Former ANC MP Judy Chalmers doing well after Covid-19 diagnosis

STRONGER EVERY DAY: Former ANC MP Judy Chalmers, 87, of Summerstrand, has weathered her Covid-19 diagnosis with positivity
STRONGER EVERY DAY: Former ANC MP Judy Chalmers, 87, of Summerstrand, has weathered her Covid-19 diagnosis with positivity Image: SUPPLIED
With the same resilience that saw her through her many years as an anti-apartheid activist and later an ANC MP, Judy Chalmers faced her Covid-19 diagnosis with courage — and now looks well on her way to good health.

Summerstrand resident Chalmers, 87, contracted the illness at the wedding of her great-nephew, the grandson of her revered activist sister, Molly Blackburn.

Speaking from her home on Monday, Chalmers said she was due to be retested to ensure she had fully recovered from the virus later this week.

An upbeat Chalmers said she was among about a dozen wedding guests — many who had travelled to SA from the US — who later tested positive.

The wedding took place about three weeks ago and Chalmers started noticing symptoms about four days later.

On Monday she said it was important for people to know that “even old people like me can survive” Covid-19.

She said she felt fortunate the illness had not reached her chest as this had been one of her initial concerns.

What had been hard, she said, was dealing with the loss of her senses of taste and smell.

“That is not a nice thing as food becomes tasteless,” Chalmers said, adding that aside from the loss of those senses she had felt nauseous, lethargic and had a fever.

On SA’s reaction to the pandemic, Chalmers said she thought president Cyril Ramaphosa and health minister Zweli Mkhize had displayed outstanding leadership with the lockdown and had provided “enormous comfort” in trying times.

Chalmers, who in the 1980s was the Eastern Cape Black Sash chair, said it was important that those who contracted Covid-19 kept  positive, and stayed in touch with family and friends.

“My family has been fantastic and I have also been in touch with others who contracted it, so we compared notes and symptoms,” Chalmers said.

She added that ginger and rooibos tea had seemed to help.

So just what does Chalmers suggest those who test positive for Covid-19 do to ensure they stay upbeat while in isolation?

“I’ve read a lot, worked on my laptop,  done some gardening in my courtyard and the housework.

“Books are a great refuge for me,” she said.

On SA’s reaction to the pandemic, Chalmers said she thought president Cyril Ramaphosa and health minister Zweli Mkhize had displayed outstanding leadership with the lockdown and had provided “enormous comfort” in trying times.

“People seem to have, on the whole, done what the president has asked.

“Let’s hope this continues.

“Let’s all knuckle down,” Chalmers said.

She added that, while she did not know if the lockdown would be extended, she hoped that, should it be, there would be some leniency when it came to exercise.

“Exercise is essential, especially for us oldies,” she said.

By Angela Daniels – HeraldLIVE

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