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  • Writer's picturePat Browne

Covid Diaries

What is it like to have Covid-19?

We found out at the beginning of the year. Even though we were both triple vaxxed, both Joe and I woke up with symptomatic covid-19 (probably Omicron) on January 3rd. In all our years of marriage we had never been sick at the same time with the same symptoms. Which made this different from the beginning. As the day dawned, we both woke up with sore throats, sneezing, lots of mucus, cough, headache, fatigue and in my case, a mild and sustained fever.

Since this was the beginning of the new lock-down and testing for symptomatic patients was suspended, we could not verify if it was covid. It would take 7 days before friends would procure rapid tests for us that confirmed our condition. As per government mandates, we isolated from the beginning.

Over the course of that week and the next we delt with a number of symptoms that were common-cold like, but at the same time different. Although there was lots of sneezing, there was little to no mucus from the nose. Mucus was in the back of the throat, a constant stream of it. Enough so that it was better to sit upright. The mucus was viral and always remained clear – no secondary infections.

For me, the sore throat subsided quickly, but swollen glands on the side of the neck became a problem. At one point I looked like I had the mumps. As the mucus built, the cough became ever present. Having said all of this, our cases never progressed beyond a weird head cold. There was never a loss of taste or smell and if there was lower back pain, that came more from sitting in one position too long.

This was not a ”hospitalize-able” event. At no point were we “near death” or struggling to breath. Because of reported horror stories, you were always checking to see if this progressed to the lungs, especially as Joe has an underlying condition. During the two weeks that we were symptomatic, we were not well and felt quite sick. It all gets confusing with media reports about milder symptoms and less sever illness due to vaccines. In this case, milder refers to a disease state that is handled at home with over-the-counter cold medications. That’s what we had. Was it fun and could you carry on with normal daytime activities: no it was not.

As a statistician (I did study statistics in the distant past), we can say vaccines work. By all reports that I’ve seen, the majority of people in the hospital are unvaccinated and almost all in ICU units are unvaccinated. But what does vaccination mean, why am I still getting sick if I’ve been fully vaccinated? In this case, vaccination means that our immune systems have been given a “heads up” to look out for a new virus it has never seen before. It does not mean that we are immune to the disease, only that our immune systems will recognize the virus and start building a defense against it.

“Even a mild case of COVID-19 can still make you feel quite sick. It’s also not clear whether Omicron is itself milder than other versions of COVID-19, or whether population-level immunity from vaccinations and previous exposures is mitigating some of its worst outcomes,” says Dr. Stephanie Sterling, an infectious diseases physician at NYU Langone Health.It’s still a good idea to keep up precautions, particularly if you’re not fully vaccinated or are otherwise vulnerable.”

We are through the worst now. We are no longer contagious and test clear. There is lingering fatigue and headache. I still have a little cough. As my doctor put it, it’s 2 steps forward and 1 step back. This is the reality of covid-19.

As always, we need to do a call out to this wonderful neighbourhood who came by with jars of soup, treats for the dogs, cold meds delivery and general support always. Also, if you need groceries delivered, does a fine job without crazy shipping costs.

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1 Comment

Elka Popova
Elka Popova
Feb 07, 2022

Thank you for sharing, Pat. I am glad it's almost over for the two of you. I hope you get rid of the lingering symptoms soon.

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