Article: Probably ‘That’ Coronavirus: My Symptoms

By Katey Watson, July 2020

Image: Clker-Free-Vector-Images, Pixabay

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Disclaimer: I wasn’t tested for COVID-19, so I don’t know for sure if it was ‘That’ virus; however, I strongly suspect it was – I’ll update this article accordingly if I find out for sure.

Introduction

I thought I’d share my symptoms of ‘probably’ COVID-19 for anyone who’s curious, as I’m interested in peoples’ varied experiences, so I thought you might be too.

Pre-Virus

During the 14 days leading up to my first symptoms (13 March 2020), I had several social contacts: On the 14th day before my symptoms occurred (only 19 total UK COVID-19 cases had been reported in the UK, none in my area) I hosted my open house Birthday party with a total of 20 guests, some travelling from further afield, including London. Over the following days, I went to circuit training, a Jobs Fair in the city centre (I used public transport), local busy pub night, dentist appointments and met two friends from outside my city of residence (two of us used public transport). In hindsight, I’m annoyed with myself for not being more cautious, but then, very few people were at the end of February/early March.

Image: Chris und Alisia Alpinger, Pixabay

Symptoms Summary

Officially recognised symptoms were initially fever and persistent cough. However, more recently, 19 symptoms were identified[1, 2].

I had a wide variety of symptoms, some fading and later re-emerging – some days I felt awful, followed by others when I thought I was recovering, only to relapse a day or so later. I wasn’t ever aware of having a fever and I didn’t realise until day 72 of symptoms that I’d partially lost my sense of smell – my Mum apologised for the overly ripe fruit stink, something that would usually bother me, but I hadn’t noticed it at all. I haven’t included the smell loss below, as I have no idea when it started.

My main symptoms spanned over 67 days. I went through a symptom-free phase between Day 29 and Day 35. At time of writing, it’s Day 112, and I’m still experiencing insomnia and fatigue, although lessening. It’s been an odd and interesting illness, COVID or not!

My Symptoms in Order of Appearance

Headache: Days 1 – 4, 6 – 8 & 10
(Image: mohamed Hassan, Pixabay)
Sore throat: Days 1 – 4, 6 – 8, 12 & 38 – 47
(Image: Ary setyobudi, Pixabay)
Cough (mostly dry): Days 2 – 21, 23 & 36 – 67
(Image: mohamed Hassan, Pixabay)
Breathlessness: Days 4 & 21
(Image: Clker-Free-Vector-Images, Pixabay)
Insomnia: Started after waking in the middle of the night unable to breathe. Resultant fatigue & brain fog: Day 4 onwards
(Image by Stephanie Ghesquier from Pixabay)
Gut discomfort: Days 4 – 5, 7 & 9 – 11
(Image: Christian Dorn, Pixabay)
Light-headedness/dizziness: Days 5 & 7
(Image by Stephanie Ghesquier, Pixabay)
Chest tightness/heart pains: Day 7 & Day 21
(Image: mohamed Hassan, Pixabay)
Body aches (mainly back, ribs & kidneys): Days 10 – 27 & 36
(Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay)
Impaired hearing: Day 21
(Image: Clker-Free-Vector-Images, Pixabay)
Skin burning sensations (right hip, waist & right thigh): Days 27 – 28
(Image: Clker-Free-Vector-Images, Pixabay)

I was mostly symptom-free (except insomnia, fatigue and brain fog) on Days 29- 35 and from Day 68 onwards.

Table of My Symptoms in Order of Appearance

Table: Summary of my symptoms & their duration, in order of appearance.

I hope you found this article informative and helpful. For graphical representation and more detailed extracts from my health diary, please click on: Supplementary Information.

Please consider joining the ZOE COVID Symptom Study (endorsed by the NHS) to help track the virus, including emerging hotspots. All you need to do is download the app and report daily on whether or not you feel well – it only takes a minute to complete:

– Apple Store: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/covid-symptom-study/id1503529611
– Google Play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.joinzoe.covid_zoe&hl=en_US

I hope you found this article interesting and informative. Stay safe.

Image: Elsemargriet, Pixabay

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References

1. World Health Organization, 2020. Coronavirus: Symptoms [online]. Available from: www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_3.

2. COVID Symptom Study, 2020. 7 things you need to know about staying safe as lockdown measures begin to lift [online]. Available from: https://covid.joinzoe.com/post/tips-covid-safety.