Below is an account of a Twitter User Benjamin Omwaga (@benjamin_omwaga) account of a panic attack that was confused for covid-19.
The story also shows the stigma associated with Covid-19.
On the 26th of March I was leaving town though not feeling 100%. I told a friend that I had a bit of difficulty in breathing. It wasn’t serious at all and decided to head home (Wendani) Boarded a bus (Nawasuku Sacco).
Before getting to Roysambu it got worse. I had difficulty in breathing, I couldn’t even talk.
A guy seated next to me realised and took my phone and tried to call my kins. After Roysambu it got even worse and got the attention of everyone asking the driver to stop.
I was masked up all that while though the struggle was so serious. Everyone aboard was scared and thought I am a corona patient. No one was willing to help, only the guy seated next to me. The Stigma was real. Getting to Githurai I could not even walk. The bus stopped and the good samaritan helped me out with the help of a stranger.
People stood at a distance staring at a corona patient. A cop intervened and forced the driver to take me to hospital. I was taken to St Johns Githurai. On arrival we were told they don’t admit Corona patients.
I was literally on the ground trying to gasp for air breathing heavily with my mouth. The doctors were staring at me doing nothing. They said their ambulance couldn’t carry me. The stranger almost hit one of the doctors. Looking at the doctors staring and doing nothing was the most bitter experience. After like 40 minutes two doctors came wearing PPEs and asked my friend to help place me on the bed. After a few minutes of lying on my back and concetrating on my breathing I started feeling better. I could breathe normally after 10 mins.
Only to realise it was a panic attack
My take is: This stigma should be addressed or else we may loose lives because of it. Hope this info helps somebody somewhere.