Covid-19 - my experience
22nd Mar 2020
Although this is usually a blog about flexible work-related things, I thought that people might find it interesting to read about my experience of Covid-19. I am one of the lucky ones - although the symptoms were pretty grim, I am recovering well.
I was exceptionally careful in the week before I contracted it, and it has highlighted to me the crucial importance of social distancing - there's only so far that covering yourself in hand sanitiser and washing your hands more frequently can get you.
Here's how it went down:
I felt normal all day, and was thinking about maybe going to the gym in the evening, but noticed that when I went for a walk with the dog that afternoon my breathing was slightly more laboured than normal, so I decided to stay at home and call off the gym. That evening, I developed a dry cough but went to sleep trying not to worry (I'm mildly asthmatic and my autoimmune disease had the potential to complicate things... So I had to try and keep that out of my mind and focus on what was actually happening, not talking myself into symptoms!)
I woke up feeling atrocious - sweating, coughing, and with the worst headache of my life. The headache was actually the worst bit, as I couldn't look at anything and light hurt my eyes. I slept for most of the day and I don't really remember a huge amount apart from having a load of really whacky dreams caused by my fever (I dreamt I had to draft a contract to keep the football on the TV when I don't even like football or have any idea about contracts...)
Poor Maurice was like a sitting duck at this point... just waiting to accept his fate. Thankfully he only got it very mildly, with a sore throat, a slight cough, and that was about it.
I woke up really hoping that the headache was gone, and it wasn't, instead I was drenched in sweat, coughing, and still had a headache. I ended up taking co-codamol as I couldn't cope with the pain anymore, and, THANKFULLY, was able to look at a screen to watch Netflix, like any good sick person should be able to do. I managed to eat some Weetabix and walk around the house a bit, then had to go back to sleep for a while. I had bought a thermometer on Amazon the day before and found out that I definitely did have a fever (38 degrees) so continued to feel sorry for myself with an ice pack on my head until I went back to sleep for the night.
Fever was still there, the cough was getting worse, my sense of taste and smell had disappeared, my whole body ached, but the HEADACHE WAS GONE! A day of Netflix true crime, watching Skins re-runs, and more Weetabix ensued (why not eat mush when everything tastes like mush). The dog was both excited and very concerned that I wasn't leaving the house.
I woke up at a the relatively normal hour of 10am, and managed to potter about a bit. It was now starting to feel more like a bad cold and a cough but the lack of smell and taste was weirding me out. When I read into it, it seems that 2/3 of Covid-19 sufferers experience a lack of smell and taste, and that they're asking everyone with just that symptom to self-isolate too. This is why when I rang the doctor's surgery downstairs they were pretty certain I had Covid-19 as the only other thing (apart from a blocked nose) that makes you totally lose your sense of taste and smell is herpes, and I definitely don't have that (or I bloody hope I don't!)
I managed to get out for a quiet walk (I didn't go anywhere busy and didn't touch anything, don't worry!), but getting back up the stairs took me a long time - it's quite scary how much it affects your breathing, even when you have a mild case.
Saturday & Sunday:
Pretty similar to Friday, really. I can manage a walk and don't need naps during the day now, so I'm pretty sure I'm almost recovered. I still can't smell or taste anything, although we found out that you don't need that for things to still be spicy. Eating half a teaspoon of super hot chilli sauce for an experiment isn't recommended.
A lot of the accounts I was reading were very un-relatable, as they were from the people who unfortunately experienced much worse symptoms than me, so I thought that this might be interesting for people to read in case you're feeling any of the above.