Gender: Female
Ethnicity: Indian
Background: Sonal is 53 years old and is Indian. She works as an Ayurvedic doctor and lives with her husband, sons and niece. Sonal was infected with Covid after taking care of her niece, who had come down with a fever. She treated herself with Aryuvedic remedies like herbs and steam. Sonal had problems with infection and breaking out into a rash, and she was admitted to the hospital several times.

Sonal felt very worries when she first heard about the pandemic. She was shocked that the disease was spreading all over the world so quickly When people in her community became infected, she became even more worried. However, Sonal was confident she would not become infected because she believed her immunity was strong from practicing Ayurveda. When the guidelines for lockdown were first introduced, Sonal felt like they were a good way to prevent Covid. She also was happy to spend some more time at home.

One of Sonal’s sons was the first in her family to be infected. A few years before, this son had suffered a lung collapse, which caused her and the family to worry. Sonal made sure that her son stayed in his room to avoid contact with the rest of the family. She left food outside of his door, and treated him with Ayurveda methods including using herbal tea, steam machines, and oils. Sonal’s son’s isolation lasted for nearly six weeks because he kept testing positive for Covid. At that time, nobody else in the family caught Covid.

Sonal first noticed that something was wrong when she developed a fever and felt like her head was spinning. A few days earlier, her niece who lives with them, had developed some symptoms. Instead of isolating, she had continued to help Sonal in household tasks, and Sonal thinks this is how she caught it. In the coming days, Sonal’s other son and husband also tested positive.

Sonal was very ill with Covid and had to make several trips to hospital due to repeated episodes of serious symptoms. Her experience of Covid was made worse by the fact that she lives with type 2 diabetes, and Covid affected her blood sugar levels. Sonal experienced terrible rashes and extreme headaches that made her family feel very worried for her. She also noticed that her hair was falling out, which was upsetting. Sonal has now mostly recovered from Covid, but still suffers from lingering symptoms including brain fog and fatigue.

Sonal’s opinion of vaccines turned ‘upside down’ after she got Covid.

Age at interview 53

Sonal’s husband called 111 because she had pain all over her body and ‘tons of pressure’ in her head.

Age at interview 53

A practising Ayurvedic doctor, Sonal found it difficult to access herbs since the pandemic, and was suffering from prolonged Covid symptoms.

Age at interview 53

When Sonal’s son became ill with Covid he used a different toilet and she left his meals outside his bedroom on a tray.

Age at interview 53