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‘Don’t take it lightly’: Young Indian-origin family in Australia battles coronavirus

Young Indian-origin family in Australia battles coronavirus Source: Supplied

Melbourne-based Ravinder Grewal tested positive for COVID-19 along with his wife and two-year-old son, despite doing everything recommended to stay safe. The Grewals are now warning others not to take the virus lightly.

Mr Grewal says he had no inkling of sickness until he started experiencing mild symptoms after returning home from work last month.

“I had a mild fever and was experiencing slight difficulty in breathing and thought it would be better to get tested to rule out the doubt,” he says.


Highlights:

  • Indian-origin family based in Melbourne shares experience after recovering from coronavirus
  • Ravinder Grewal tested positive, along with his wife and two-year-old son
  • The Grewals are now warning others not to take the virus lightly

The 32-year-old Kabaddi player who lives with his wife, two-year-old son and his elderly parents in south-east Melbourne says while he waited for the test, his biggest fear was that he may have passed on the infection to other members of his family.

“I self-isolated myself until I got my test results but the damage had been done. I returned a positive test after five days and in the meantime, my wife had also started to display some symptoms.

“We immediately isolated our parents in the rear section of the house and started to live in separate bedrooms. A few days later, as suspected, both my wife and child tested positive, but thankfully our parents never contracted the virus,” he says.

Grewals
Ravinder Grewal, Snohi Grewal and Rehan Grewal.
Supplied

Mr Grewal, who otherwise maintains a healthy lifestyle being a sportsperson, says people must remember that strong immunity is the only line of defence against the virus in the absence of a vaccine.

“We took all precautions to stay safe, but the biggest lesson that I have learnt after battling the virus is that a strong immunity is our only defence at the moment.”

'We need to change our attitude'

He adds that he strongly believes that the real reason he contracted the virus was not that he was complacent about the precautions, but because he didn’t understand the gravity of the situation until it was too late.

“I probably got infected because I didn’t take it too seriously. And I hope everyone who is reading this knows that you cannot take this disease lightly. You might be asymptomatic, but there are people around you who are aged and may have underlying health conditions who are more at risk.

“This is an attitude that we all need to change. Let’s pledge to take this seriously and invest in our health rather than wasting money on shallow things,” says Mr Grewal.

Grewals
Snohi Grewal with her son Rehan.
Supplied

His wife, Snohi Grewal who displayed relatively stronger symptoms says “fear and trepidation” gripped her when they initially tested positive, but she eventually had to overcome her fear of the disease to be able to take care of her child.

“I remained sick for almost two weeks, but the first four days were the worst. I could hardly manage to move. I had thumping headaches, had no energy, and I had this inkling that there was something weird or terribly wrong with my body,” says the 33-year-old business manager.

“My son Rehan had recurring fever and loss of appetite, but he would bounce back as soon as the medicine would kick in. In addition, he felt a bit sore in his throat,” she says.

'Stay positive'

The good news is that after three weeks of sickness, the Grewals are now in the clear as they have all tested negative and life for the family has returned to a “near normal” state. They are now learning to live with some aftermaths of the virus that Ms Grewal says has taught them “valuable lessons for life.”

“We have thankfully beaten the virus and life is as normal as it can get in Melbourne amid its stage 4 restrictions. Ravinder has started going to work while I work from home and our son is also back on his feet.

“The biggest lesson that we have all learnt through his ordeal is that we as a family need to make some lifestyle changes. This includes healthy eating habits and daily physical activity, which I too believe is our only form of defence,” she adds.

Ms Grewal also encourages anyone with COVID-19 to stay positive.

“Try not to worry if you or your child has tested positive, but at the same time also don’t take it lightly and follow the medical advice,” she adds.

Click on the player above to listen to the interview in Punjabi.

Metropolitan Melbourne residents are subject to Stage 4 restrictions and must comply with a curfew between the hours of 8 pm and 5 am.

The only reasons for Melbourne residents to leave home during these hours are for exercise, to shop for necessary goods and services, for work, for health care, or to care for a sick or elderly relative.  

The full list of restrictions can be found here.  

All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live.  

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. 

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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