On March 21, renowned mountaineer and social activist Wasfia Nazreen announced in a Facebook post that she tested positive for the coronavirus and is in quarantine. Recently, she joined a Facebook live session with her friends, filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, actor Nusrat Imrose Tisha, musicians Sharmin Sultana Sumi and Labik Kamal Gaurob, cricketer Sakib Al Hasan and astronaut Ronald John Gahan, to talk about her battle with the respiratory disease.
In the video, she mentioned that she was most likely exposed to the virus on her way to Los Angeles from Hawaii. She was stuck in the airport for nine hours. According to the doctors, the virus that attacked her travelled from Italy to the USA. During the first week, she struggled to look after herself, get the test done and keep up her diet. Wasfia, who has been on a vegan diet for a while, explained that the superstores were deserted, because of the panic-buying around the area. She was eating processed carbohydrates for seven days, which apparently aggregated the virus. Isolated in her own apartment, she was advised to stay indoors, because the airport and hospitals are 'petri dishes' of the coronavirus at the moment.
Wasfia also said that the healing process began once she realised that she can control it by staying calm. She urged the public to stop sharing every news story on the pandemic, because that can lead to severe anxiety. Sakib Al Hasan suggested that as recommended by WHO, people should check the news just twice daily, from authentic sources. "When we come out of this situation, I really hope that we learn to conserve nature," added Mostofa Sarwar Farooki.
Similarly, Labik Kamal Gaurob noted that we should not share news stories that are not from verified sources, as it can truly affect our mental health. On a lighter note, Sakib shared that he blocks people from his social media accounts, who seem to stir panic by sharing random news stories.
Wasfia added that she has deactivated her social media apps to stay away from people's scrutiny and focus on her health for now. The mountaineer also requested her role model, Ronald John Garan, to share his experiences in space. He spent six months in space on two different missions in 2008 and 2011, consecutively. He spoke about those missions, emphasising on the importance of being a part of the team, getting enough rest and nutrition.
Towards the end, everyone on the live session agreed that countries, governments and people everywhere need to come together in the fight against the coronavirus. People need to keep practicing social distancing and stay as calm as possible. The session concluded with a musical performance by Labik Kamal Gaurob. Wasfia, who is still in recovery, also offered to answer any coronavirus-related queries that the audience may have.