Soon after, Sameera noticed that her 20-month-old daughter, Nyra, too, began to develop symptoms. Sameera says, “Nyra’s just a baby and she doesn’t even know what’s happening, so she can’t exactly share her discomfort with us. We got the test done for her too since she too had a fever. And our worst fears came true.” Sameera understands that many parents don’t like to share that their children have got the virus, but she reckons it’s important to talk about it so that there’s more awareness about the fact that children can get it too. “This isn’t the time to hush things up; we should speak up so we can share the fears and support each other through it,” she says, adding, “I urge all young parents not to panic if their child tests positive. Just follow the medication prescribed by the doctor and try to make things as comfortable as possible for your child and create a positive environment. That’s what Akshay and I have tried to do.”
Acknowledging the great challenge of keeping your COVID positive kids in quarantine for two weeks, until they test negative, Sameera says, “Little kids just can’t stay cooped up at home. They need the outdoors, their friends, their games, etc. So as caregivers, our job becomes all the more tough because we have to keep our kids in, while not letting their spirits down or putting needless fear in them.” So how did she manage? “Sadly, there’s a deep-rooted fear of Covid even among children. I didn’t want Hans to be affected by it, so I didn’t even tell him he has COVID; he thinks it’s just a fever. But as a responsible citizen, I cannot allow him to go outside and interact with others. I immediately called up the neighbours and informed them, and told them not to send their kids to play with him. I’ve made sure he doesn’t leave the house,” says the Musafir actress, adding, “Quarantine has been hard on my kids, but I’ve tried to make things as positive as I can for both of them. I dance with them, try to make them smile. Hans has unlimited access to TV unlike before, so he binge watches his favourite shows. To get them hydrated, I played water drinking games with them. I’ve also played lots of music and have turned storyteller too — I’ve told tons of stories, anything to keep the mood happy and upbeat.”
Unlike in the case of adults who can self-isolate, children need the care, love and personal touch of their parents the most at this time. So, isolating the kids wasn’t even an option, says Sameera. “Children need to be comforted when they’re sick. That was our only priority, nothing else; not even our own health. By the time we tested positive for the virus, we were at least thankful that they are out of it and we can focus on ourselves,” she says.
The Race actress says she and her husband have mild symptoms but are on the road to recovery. “One big relief for me is that my mother-in-law is living separately, so we didn’t have to worry about exposing her. My husband and I have taken medication prescribed by the doctor and hopefully, all of us will be out of it soon. We’re all collectively going through some tough times and I think it’s
important that we dispel fear, break the stigma and support each other. It’s the only way we’re going to get through this,” says Sameera, signing off.