EDITOR’S NOTE: Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi is the Executive Director of the Stand To End Rape Initiative, a youth-led and not-for-profit organisation advocating against sexual violence. The graduate of Developmental Studies from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Commonwealth Young Person of 2019 narrated her story on her she tested positive for Corona Virus otherwise known as COVID-19 and her recovery via her twitter handle @AyodejiOsowobi :

Life finds ways of throwing LEMON at me. I have struggled with coming forward, but I want to inspire hope. I returned to Nigeria from the UK post-Commonwealth event (I totally enjoyed) and fell ill. As a responsible person, I self-isolated. Days after, I TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

Before returning, I had planned several interviews. I was scheduled to start a fantastic consultancy job and was also expecting to sign a contract worth millions. I lost them all!!! I had to self-isolate and also inform people I came in close contact with to get tested #COVID19

My friend and I kept calling  @NCDCgov to get tested. What if we did not persist? No information on my test result. At 12am, an ambulance was at my house. I woke from sleep and was crying. I got to isolation center, but no one was there to receive me. I waited in the ambulance for TWO HOURS.

The nurses eventually came out and treated me like a plague. I sat in the ambulance feeling rejected. No questions about how I felt. So many questions about my travel history. Same information I had provided to NCDC and Lagos State Government during profiling. Lack of data sharing!

After two hours, I was taken to my space. I felt lonely, bored and disconnected from the outside world. Few days after, another patient came in. We bonded. Days later, patients trooped in. “Are people observing self-isolation and social distancing?” I was so scared for Nigeria.

The next days were tough. No appetite. The nausea, vomit and stooling was unbearable. I am a blood type A & #COVID19 dealt with me. I will share daily symptoms and  recovery process in a video tomorrow.

I thought I was going to die and contemplated a succession plan for@StandtoEndRape. I was on drugs daily. Sometimes, I would take 8 tablets in the morning, 13 tablets in the afternoon, 10 at night. My system threw everything out! Water, food, soap and all disgusted me. But I would look at the wall and force myself to stay hydrated — drank others. I FOUGHT TO LIVE! I FOUGHT!!

Days after, the Doctors shared a goodnews that I tested negative. I shared this news with family and friends! My blood sample was taken and I also tried to donate my plasmapheresis to help others. I hoped to be discharged. I waited to be discharged, but for two days, nothing happened.

I was unsure of what was going on. Why haven’t I been discharged? Should I be in the same ward? Could I get reinfected? I was worried but remained calm. On the 3rd day, Doctors said, “well, we worked with the information we had of you testing negative, but one result came back positive.”

“...You’ll stay a few more days. You know we take nose, mouth and sputum samples.” “Am I still positive ?” I asked. “No, you’re negative,” the Doctor replied. The Doctor apologised for the delay. I was anxious to go home but remained calm. I wanted to be free from this pain.

I continued the medication and asked to be in a separate ward. Sadly, I remained in the same ward as all others rooms were full. My ward had people who were positive. What if I get re-infected? For them, I was a beacon of hope and they needed me gone to register the progress.

My family and friends were becoming anxious. People in my ward who earlier celebrated the news of my result suddenly lost hope. “Why are you still here?” “You shouldn’t be here with us. You should be separated from us now...” People in my ward muttered. I tried to calm them.

Today, I am PROUD to inform you that I MURDERED COVID-19 and have tested NEGATIVE TWICE! I HAVE BEEN DISCHARGED!

I bless God for His mercies.

Some stigmatised me based on a PUNCH article with subtle messages like “why did she come back to Nigeria?”

Nigeria is my home.


Coronavirus is NOT a death sentence. People can survive and I HAVE!

We should encourage people to get tested & stop the stigma. Practise social distancing and stop the spread. @NCDCgov and State Governments need to improve their testing capacity. Test mild asymptomatic cases too. Sending strength to everyone who is fighting to beat #COVID19.

To every young person out there, please give your lungs a chance to beat this. Can I encourage you to stop smoking & live a healthy life at this time? A healthy lungs is KEY! This another phase of my life and I HAVE won! I celebrate my resilience and strength. Call me SURVIVOR!

Source: @AyodejiOsowobi