It hard to believe it was only 7 days ago that like many of us, I was glued to the unfolding news about the spread of Coronavirus. The drastic measures deployed in Italy were unbelievable. Lock down may have been needed there but I couldn’t see that happening here. We were at least 4 weeks behind the Italians and us Brits were washing our hands like never before so I was confident we could hold this at bay. I personally was following all the advice, I hadn’t stockpiled essentials, but had recently done a shop and I was aware of the symptoms of Covid19, a new cough and/or high temperature.
Next morning, I woke up not feeling great, but not so bad that a day off was needed. Then I noticed I had picked up a slight cough and a bit of a temperature. Fairly quickly it dawned on me this might be it. I thought of going to work still, but I couldn’t bear to think I might pass it on. I remember thinking if this was Covid19 I was expecting it to be much worse, but without testing for the virus, I sheepishly phoned in sick and prepared to have a 7 day self-isolation period at home.
By the next day things had deteriorated, the cough was less now but I had an aching back and legs. I started having to use our scarce supply of paracetamol on a routine basis as my temperature climbed towards a fever. I now knew I couldn’t have gone to work. At times I was wrapped in a duvet in bed, fully clothed, shivering and my teeth chattering. As a mild asthmatic it was also the risks to my breathing that most concerned me, but I had used my inhalers which seemed to help. It was not pleasant but it was bearable.
I passed the time listening to the radio, catching up on iplayer plus lots of sleeping. Then within a couple of days my fever dropped and I didn’t need the paracetamol. I could get up dressed and even potter about. Over the next few days I realised the fever had gone but it had made me tired, so by the afternoon I would often need to sleep. But I was OK and my breathing was OK too.
I had had the cough and a high temperature but I am still not sure if I will ever know if it was Covid19 – I hope it was so I can get it out of the way. At least I feel it was a viral infection that came on suddenly and went almost as quickly. I know Covid19 could be different for different people and its clearly an anxious time for us all. We are in this together so please make sure you do your part and stay at home and don’t risk spreading the virus.
Many people will be fortunate enough to have this kind of relatively mild experience. Some will not. It isn't easily predictable: although older people and those with pre-existing illnesses are more likely to suffer serious consequences, so do some young, healthy people. Remember too that it isn't just about how the virus affects you personally, it's about how it affects the people that you inadvertently infect. People are dying now, and the virus is already in Henfield.
PLEASE follow the Government's instructions and STAY HOME unless you have a critical reason to go out.