virus but you have to be strong, you have to have the mindset to remind yourself that the only thing that matters when you have COVID is your life.
“And you have to work and have to do everything under the sun to make sure you survive it because you care about your life and I think my advice now is because I didn’t take the vaccine so when I have COVID for two weeks it took me another three weeks to fully recover back to normal after I tested negative,” he said.
“…we, Solomon Islanders, most times we never do medical check-ups so that we know if our body is healthy or if there is anything we need to do to control our health issues.
“My advice is you check your health status. If you are not sick, you eat healthy food and you get vaccinated.
“The vaccine is very helpful especially if you have the fully blown COVID variant like Delta because the medicine will help you and I to survive the virus.
“So it’s a good thing to get the vaccine but first you must know your health status, and depending on your doctor’s advice if you can’t get vaccinated then you have to look after yourself so that you don’t get the virus.
“So my advice is get the vaccine if you know you can and if you know that your health status is okay. That would be my best advice,” Mr Manata said.
Mr Manata had since recovered but he said it took him almost two months – October and November – to fully recover from the virus.