"Many families have coronavirus questions," she says.
Author: Rick Sobey
A Massachusetts family that was physically separated for weeks because of the coronavirus — including the family’s 15-year-old daughter who lost her sense of taste and was isolated in the basement — is now helping others navigate through the virus battle.
Hopkinton’s Meher Kaur started an online blog after her father was diagnosed with the coronavirus last month. Both of their recoveries were unknown journeys, and Meher said she wanted to serve as a resource for other families caring for loved ones.
Meher is working with her father to connect families who have beaten the virus (like theirs) with families and other people fighting the highly contagious disease.
“Someone being there to tell you it will be OK is very helpful,” said Meher, a Hopkinton High School sophomore. “A positive mindset and hope is really important.”
Meher and her father have rolled out a website, where people can reach out for help, have questions answered about the experience, and understand the day-to-day process, she said.
“We want to offer others support and hope, and also give them the right information, the do’s and don’ts of the virus,” she said.
Her father Navdeep Singh started showing flu-like symptoms on March 11, and immediately isolated himself in a room on their home’s top floor. A few days later, he felt lingering heaviness in his chest — as if he was developing pneumonia.
His friend, a doctor, insisted he get tested for the coronavirus, which he did on March 18. Four days later, they learned he tested positive.
Meher lost her sense of smell and taste, developed a cold, and experienced exhaustion. Because she was showing mild symptoms of the virus and her father had tested positive, she isolated herself in the basement. Food was left for her outside the door, and she had a bathroom in the basement.
“It was helpful keeping our hopes up,” Meher said. “We made sure to FaceTime with each other every night, and checked in with each other throughout the day.”
During her time in the basement, she picked up a few hobbies, including yoga and drawing.
“I looked at the positives of being quarantined, that I was no longer annoyed by my brother 24/7 and my parents weren’t constantly watching over my every move,” Meher wrote.
By the end of the second week, her father’s symptoms started to improve but he remained in isolation. Her quarantine was lifted after two weeks as she regained her sense of smell and taste, and she made sure to clean and sanitize the whole basement before leaving.
Going into her father’s fourth week of isolation, he started to leave his room and come downstairs, but stayed in his room for the majority of the day to maintain a distance.
“I always looked on the bright side and kept my spirit as positive as I could,” Singh said.
The family is also looking to help people in India, where the virus is new relative to the U.S.
“We want to help as many people as possible,” Singh said. “Emotional support is key.”
Their website reads, “We are here to support you in any way we can.”
“If you know someone who is fighting COVID and needs support, let me know and I’ll be glad to connect with my dad or another family who has beaten COVID,” Meher wrote.
To contact them, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Rick Sobey