Leslie Domingo is one of more than a hundred persons to have recovered in the Moruca sub-district, Region One and while he could give a number of reasons for his recovery, he emphasizes using herbal medicine in his overcoming the coronavirus.
The man, a shopkeeper, who operates his business from his Kamwatta, Moruca home said that he and his family rarely left their home so it came as a surprise when they tested positive. He has since assumed that he would have contracted the virus from one his customers. The village is said to have approximately four hundred residents.
“A week and a half [prior to testing positive] I began experiencing mild fever, then I started having a high fever with severe body pains. I would take the Panadol tablets but the fever would just ease for a short while and then come back again. Then other symptoms started coming on”, explained Domingo.
According to the man, he shared a room with two other COVID patients at the Amerindian hostel while his wife shared her room with their two daughters and their son and another patient at the doctor’s quarters at the Kumaka Hospital (no doctors were staying there during the time the building was being used as an isolation site).
“When I heard first that I had gotten the virus, I was worried a little about whether my family was positive also. When I heard they were positive I was stressed-out even more about them”, he said.
After suffering several symptoms of the flu, Leslie decided to get tested. “I get the fever, loss of smell, loss of taste, a headache, a cough, stuffy nose with shortness of breath”, he said. It was the shortness of breath that saw Leslie being rushed to the Kumaka Hospital where he was given oxygen. It was then the doctors recommended that a COVID-19 test be done.
“They were giving us vitamin C tablets with some multivitamins and apart from that, we were taking our own herbal medicine. I believe the herbal medicine really played a big role in our recovery. I get malaria and dengue in the past but I never feel as sick as COVID made me feel. We started using the fever grass and we mixed it along with garlic and ginger and lime. We boil it in 2 liters of water and the whole family drink that. We also blend like paw-paw leaves and had that or the leaves of another plant called ‘vir vine’ which is commonly known as the ‘rat-tail bush’. Our family boiled the different kinds of herb drinks and brought it for us. They are really bitter. Each one of them have a bitter flavour. We also use the wild carilla bush that was boiled together with lime. We didn’t drink them all on the same day. As we get them, we drink them. The fever grass one with the ginger, we drink that like quarter of the sanitary cup 4 times a day”, Domingo said. He initially began drinking the concoction following his second positive COVID test. Doctors, he said, did not try to prevent them from taking the concoction as they were eager for anything that would work.
“I would advise persons suffering from COVID to continue drinking their vitamin C, their multivitamins and whichever of the herbs they can get that I would have mentioned, to use that along with them. The multivitamins for me kept my appetite open so that I can eat my meals”, Domingo said.
The man said that after he left, he heard that many persons started drinking the various herbal medicines. At the time Stabroek News had interviewed Leslie, hundreds of persons in Moruca had recovered and there were only two active cases.
Leslie shared that overall, a total of five COVID tests were done on him with the last two showing that he was negative. “For the time I was there, it wasn’t really bad. I am so thankful for the doctors, the cleaners, the cooks. Everybody was friendly. They weren’t always on time with lunch and breakfasts but it was okay. We had our three meals a day though”, Domingo said.
In regard to having sufficient water, Leslie said that on two or three occasions, the hostel was without water and they had to wait until 10 or 11 in the night when they were finally able to have their baths. He explained that water is pumped into the tanks for them to use but sometimes when the operators are not working on weekends, they would run out of water adding that all of the occasions they were without water were on weekends.
While they stayed at the two different locations, Leslie kept in touch with his family as they continuously encouraged each other through video calls over WhatsApp. To keep their internet data going, Leslie shared that family and friends assisted a lot and provided their phones with credit so they could stay in touch.
Meanwhile, his daughter back home made out well as Leslie had bought extra groceries for the family as well as the shop in preparation for whatever toll the pandemic would take on the economy. Looking back, Leslie said he was happy that he was prepared as such. “After the lockdown, we decided to buy extra groceries and extra stock for the shop so that was good”, said the man.
For Leslie and his family the virus affected them both physically and emotionally. “Discrimination was sure and because of this, I had to constantly keep talking with my daughter. We live alongside the road and people passing by the house would calling out whenever they reach my house saying they got things they’re selling for COVID. Even the fish-man was shouting that he got things for COVID. We were the only people that I know of that were infected with the virus. She began to become depressed about it and I would have to keep talking with her”, Leslie shared.
He spent 25 days in isolation, having been discharged on July 18th. The other four members of his family who were in isolation returned home a week later.
Since his return home, Leslie has noticed that many of the youths who engaged in sports activities in the afternoons at the ball field are staying at home. Residents, he said, would go to their farms but otherwise, he hardly ever sees them coming along the road. Police he added are also doing their duty, patrolling the area several times a week.
Leslie added that he suffers from diabetes while his wife suffers from hypertension. The herbal medicine Domingo believes did not only help him and his wife with the coronavirus but also with the two ailments from which they were already suffering. Even after their discharge from their respective isolation sites, the family is still drinking the bush medicine regularly.