AFTER attending a funeral of a family member, Salamina Malatsi and her father both tested positive for Covid-19.

Salamina survived, but he didn’t.

She has a stark message: “This monster will continue taking our lives if we don’t take it seriously.”

The 39-year-old from Phokeng near Rustenburg said dealing with Covid-19 was the most painful thing she ever had to fight.

“I struggled to walk and to breathe. I could not keep anything down. I’m not diabetic but my sugar level soared,” she told Daily Sun.

“My daughter told me she was close to a mental breakdown, seeing what I was going through.”

She said her family kept her going and gave her hope.

“But there were people who treated me badly when I came back from hospital,” she said.

“I understand people get scared when they know you were positive but it’s heart-breaking to see people run away from you.”

It is Salamina’s goal to tell people the virus is real. “I saw it and I faced it. And I lost my father due to the virus. Covid-19 can kill you within a few days.”

She said her father’s death was difficult to accept.

“Testing positive is scary. Doctors asked me why I couldn’t sleep. I said I felt if I closed my eyes, I wouldn’t wake up again.”

She said she was thinking about the frontline workers who are exposed to the virus on a daily basis.

“I wish people would take the virus more seriously. Covid-19 is real. Yet people are not wearing masks or maintaining social distancing,” she said.