It still doesn’t seem real that I have COVID-19. It’s a bad dream that I haven’t processed yet.
That said, I skitter very nervously out the front door to put rubbish in the bin, panicking that helicopters will swoop down and police on megaphones will yell “Get back in the house! Get back in the house!”
But the reality is that it’s a self-policing situation now. So many people have COVID that there’s no contact tracing or checks.
If I’d caught it a few weeks ago, someone would have called me with information and advice. Now people are just sent an SMS confirming they’re COVID positive and telling them to isolate, with a link to a fact sheet.
The fact sheet doesn’t cover all my questions. For example, a friend dropped off groceries in recycling bags and I’ve put the bags in the hall for them to collect, but I wonder how long it will take the COVID germs to evaporate.
Actually, I worry about everything I’ve touched. How long will it be before my entire house is COVID free?
I’ve also been obsessively Googling COVID symptoms and their duration, but it’s a frustrating exercise.
People appear to have vastly different experiences with COVID-19. Some barely suffer a sniffle, while others are hospitalised. In between there’s a cornucopia of different symptoms and severities.
I felt pretty terrible at the height of my symptoms, but according to what I’ve read, I’ve only had a “mild” case. I’m so glad I didn’t have moderate symptoms, thanks to being double vaccinated. I wonder if my triple shot, which was due in a few weeks, would have lessened my misery even further?
My COVID symptom curve kicked off with feeling a little “spacey” and having a scratchy throat. It wasn’t sore, just gravelly. I was constantly clearing it, which drove the kids crazy.
Needing to clear your throat frequently is not considered a symptom of COVID, which is why I initially thought I just had reflux. Our holiday meals invariably involved something fried, with virtually no fruit or veggies. Not an ideal combination.
I also felt a little fatigued. But, as a 53-year-old single mum who was working 10 to 12 hour days before going on holidays, I figured it was pretty normal.
I had a headache one day, then realised I hadn’t had coffee for 48 hours, so I forced some instant (the only stuff on offer) with a side of Nurofen and I perked right up.
A major sign something wasn’t right should have been that I went off wine. When I told my sister that I’d received a negative PCR test in Fiji and was flying home, she told me to drink lots of Champagne on the plane to celebrate. I couldn’t face a single drop.
Coffee lost its appeal too.
I didn’t lose my sense of smell or taste, but my appetite waxed and waned. It’s been much smaller than usual and sometimes nonexistent, interspersed with bouts of nausea and other things best not mentioned.
Once COVID really kicked in, my joints ached, making it hard to sleep comfortably. The headache returned and my throat clearing morphed into coughing fits.
I took my temperature and found I had a slight fever, but it wasn’t a chills and sweats one. Still, I knew when it subsided because things felt clearer.
The biggest problem has been the fatigue. Combined with the other symptoms, it’s hard to rise from the couch or bed. I feel like a 90-year-old crossed with a zombie as I totter around.
I was supposed to work (initially in person at Elevate on the Cahill Expressway, then remotely following my diagnosis) from Saturday onwards, but I just couldn’t do it.
I’m hoping that today is the day I finally have the energy to rejoin the workforce.
I’ve run out of Emily in Paris episodes to watch, so I think it’s probably time …