Khalil Aleker, well known entrepreneur, coach and producer of the popular podcast and website, AccidentalMuslims.com. tells Sana Ebrahim how he and his family endured Covid-19 – but eventually returned to good health.
Khalil Aleker works as an Employee Engagement Manager during the day, and spends every spare time revolutionising the way Islam is viewed via his podcast and website, AccidentalMuslims.com.
Aleker reflects on his painful journey of contracting Covid-19 to full recovery. “We were a family that was extremely cautious and understood the repercussions of Covid-19 and its impact on the community, especially on our elders. Thus, we stayed indoors for most of the three months and hardly went outdoors. We bought our essentials and groceries online and never visited our family and friends. It was a Sunday evening when I felt a bit lethargic and light-headed… I remember telling my wife, Aziza, and she responded saying that I overdid it with the morning exercise and walks on the beachfront that day (first Sunday of level 3 lockdown). That evening I experienced high fevers, cold shivers and had severe body and back pain.
“In the morning my stomach was upset and felt like I was hit by a bus… body pain, slight fever and extremely tired. I decided to go for a test because I was beginning to experience most of the virus symptoms including loss of smell, taste and obviously appetite. After waiting in the drive-through, a makeshift Dis-Chem testing station in Kenilworth Centre (Cape Town) for about an hour, the nurse put a long ‘stick’ up my nostril for about 3-4 uncomfortable seconds. She then said: “Thank you, there is a backlog, so you will only get the results within 3-5 days, so please stay isolated.
“At this time my gut feeling was that I was definitely positive. The next day my symptoms were heightened and my body felt really sore. Sore like one feels after working out or exercising for two gruelling hours. That kind of body sore. It was really too late to isolate from the family. Within 24 hours, Aziza also started feeling unwell. We were worried about our young kids but most of the doctors told us that children are resilient and it was advisable not to send our kids to other family members because they might be, and most probably were, carriers of the virus.
“We decided to stick it out, as a family… all of us at home with Coronavirus.
“I experienced moderate symptoms. I could literally feel it going to my chest/lungs. Once I developed the dry cough at night I couldn’t sleep… I was short of breath and had to sleep slightly upwards. As soon as you sleep flat you’d start coughing uncontrollably. For about five nights I could not really sleep… my back was paining, chest was hurting and my cough was very bad. Coupled with the loss of appetite and being so tired. It was a vicious cycle… one couldn’t eat, but you HAD to eat to take the medicine and build your immune system.
“Aziza had mild symptoms, alhamdulillah. She had the body aches, slight fever and loss of smell/taste. She also had no energy.”
“We were waiting for the virus to get the kids. The 5-year-old was down for one full day of no eating and threw up multiple times. The next day he was totally fine. Our 7-year-old had a slight cough and complained about sore legs but that was all over in a day. So alhamdulillah, Allah created our children with strength and resilience.
“When it came to Day 10-11, things were manageable, however on Day-17, Aziza still could not taste/smell and I still had a dry cough.”
“I would say take your Vitamins C and D now, practice breathing exercises, keep fit, wear a mask and stay indoors as this virus is real.”
“The video that I played over and over during my illness was Imam Omar Sulaiman’s advice – see https://youtu.be/zp25hPc_ARc (Episode 16: The Ultimate Healer | Angels in Your Presence).”
“It’s about the two Angels who sit with you when you are ill and monitor your response to people who visit and check up on you…. it’s a beautiful Hadith… I always envisioned the two Angels sitting with me while in bed – it was reassuring.
Please share this video with everyone who is unwell insha’ Allah.”
“If you want to know more about my experience or would just like to talk to someone who had Covid-19 you can search ‘Khalil Aleker’ on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter – let’s connect insha’ Allah.”