After general secretary of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) Zwelinzima Vavi tested positive for Covid-19 this week he has been documenting his journey towards – hopefully – recovery on social media.
He revealed in a tweet on Sunday evening that he’d been admitted to hospital, but only as a precaution. Then he said late on Tuesday morning that he had been discharged.
“Resting at home now but still in isolation. Will test on Monday but I remain positive that victory is certain! Thank you all of you for so much love and solidarity! My wife and seven-year-old boy have shown no symptoms whatsoever!”
In a video on Sunday taken at his home before he went to see the doctors, a reasonably healthy-looking Vavi thanked people for all the messages of support he’d been getting. He said he was struggling with a “little bit of heavy chest and heavy lungs” despite feeling “fine” and that he probably just needed “lots of rest”.
He said everyone else at his home had tested negative except for his seven-year-old twin son, who the doctors were not worried about. “The doctor advises that the kids run this thing off without even having to take medicine,” he was told.
His wife would need another test just to ensure she was negative for the illness, he said, but she was negative.
In a video clip of himself that he posted on Saturday, he could be seen to be sweating heavily – possibly from steaming himself as a home remedy – and saying that he was determined to beat the illness.
“Corona must die,” he declared. He vowed in the clip that “we are made of stern stuff” and that “corona has finally met its match”.
“It’s going to be defeated. It’s going to be chased out of this body. It’s going to die outside. We will be the last to stand. It will fall. It must fall.”
The coronavirus can cause varying levels of severity and symptoms among different people, and it especially differs according to age and overall health.
Older people or people with pre-existing conditions tend to fare worst. Vavi is 57, which places him closer to the vulnerable group, though still not near the true danger zone of being 70 or older.
Take a look at his other tweets below.
He confirmed the news of his diagnosis in a live interview with eNCA on Thursday.
This after having persistent flu-like symptoms for days on end, he said.
Vavi explained that he first went for a test on Saturday and was told his temperature was completely normal. However, when his symptoms would not go away he demanded another test on Wednesday and got his results on Thursday morning.
He said he had to go into a self-imposed quarantine period. His children, wife and other family members in his home were then also tested.
According to Vavi, he had no idea where he may have contracted it and was scrutinising his travel history.
His last known meeting was a political and ideological one with fellow Saftu members that was held two days before the lockdown was imposed.