That was the question I typed into Google a week ago after a close contact tested positive for Covid and I realised I’d have to isolate for ten days. I couldn’t actually find any detailed answers, apart from a couple of interviews with Andrew Marr, so I thought I’d write a blog post about my experience (spoiler: I caught Covid) to reassure anyone who has just had a positive lateral flow or PCR test, who has also received two vaccines.
For information I am a 47 year old woman, obese BMI but I run/do HIIT 3x a week. Asthmatic but under control with meds. I was twice vaccinated with Astra Zeneca, the second jab was seven weeks before I caught Covid.
So here’s the time line of events:
Monday – spend 10 hours, indoors, with a friend.
Tuesday – friend does a lateral flow test after she develops a sore throat. It’s positive. I do one as a result. Negative. But I need to isolate for 10 days according to current Government rules.
Wednesday – a heat rash has appeared on my chest. Assume its because I went for a run yesterday in very hot weather.
Thursday (Day 1) – have a headache that won’t go away despite ibuprofen and codeine. Take a lateral flow test in the early evening. Faint positive. Government website says even if the result is faint, it’s positive. I have Covid. I send off for a PCR test.
Friday (Day 2) – Headache reduced, now have sore throat, stuffy nose. Very hot in the bedroom (boiling hot day) but no temperature.
Saturday (Day 3) – Feel a bit snottier than I did yesterday, mild headache, slightly sore throat. Grateful for the storm lowering the temperature. My sense of smell has gone. Took PCR test.
Sunday (Day 4) – Still very snotty, odd cough to clear lungs, rash on my chest is fading. Felt quite good in myself when I got up just now. PCR results confirm it’s Covid.
Monday (Day 5) – Still a bit snotty but my energy levels are returning. I haven’t needed a day time nap since day 2. Cut back on the paracetamol yesterday (had been taking two paracetamol 4x a day, now taking two paracetamol 2x a day)
Tuesday (Day 6) – Snottiness seems to have abated but my lung feels a bit irritated today (probably because I did a few big coughs to get gunk out yesterday). Breathing normal, no asthma. Rash almost gone. I managed to write 1,150 words yesterday with rests between bursts (I am a crime author) but today I had a massive energy slump and didn’t write a word. Had to lie down and watch TV instead.
Wednesday (Day 7) – Slept for 11 hours last night! Energy levels feel restored but let’s see how long that lasts. Symptoms: one stuffy nostril and lungs feel a bit irritated. Rash gone.
Thursday (Day 8) – I’d say I’m largely back to normal apart from my lungs being a bit sensitive/inflamed (normal for me after a cold), no sense of smell and occasional crashes in energy. Writing will be done today.
Friday (Day 9) – AM: I feel normal (apart from no sense of smell). I want to be able to go into my kitchen and get an orange juice instead of asking one of my family to bring me one. But I won’t because I am potentially contagious for a few more days. PM: Spoke too soon about being back to normal. A shower, tidying the bedroom and writing 310 words have given me a headache and knackered me out. Time for a lie down!
Saturday (Day 10) Felt good all day, normal energy levels, no headache. Occasional nose blow or cough to clear my chest. Tomorrow is my last day quarantining from my family (who have remained negative – we have ALL the windows open). I’ll do a lateral flow test tomorrow and if it’s negative then I will reintegrate with them, and the world, on Monday. Fingers crossed. PS. I think I am getting my sense of smell back (slight hints of scent as I smell my perfume).
Sunday (Day 11) – It’s my last day of bedroom isolation so I thought I’d do a lateral flow test to check my status – and it’s negative! Physically it feels like the tail end of a cold now (nose a tiny bit snuffly, lungs a little sore). Freedom tomorrow!
So that’s it, my first experience of Covid-19 infection (probably the Delta variant). I would like to say it’s hopefully my last but I know several people who have had it more than once so we will have to see what the future holds. I have read various reports that say I should now have ‘natural infection’ immunity for at least five months so let’s hope that’s right. I am certain that, without the vaccine, I could well have ended up in hospital and I am hugely grateful that I had the opportunity to get double vaccinated.
If you have found this useful, and you enjoy reading psychological thrillers and mysteries, do please check out my books. I’m a Sunday Times bestselling author, published by HarperCollins, with nearly two million books sold worldwide.
And if you are currently feeling unwell I do hope you feel better soon.