Pioneer Covid-19 victim’s brave campaign to help SA through crisis

Going public and starting an Instagram story to document her journey as one of the first confirmed Covid-19 cases in SA was, for “Megs”, just as scary as the initial diagnosis.

The Covid-19 patient known as Megs has now recovered. Picture: Instagram
Image: Instagram

However, the 35-year-old Cape Town woman now has 10,000 followers and is bringing “good vibes” to South Africans who are afraid of contracting the potentially deadly virus.

“Opening this Instagram account, @livingcoronapositive, was definitely scary,” Megs told the Sunday Times.

“I just had a feeling that it was the right thing to do. You know when sometimes hard decisions are easy to make because they just seem ‘right’. This was one of those things.

“But basically, after telling a few friends about my corona status, we realised this was something people needed to know about because the issue in SA was about to blow up and no-one really understood what it was.”

The response was “insanely positive”, she said.

“So many people were so grateful to get a small idea of what this unknown virus was all about.”

Megs, her parents and siblings tested positive after a trip to Switzerland in February.

“My brother was very sick when we got home and went for a test just in case. I thought he was being a drama queen but when his test came back positive 24 hours later I had to apologise. The rest of us went for tests the next day and yip, we were all positive too.”

Her first reaction was shock.

“I just didn’t know how to wrap my head around what was going on. What it meant to be corona positive and how friends would react to the news. I was scared I guess.

“Self-quarantine had begun. We were all already sick and so it wasn’t difficult to stay at home and just sleep but we had to readjust our lives and get friends to bring us supplies, obviously start telling people, letting our businesses know that we wouldn’t be able to come in to the office.

“It was a very quick life shift.” In one of her posts on Instagram and on her blog, she said it was uncomfortable and lonely being among the first 50 cases in SA.

“Uncomfortable because we didn’t understand what it meant or what would happen to us. We knew about the coronavirus at that point, everyone did, but we didn’t know anyone who’d had it. I think for a lot of my friends I’m still the only one they know who has had it. It was just so unknown.”

Megs, who owns a small manufacturing company, has, along with her family, been “officially and legally de-isolated”, but she continues to blog.

“I’ve also got a business to salvage but I plan to take people along the journey with me in figuring all that out, as I think it can only have a positive influence and impact on all South Africans in getting through this and getting our economy back to a healthy point,” she said.

“Essentially, we are all in this together. We have no idea what is ahead of us as a nation, just like we did as a family, but with a good attitude, staying connected, keeping positive and sharing honest information, we can and will fully recover. Although I have no doubt that life will be very different after this, we have an opportunity for that ‘different’ to be better and if I can be part of that in any way, I’m all in.”

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

BY NIVASHNI NAIR

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