Recovering from Coronavirus
Written on August 8, 2020 2 minute read
I wrote a while back about what it was like when I had COVID-19. I managed to get it in the first week of the official lockdown in the UK. Why did I write about it? I saw across social media people, including some of my friends, not taking the virus seriously. And it worked. I had countless messages from people surprised that someone "as fit as me" could be so affected by the virus, that some in the media were making out to be "just the flu".
4 months and 11 days after I stopped showing the most publicised symptoms of COVID-19, I'm still suffering. 4 months and 11 days later, and I still can't run for more than 10/15 minutes without stopping. 4 months and 11 days later, I'm still incredibly fatigued.
And to be quite honest, it's so tiring seeing people argue against the value of masks. Often right wing, often more interested in lusting after a flag with some set of made up, rose tinted, euphoric idea of "day's gone by", these people look to question the science behind wearing masks, behind vaccines. Every trip on the tube, seeing people think they're invincible, unable to be infected by COVID-19.
How is it affecting me still?
I get short of breath when I do almost any exercise. 1-2km into a run, it feels like I've just finished a half marathon. My heart rate is up in the late 190s running an easy run, and it feels like someone is squeezing my chest.
This isn't limited to running. I was watering my plants recently, and felt dizzy. I was in the shower, and felt breathless. Sometimes, I get heart palpitations after doing some activity that raises my heart rate, such as walking.
And, being honest, it's really frustrating that I wasn't able to get a test, there is no record of my case with the NHS because I didn't go into hospital; it's like the people in charge of the country don't want to know in case it makes them look bad.
There's no clear pathway to know what symptoms I should be expecting to experience for the next few months, and no timeline on when recovery should happen. I spoke with my GP, who is equally in the dark, and have been told to come back if it hasn't cleared up after 6 months.
Surely this is just you being a diva?
No! There's countless articles being written, talking of lots of people who have an elongated recovery from COVID-19. Some of the symptoms being described are much more severe than mine. The Guardian featured an article from someone called Hannah Davis talking of neurological and mental health symptoms spanning months after recovery. I've also seen reports of people suffering from heart attacks, fainting and nausea.
The variance of symptoms experienced across all these stories is scary. Two different people can have two totally different sets of symptoms.
So this is my plea - please take this virus seriously. Follow social distancing guidelines. And wear a damn mask.