‘Don’t Panic’: Hockey Captain Manpreet’s Advice Post Getting COVID

Indian hockey team captain Manpreet Singh shares his experience of recovering from coronavirus. 

4 min read

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam


Indian hockey team captain Manpreet Singh and five others from the squad had tested positive for coronavirus in August after they were returned to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Facility in Bengaluru for the national camp. The 28-year-old skipper spoke to The Quint about his experience of recovering from the virus.

‘Lost My Taste And Smell, So Got Tested’

After testing positive, Manpreet along with Mandeep Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Surender Kumar, Varun Kumar and Krishnan B Pathak were initially in quarantine at the SAI facility. However, all six players were shifted to a hospital in Bengaluru to ensure that the players were attended to at all times and could be given the best possible treatment.

“When we returned to the camp, we had to quarantine for 14 days. While I was in quarantine I started experiencing some of the corona symptoms like losing taste and smell. I shared my symptoms with the SAI doctor and then got the tested and it came out to be positive,” said Manpreet.

“I was shocked to know that I had tested positive. All my family members were fine, but suddenly I didn’t know how I had got it.”
Manpreet Singh

You Can be Young And Fit, And Still Get COVID

One of the myths about the coronavirus has been that if you’re a young and healthy individual, you cannot get it. Manpreet is a striker in the Indian hockey team, and he runs for about 8-9 kms at an average in every match. And if he can get it, so can anyone else.

“Yes, you can still get coronavirus (if you’re young and healthy). And if you do, you should follow what the doctor says and you will definitely recover.”
Manpreet Singh

Manpreet said that people should not delay in getting tested if they are showing symptoms.

“If I delay it, not tell anyone and if I’m staying with my family, then they could also get it from me. If I had got corona when I was at home and I didn’t tell anyone including my mother who is old, has diabetes and blood pressure – it could be more dangerous for her, he said.

“If I have it, I can go to the doctor be in quarantine and follow what the doctor says then I can recover. Rather than putting my family in danger I should at least recover,” added Manpreet.


'It is Important to Remain Positive’

The hockey skipper reiterated the importance of staying positive during this time.

“If you start showing symptoms, don’t start worrying that ‘if I have corona, I don’t know what will happen.’ Amitabh Bachchan and so many other big celebrities got it. When we worry, that’s an illness in itself.”

“Whether it’s corona or any other sickness if your mindset is that, ‘I may get corona.’ Even if you get corona, it’s normal, it’s okay. You don’t need to panic. These days, people worry too much about ‘If I get corona, how will I survive? will I live through it or not?’ This is happening too much, and we should stay away from it.”

“Even the doctor said that the more positive you stay, the better it is. If you worry about ‘How did I get it’ ‘How will I recover from it’, then you will stress more and you will only get more ill. So, the more positive you stay, the better it is for you. When I got it, all my team coaches and physios from Hockey India and SAI (Sports Authority of India) sent very positive vibes. They gave us confidence and said they were with us.”

“It’s very important (to remain stress-free). What happens is, you are alone. You have to stay in bed all day and there’s not much to do so, you could get negative thoughts about what will happen. During this time, meditation and focus are very important.”


All six players have now tested negative for the virus, and have returned to training. Manpreet said they were eased back into training.

“No one knows how to work towards achieving full fitness after corona. Our team trainer and physio made a protocol for us so we ease into training. We were in bed for a month, eating medicines so, our body became dull due to inactivity. So, our trainers made a chart that ensures we increase our level of training slowly. We are at about 60-70 percent fitness. We don’t want to take a risk. If we give our 100 percent today that could have a side-effect and we’ll only move a step back,” he said.

Manpreet said everyone must take precautions in order to stay safe from coronavirus.

“If you’re going out, please wear a mask. Use a sanitizer. At times we go out and meet people and think that they don’t have it. But you don’t know who has it, and who doesn’t. Even I didn’t know who had it. We have to take care of our own health. If you meet someone, sanitise and always keep your mask on.”

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