I have been sick with COVID-19, and recovered. It was a distressing experience, but I overcame it and was able to fight the cloud of fear that settled over me.
As an Australian living in London, I knew early on that I was at a higher risk because I couldn’t work from home and therefore I had to catch the tube into the city. I took the social distancing protocols seriously, and I found myself getting very angry on my journey as so many people were ignoring the government’s advice.
A good example is when I witnessed 5 staff members at Waterloo Station huddled in what looked like a rugby scrum, listening to Boris Johnson’s speech about social distancing. The next day I read that the tube staff were dropping like flies.
Before I caught the virus, I occasionally thought I was getting a fever and to my relief I remembered it was a hot flush from my menopause.
I have had a lingering mild cough since November last year, so I tried to ignore it. A few days before I contracted the virus I had some headaches and felt tired. On Wednesday 25th March, my cough started to become more persistent as the day went on. I took my dog for a walk with my 12-year-old daughter. On the drive back I started feeling hot with some slight chills, and I realised this was not a hot flush. When I got home I took my temperature. It read 37.9 – a fever. I don’t tend to get fevers even when I have normal viruses.
It was in that moment that I knew I had it. I cried and told my partner quite dramatically that I was fairly certain I had COVID-19. He looked at me in a state of fear, and sent me to the loft room upstairs and told me not to come out until I was better. He promised to deliver meals to my door.
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My daughter was scared and upset for me. I wasn’t brave enough to be the good parent who acts like it will all be OK. I was rubbish and dramatic.