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‘Stay positive’: Melbourne taxi driver talks about challenges after recovering from COVID-19

Jasbir Singh Gill works as a taxi driver in Melbourne. Source: Supplied

A Melbourne taxi driver has recently recovered after testing positive for coronavirus. While he doesn’t want people to panic, he urges them to follow social distancing norms and fight the pandemic with due responsibility.

A 38-year-old taxi driver had a ‘shock of his life’ after he was found positive for COVID-19.

Jasbir Singh Gill who lives in Melbourne’s western suburb of Truganina said he ‘recovered quickly’ after the symptoms only lasted for two days.

“I think it is different across different sub-set of patients.  Some people have mild to severe flu-like symptoms while for others it can be a life-threatening situation,” he said.


Highlights:

  • Indian-origin taxi driver based in Melbourne shares experience after recovering from coronavirus
  • Jasbir Singh Gill claims he ‘recovered quickly’ after the symptoms only lasted for two days
  • Mr Gill urges people to fight the pandemic with responsibility and social distancing norms

Mr Gill said he only had a mild fever and cold chills but got concerned after he lost his sense of smell.

“It was a bit unusual when I couldn’t smell Vicks VapoRub which normally has a unique and intense smell. And that was the moment when I got concerned and reached out for medical advice.” 

Jasbir Singh Gill lives in Melbourne’s western suburb of Truganina.
Jasbir Singh Gill lives in Melbourne’s western suburb of Truganina.
Supplied

Health professionals advised Mr Gill to get tested for COVID-19.

“I had my test result on day 3 only to find it was positive. That came as a bit of a shock, but I didn’t panic and prepared myself to face this challenge,” he said. 

Mr Gill said he is not sure where he got this infection - “Possibly, it is from my routine job as a taxi driver or it could also be from the grocery shops in our suburb Truganina which is facing high COVID numbers.” 

Mr Gill said he is relieved that his wife and two children were not infected.

“I started my 14-day quarantine period as soon as got the COVID test done.  Before that, we were mingling as a family. But thankfully they tested negative, even though we’ve repeatedly got them tested for the virus.”

Mr Gill said practicing social isolation was quite challenging for him.

“It was mentally tough, but I survived with the support of my family. I believe my case is a bit different since I only had mild symptoms and could continue with my physical activities,” he said.

Mr Gill said he is relieved that his family was not infected.
Mr Gill said he is relieved that his family was not infected.
Supplied

Mr Gill said he feels there is no need to panic but still important to follow all the instructions.

“All you need to do is to practice things as advised by health professionals. I was asked to manage the fever with Panadol and was also asked to be alert, just in case, if there was any shortness of breath or a life-threatening situation.”

Mr Gill said one of his close associates has ‘severe’ symptoms due to the virus.

“He is diabetic and also suffers from high blood pressure. So I assume that people who have some pre-existing medical conditions may be more susceptible to a more severe form of this disease.”

Mr Gill, who now considers himself recovered from the virus, feels that a healthy diet, physical activity, and strong immunity hold the key to fight this disease.

“I take a regular and balanced diet. I didn’t consume any sugar in the last eight years. Plus, I commit at least one hour daily to exercise and jogging. It is all about staying fit and toned,” he said.

Mr Gill urged people to fight the pandemic with responsibility and social distancing norms.

“Together, we can stop the spread of this virus. Please take responsibility for how you act and what you do. As soon as you become aware of any symptoms, please isolate yourself and don’t take any chances.”

“We all know it is serious and won’t go away until we find a cure. Above all, I would urge people to stay positive - but don’t test positive for corona though,” he added jokingly.  

Click on the player above to listen to an interview with Mr Gill.

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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