My name is Bankole Abubakar Okoronkwo and you would have guessed already that this is not my real name.

Every other thing about my story is true.

I am a Sportscaster in a radio station close to you but I have decided to keep that under locks after advise from close friends and colleagues. I hope my story helps you out.

I woke up one morning feeling very weak and I thought it was malaria.

I had a headache and a bitter taste in my mouth so I went to a pharmacy and the man in charge told me I was showing malaria symptoms. That was what I thought. It could be nothing else.

It is easy in Nigeria when you are ill or feel ill as the most common diagnosis is malaria.

I bought the necessary drugs and started to take them like most patients with malaria would do but that was where the drama started for me

Loss of taste and smell senses

After completing the full dose of my medication I got a little relief, but then I noticed I had lost my sense of taste and smell.

That was when I panicked because I am a media person and I follow the news.

I know that the loss of the senses of taste and smell has to do with COVID 19, but you know how we are in Nigeria and I continued to pray that it would not be my portion in Jesus’ name. That is how we pray.

It was awkward to me because I had never experienced such before so I asked some people and they confirmed my existing fears that they were symptoms of COVID 19 but I was still not convinced and I went for a test that ended up declaring me positive for the disease.

Living with COVID 19?

For over two weeks I struggled to eat anything because I couldn’t taste it. Anything edible became irritating to me and I was getting so lean because I wasn’t eating right but just living on fruits alone.

Was this really COVID 19? Me? A patient? I continued to tell myself that I would beat it but I was losing weight daily because I was not eating right. Nothing tasted right in my mouth so I did not see any need to eat.

Before now I had always believed that COVID 19 was real and not a scam like some people would say. I tried to maintain social distancing, I washed my hands and I wore a mask, yet it came to me.

The reality set in for me that this deadly virus was with us in Nigeria and there was no date yet to have a vaccine.

I used to write daily updates on my WhatsApp status from the Nigeria Council for Disease Control, NCDC on the number of cases in the country and when my friends criticised me I would admonish them, but see now, I was the one with the virus.

I felt sad and downcast because I never thought I would test positive to COVID 19 because I wasn’t showing any symptoms of the virus and after treating malaria I was fine except that I still could not taste or smell anything.

I did not want to go to the isolation center because I didn’t know what to expect and I had never been admitted in a hospital before so everything was just disturbing to me.

I finally decided that going to the isolation center was the best decision for my safety and those around me so I did go.

My experiences all through the time I spent at the isolation center taught me a lot and exposed me to life as a whole.

It further convinced me that COVID 19 is real and not a scam. I will beat this virus.

Read Part 2: Diary of a Naija Sportscaster with COVID 19, Day 2: The longest 48 hours of my life

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