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The difficult return of an COVID-19 patient

Time2021-11-15     Authoradm-New DelhiReserved   From8:00News   Read

Until now, at my home in Lanzhou, eating authentic Lanzhou ramen that I have not eaten for more than two years, brushing my green code for nearly 20 days, I often think of the magical scene on the way back home:

At the end of an incredibly broken dirt road full of rubbish, Indian sacred objects, Shiva mounts-noble cows are rumbling through the rubbish dump for food, and there is a laboratory only separated by a wall, which is New Delhi. The only testing institution that can do both S protein antibody detection and N protein detection.

The N protein inspection report is a document that I, the first person who has recovered from India who applied to return to China, must get.

My teammates and I used to follow the list of 100 nucleic acid institutions recognized by the embassy, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida...one by one telephone consultation, and finally found the laboratory at the end of the dirt road and next to the garbage dump.

That was one of the hardest parts of my journey home as a COVID-19 recoverer.


Separate from the "sacred cow" is a laboratory that can measure N protein

Image courtesy of Nico

1. After being infected with the new crown, the local doctor prescribed veterinary drugs to me

The turning point was in June. After more than 500 days of staying in India, my replacement colleague finally arrived.

I am an accountant and came to Delhi with the company team in December 2019.

According to the plan, we will be able to rotate back to China once every three months, but in February 2020, when it was my turn to return, the domestic epidemic broke out and the flight between China and India was cut off, and I was unable to return to China.

After that, epidemics broke out in various countries around the world, including India, and international flights were drastically reduced. On the other hand, Sino-Indian conflicts continued, it was difficult to obtain visas for India, and domestic colleagues were blocked from going to India. With multiple factors intertwined, I can only stick to it here, or call it: stay in India.

The more I had nowhere to go back home, the more I felt homesick, but what was even worse was that during the outbreak of the Indian epidemic in April this year, I was not unexpectedly infected.

In that outbreak, 11 of the 15 members of our team were infected with the new crown. An Indian colleagues family died within 15 days and 5 relatives died... At that time India was called a purgatory on earth, and medical resources were severely run. I burned it at home for 10 days and carried it over.

On the sixth day of the fever, I came together in the morning. My blood oxygen reached 89. I still felt that I had to go to the hospital to get oxygen in order to avoid death. However, my colleague told me that there were no more beds in the hospital and the attending doctors were all infected. NS.

At that time, there was no specific medicine. A local private doctor prescribed me a popular local prescription-Ivermectin, an anti-parasitic veterinary drug. I didnt dare to take veterinary medicine, and I could only rely on roxithromycin to maintain it. .

In that infection, I scraped Gua Sha, massaged acupoints, took antibiotics, and took protein to improve immunity... I also used a small box similar to a face steamer popular in India at that time to relieve the suffocation-the box was made of plastic, plus Sheung Shui can give off heat, which is a hot item in small Indian shops during the epidemic.

In the end, I dont know what worked. After burning for more than ten days, although I was still too weak to get out of bed, my body temperature finally became normal. In May, my sense of smell came back and my lung shadows disappeared. Apart from the occasional depression, I was almost the same. He became a normal person again.

In June, someone finally came to replace me, and I finally took the first step on my way home. However, due to the outbreak of the epidemic in India in April, the embassy has suspended the issuance of green codes to citizens in India.

At that time, many people would choose to "curve back home."

Someone went to Egypt to stay for 14 days, and then applied to return from Egypt. Because Egypt is a visa on arrival, the visa problem was solved easily, but it was later discovered that the Egyptian embassy no longer accepts transfers to third countries.

There are also people who return home through humanitarian assistance, but I am young and strong, so sorry, and there is no reason to go this way.

Since July, I will ask the embassy every half month, "Do you want to let it go, do you have a plan to let it go, and when will it go?" However, it didn't.

More than two months later, at the end of August and early September, a document was finally issued to allow companies to rotate, meaning that we were allowed to return to China.

The Indian Embassy here implements an advance approval system for returning home green codes, which is similar to the "return index." This kind of approval needs to examine your company, your length of stay, whether there are special circumstances, and so on.

So, the company and I hurriedly wrote an email application and told the embassy truthfully about my situation. I also did a nucleic acid and antibody test and attached it, just to tell the embassy that I am in good health and will not spread the virus. If you can go back to your country, please approve it.

With the "indicator", that is, the approval is passed, and the green code can be obtained by step-by-step testing. If the approval is not passed, no matter whether there is a ticket or how expensive the ticket is, you will not be able to leave.

2. The embassy does not know where to do the test

I was staying in India for a long time, so the approval process went smoothly. On September 10, the embassy finally approved my application for returning to China, but because I had been infected with the new crown, the subsequent problems were very troublesome.

Generally speaking, people who return to China need to check the negative certificate of nucleic acid test and negative certificate of IGM, but I am different. I have a history of infection, and I reported it when I was infected. Everyone knows my infection story.

I honestly told the embassy about the situation, and then I "honorably" became the first recovered person to apply to return to China.

Also because it is the first case of an application for returning home from a COVID-19 patient, the embassy is not sure what my testing process will be like, so let me wait first.

And I, within a few days of waiting, made some hunger supplements for several indicators related to immunity day and night.

Among the important indicators related to the new crown infection, the most metaphysical is the antibody IgM against the S protein. If you have not been vaccinated, nucleic acid and IgM are positive for any of them, there is no doubt that you will not come back in the short term, but the individual differences between people are a kind of metaphysics that cannot be generalized. Fortunate ones, like me, recover. The IgM turned negative in the next one or two months, and the unfortunate person, such as a Russian student, although he did not realize that he had been infected, the long-term positive IgM index allowed him to stay in Russia for half a year.

In addition to metaphysical IgM, among the important indicators of the new crown S protein, there is also an IgG that is not metaphysical. In the State Council's press conference in May, it was mentioned: "A positive IgG antibody indicates that you have been infected with the new coronavirus, but it is not certain whether it is infectious. Such as those who have recovered, they generally test positive for IgG antibodies..."

As a survivor after being infected with the new crown, our IgG does not reach the value below 1 required by the government in any case. In May, I also saw news reports that some people fuse the entire enterprise due to tampering with the IgG positive report.

After seeing too many other countries' requirements for IgG below 1, I have been uneasy.

During the rainy season in India, after worrying about it for several days, the embassy told me that in addition to nucleic acid and antibody tests, COVID-19 patients had to be tested for N protein within 72 hours of returning home.

I asked the people at the embassy, where should I go for this test? They answered: I don't know.

Nothing can stop my way home. In order to find an N protein testing agency, I called my team colleagues, and according to the list of 100 nucleic acid agencies approved by the embassy, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida... call one by one. The hard work paid off, and it was finally found for us.

A dozen of us made countless phone calls, and the final result was only the laboratory at the end of the dirt road and next to the garbage dump I mentioned at the beginning.

When I walked to the door, looking at the cow herd searching for food in the trash, I stayed there, but after the inspection, I started to introduce it to the returning compatriots in a group of exchanges of returning experience.

After all, although the appearance is a bit bleak, this is the only institution in New Delhi that can do N protein testing, and at least for now, this test is essential for people who have recovered from the new crown.

3. Air tickets and green codes

After the approval was passed, the results of N protein were also available, but there were still no direct flights.

My friends and I searched through the websites of embassies of various countries, looking for a safer transit country that is most suitable for those recovering from India, because returning from the transit country must be tested and qualified before boarding the plane.

But looking around, some of them wrote in black and white that they would not give green codes to the recovered patients, and some were vague. I guess I did not understand the relationship between the various tests, and the final alternatives were only Germany and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. , And Oman in the Middle East, but at that time, Omans requirement was triple negative (nucleic acid test, IgM\IgG are all negative), that is, people who have not been infected can leave here.

I finally chose to transfer from Germany, Lufthansa in the first half and Air China in the second half.

For those of us who have stayed overseas for a long time, as long as we can go home, it is worth the money. But even if you have money, you may not be able to buy tickets.

In order to buy the air ticket, I added 10 tickets on behalf of the inquiry. Don't ask me why I didn't buy the ticket by myself. I couldn't even view the page where I bought the ticket. In the end, I don't know how much money I earned from the ticket.

But at least my ticket agent is reliable. This year I don't know how many returnees were short-sold air tickets, deducted a lot of service fees, and were oversold and stranded overseas.

Of course, most returnees will not pin their hopes on a ticket, because there is a high probability that they will have to withstand the stimulus of the fuse and grounding. In order to reduce the risk, many people have four or five tickets in their hands, but the last one. Can't count on it.

I am also very risky. The first thing that the ticket agent showed was a first-class flight from Germany to Chengdu on the 26th. It was 55,000. It was too expensive. It was only a few thousand yuan for a trip home before the epidemic. I hesitated.

Returning to China is more about "fate" and betting on luck, because on the second day I hesitated, the ticket agent swiped a ticket for the super economy class from Germany to Shanghai, and that trip passed me by 26 Flight number one was cancelled a week before departure.

The ticket is in hand, only the green code.

On September 29, the 663th day of stay in India, there was a 72-hour countdown to return home. Within these 72 hours, I need to do two nucleic acid tests, and I need to perform IgM\IgG and N protein tests at the same time.

The countdown was 48 hours. Because the embassy required cross-testing in different institutions, I drove to the next province for an antibody test. In order to prevent the German embassy in the transit from requesting additional test results, I took the initiative to test a nucleic acid. My principle is to test everything that can be tested for CT, antibodies, and nucleic acids.

Within 24 hours before returning home, at 11 noon on October 1, after I got the last nucleic acid test and IgM/IgG antibody test report before boarding, I kept sending documents to the embassy to apply for the green code, but the result turned out to be red. Yards, there are still 18 hours before my flight takes off.

After re-checking, the reason was that a company document was left. I quickly resubmitted the document and uploaded all the reports that could be provided.

Self-inspection plus standard procedures. Throughout September, I drew ten small tubes of blood. There were countless thrilling moments for more than 20 days before and after. Finally, on October 1, at two o'clock in the afternoon, I was away from home. 15 hours before the flight took off, I got the most crucial voucher to board the plane-the green code of the Embassy in India.

4. Thrilling moments at the transit airport


Image source: China News Service

The transit airport is a danger for returnees in 2021. Various unexpected mistakes made countless people the last stop before returning home: some were stranded due to untimely test results, and some were deported due to false positives. , There are people who unfortunately become infected here and become "poisoners" in people's mouth...

At 10 am on October 2nd, I successfully landed at Frankfurt Airport. There were 61 Chinese passengers stranded at the airport for three days due to untimely test results. They could only rest on their chairs without food and lodging arrangements, and the airport was not hot and sultry. Dare to take off the mask, high temperature, anxiety, stay, accident... this is the experience that every newcomer wants the least to experience.

Therefore, after getting off the plane, I squeezed through countless Indians and rushed all the way to the B60 testing center. I must finish the test before they take a break at noon.

In the first half of the journey, most of the travellers were Indians. At the testing center, all my eyes were Chinese, and my ears were long-lost Chinese. I suddenly realized that I was getting closer and closer to China. Countless Chinese have transferred back to China here. Among them are European students, foreigners from Chinese companies like me, and migrant workers from Latin America and Central Asia.

Of course, there are also countless thrilling moments staged here.

At 7:30 in the evening, 30 minutes before the flight took off, I saw an old man beside me still did not receive the nucleic acid test report, and therefore could not get the green code of the embassy in Germany. The wife who was with him, like me, received the antibody report at 1 pm, the nucleic acid report at 4 pm, and the green code at 6 pm.

The two old people were originally working in Ukraine. When they were old, they didn't understand English. When they were in a hurry, they couldn't say anything. They just kept shaking their hands, and their ticket representatives couldn't help it.

When we met Pingshui, the three of us calmed the old man's emotions and helped them write frantic email reminders. The agency phone couldn't get through, and I didn't know if the other party's mailbox would intercept the email. We wrote two or three and changed to another mailbox. Everyone's mailboxes were contributed. They took turns. From the afternoon to 7:30 in the evening, there was still no reply.

After the phone and email mixed rush, when the check-in was about to close, the old man finally received the nucleic acid test report. He was already shaking hands and was unable to operate. We helped him upload the files and called the embassy to explain the situation. ......

As it was approaching 8 o'clock, amidst the urging of the staff, the five of us hurriedly boarded the plane, and within a few minutes of sitting down, the plane took off.

Such small twists and turns are even a bit boring to talk about, but at that time, if the elderly did not get the green code to board the plane, it was not just a ticket of tens of thousands of dollars that was wasted. This was the two elderly people who went to work abroad to earn hard money all went home. hope.

I just don't know how many times such thrilling moments are repeated at major transit airports every day. I don't know who these random unlucky events will fall on, and I don't know if anyone will come forward to help them through the storm.

I hope everyones journey home will be more comfortable.

5. Returning to China should not be an unsolvable problem

At 1 p.m. on October 3, after 667 days in India, I finally stood on the ground of China again.

I thought I was an optimistic and strong person, but at that moment, he was strong. I was a girl who was stranded in India for two years, infected with the new crown and couldn't enter the hospital. She was forced to carry it over, waited for the green code and other air tickets, and finally went through twists and turns. Isn't it possible to cry with emotion when you go home?

That day, a young financial manager cried for a long time on the plane and at the airport. The girl next to her from studying in Germany was probably terrified.

After landing in Shanghai, because India is one of the 11 dangerous countries, it will be more stringent than passengers in other places. Border inspections are stamped and after picking up the luggage, I will be followed by a small car to push it for disinfection. It will go wherever I go. , Follow me closely, disinfect at any time.

Especially worth mentioning is the nucleic acid test in Shanghai, which is to poke the nose. Of the nasal swabs I have done, the Shanghai Quarantine Hotel is the most soulful, because it will poke your soul out of the body, which is to poke the sky spirit cover and make a few turns on the sky spirit cover.

After returning to China, I have been paying attention to every confirmed case announced in Shanghai, because once there is a positive infection and an epidemic is caused, we will become "thousand-mile poisoners". The club will die and be exposed by the human flesh network. Fortunately, We have no positive infections on this flight.

The quarantine has not yet ended, and the epidemic has occurred in my hometown of Lanzhou, but my thinking has automatically shifted to the Chinese model. For example, Delhi announced 25 cases today. I would think that the control is very good, and he will definitely not be able to infect me, but 25 cases were diagnosed in Lanzhou, I thought to myself, when it's over, I don't know where it has spread.

After the quarantine was completed, I went back to my hometown in Lanzhou. My hometown was also very cautious. I reported to the community early, but it may be because the second round of nucleic acid testing for all staff did not take care of me. When I arrived at the airport, it did not. When someone picked me up, I made various calls in the cold wind and waited for more than four hours.

I often think about the ups and downs of returning to China as a rehabilitated person, and find that compared to people who have not been stranded, repatriated, defrauded, or have no money to buy air tickets, I am quite lucky, and this kind of fortune seems to tell me that this is not An unsolvable problem.

Embassy-airline-isolated hotel-place, everyone seems to be able to form a consensus, and even share a set of testing standards, share the pressure with each other, and give everyone a standard process, so that countless ordinary people returning to the country will not be confused. Water, after all, I still havent figured out what protein N is, and what I tested it for. I am particularly embarrassed to say that I also tested another N protein for lupus erythematosus at that time because I really didnt understand.... .I tested it if it was an N protein.

You also need to consider the actual situation. I have found an organization that measures N protein. Like some distant African countries, nucleic acid testing is already very luxurious. It is simply not realistic to ask others to do antibody testing. However, many of our compatriots are earning a living in Africa, and they have to go home.

There are also survivors who are unwilling to disclose their infection history easily, fearing that it will cause panic among the people around them. However, as survivors, we have antibodies in our bodies. Before and after returning to China, more than a dozen intensive nucleic acid and antibody tests can only go out.

But anyway, at 9pm on October 28, 2021, 692 days after leaving home, I finally got home.


Yu HuanhuanWriting

Li ShanshanResponsible Editor

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