25 Mar I had COVID-19.
Or at least, that’s what has been assumed.
I started having symptoms on March 10. It started with a runny nose, a headache and general malaise (feeling generally weak or tired, for you non-medical folk). This was following a rather social weekend, so it made sense that I was feeling a little run-down. At that time, the world was just starting to understand Covid and what it could be. I had mentioned these symptoms to my coworkers, my friends and my family in fear that it really could be Covid. My symptoms were brushed off by myself and others as a common cold or allergies and we all moved on.
As the week went on, I became increasingly aware that this was not just a cold, and if it was, it was a doozy. I spiked a fever on March 11 and continued to feel very under the weather and just not myself for days. By March 12 I had no sense of taste or smell (this still hasn’t returned). There was previously no correlation of anosmia (the loss of smell) to Covid; however, now we’ve seen articles posted by CNN, Global News and The New York Times that anosmia is actually a sneaky sign of COVID-19.
At this point, I was thinking “okay… I’m starting to get a little nervous”.
On the evening of March 15 I developed a sore throat, my cough erupted and shortness of breath was commencing. At this point, I notified my employer I would be quarantined until further notice, as I wanted to take necessary precautions and be safe and protect my coworkers, patients and the greater community.
Before thinking how ridiculous this progression of dates and symptoms is, please remember how quickly the guidelines and recommendations surrounding Covid have changed over the past week. Knowing what we know now, I of course wish I had of begun my quarantine when I first noticed that pesky runny nose… hindsight is 20/20.
Side note: finally, I feel like my (rather large) Bath & Body Works handsoap collection is justified.
On March 16, I attempted to call TeleHealth Ontario and couldn’t get through for medical advice. Based on CDC guidelines and my own nursing knowledge, I had an idea of what they would say, but I felt it was my due diligence to seek the advice of a Public Health expert.
On March 17, I got through to TeleHealth and was asked some questions regarding my symptoms and my exposure. I noted that I had been experiencing a runny nose, cough, sore throat, headache, general malaise, shortness of breath and a fever that lasted 3 days. I also noted that there were a group of approximately 10 friends who were all together on the weekend of March 6–8 who have all experienced these symptoms… one of which tested positive for COVID-19.
Based on this information and the fact that the symptoms noted were “mild” in nature, my partner and I were asked to self-quarantine and only seek medical attention or call 911 should we require symptom management.
So… that’s what we’ve been up to. Looking back, I really wish we knew everything we know now about the virus. Although, I don’t have that confirmed positive diagnosis and it’s just “presumed” based on my symptoms and my contact with a confirmed positive individual, this is still super scary. People are not taking this seriously and I wish I took this more seriously over 2 weeks ago when I first noticed that runny nose. I think people are still really in the dark surrounding what symptoms actually constitute Covid. Really, I think this is because the symptoms and guidelines are ever-changing as we all figure this thing out together. If you develop symptoms of anything, whether you think it’s serious or not, please just stay home.
These are some seriously depressing and anxiety-provoking times. Take this time to reflect on and appreciate those who bring joy to your life on a daily basis and look forward to the times to come. Utilize technology to check in on your family and friends from afar and take the necessary precautions as laid out by the CDC.
For now, wash your hands, don’t touch your face and stay the f*** at home.
Stay home for yourself, for your family and for all of those who can’t stay home right now.