I have Covid-19

A record of my Covid-19 experience. You can contact me here.

Day 0

Felt a bit tired and headachy in the evening, but this isn’t particularly unusual and I thought nothing of it.

Day 1

Woke with a headache and a mild dry cough, so took a RAT. There’s nothing new in that — we’ve been RATting ourselves whenever we've felt a bit unwell in the last few weeks. This time it’s positive! There are a bunch of things to do:

I took a picture of the positive test result.

The day passed with mild tiredness and a slowly increasing dry cough. By the time night fell I was feeling very tired indeed. I set up a mattress and sleeping bag in the spare room so I wouldn’t disturb or infect my partner with my coughing in the night, and went to bed early.

Day 2

Last night was pretty miserable: a worsening (dry) cough and a fever that progressively got stronger as the night wore on. Paracetamol (acetaminophen for our American friends) helped a little, but not as much as you’d hope.

The morning headache settled with paracetamol and caffeine, although I didn’t feel like my usual power coffee to start the day and had a weakish one instead. Aches and fevers continued to make themselves felt, but alternating paracetamol and ibuprofen every three hours provided reasonable comfort. A hot steamy bath with menthol crystals and a good book (thank you, Sir pTerry!) helped with the aches and nasal congestion. I seem to have lost some, but not all, of my senses of taste and smell, and my appetite is poor.

Unfortunately we’ve found out that a couple of the people I was spending time with before I became symptomatic have tested positive for Covid-19. Sorry!

Day 3

Slept a little better last night — less feverish but still congested and coughing. Again found that a half-strength (or for most people, “normal”) coffee was adequate to start the day.

The cough seems to have turned productive today, but I suspect that it’s more post-nasal drip than anything else. It certainly doesn’t feel chesty. Again, alternating paracetamol and ibuprofen seems to be doing the trick for keeping the comfort levels … comfortable. I’m feeling pretty weary though.

This being Day 3 the others in the household needed to perform a Rapid Antigen Test on themselves. Everyone is asymptomatic and tested negative 👍

Day 4

A better sleep last night — no fever to speak of, and not woken by coughing. A very mild headache this morning.

Feeling a bit better symptom-wise today. A sore throat and occasional cough is the most of it, but there’s also an underlying … it’s almost more of a weakness than a tiredness. Feeling very flat and drained. The memory’s not the best either: I wanted to get some more paracetamol and ibuprofen from the supermarket, so did an online shop, buying many things and forgetting the medicine 🤦

Day 5

Actually had a reasonable sleep last night — no coughing to speak of, and no fevers. Still feeling a bit washed out in the morning and throughout the day, with episodes of what I suppose you’d call “lightheadedness” but which feel like I’m just a bit disconnected from the world.

Here are some wins for the day:

  1. It is so lovely to sit in the sun with the door open
  2. No one else in the house has developed any Covid-19 symptoms
  3. I feel able to drink full-strength coffee again
  4. I haven’t had to take any paracetamol or ibuprofen today

I’m feeling good about all that.

Day 6

It’s been a weary day today. I just have no energy at all. Even putting away the washing was enough to wear me out and make me sit down for a rest. Perhaps there’s something to this Covid fatigue thing after all.

Day 7

Back to the old “headache in the morning” routine; not as severe as it was early in the week though. RATted myself again out of curiosity, and it’s still a clear positive. This isn’t surprising, really, as I still have mild nasal congestion and a cough, as well as the lethargy.

The others in the house need to RAT themselves again today so they can be cleared to go back to school and work tomorrow. We await the results with interest.

(Time passes…)

The rest of the household tested negative again today, so that means that everyone can go back to school & work tomorrow. Technically I’m free to go to work, but I’ll be staying home until my symptoms have settled. I will have a crack at working from home tomorrow; hopefully I have the energy for it.

Day 8

I’m glad that the others in the house are finally able to go to school/work and run errands, but I’m staying home seeing as I’m still symptomatic.

The weariness and headaches are worse today, but I managed a few hours work (desk work, on the computer at home) before it all got too much for me and I started feeling feverish again. I’m hoping that by not overdoing it today I’ll have more energy tomorrow.

Got a txt from the MoH (I assume) this morning:

Kia ora …. Your COVID-19 isolation period has ended. If you feel well you can now return to all normal daily activities including work. If you continue to feel unwell please contact your local healthcare provider. For more information see https://covid19.health.nz/​advice/positive

I’ve booked a phone appointment with a doctor tomorrow.

Day 9

Had a chat with the doctor this morning. She’s not concerned, but strongly recommends no exercise or sport for four weeks, and pacing myself with work until I feel better. She also strongly encourages me to stay home while I’m symptomatic, and supports me using paracetamol and ibuprofen for symptomatic relief. That all makes sense to me.

She wrote me a certificate for work, giving me another week before I'm expected to be back to full duties.

In the meantime I’m working from home and taking extra breaks when I feel too tired to focus on what I’m doing. I’d rather be out and about doing something more overtly useful, though.

Others in the house feeling a little run down after school/work, but testing negative with the RATs so putting it down to the start of a new school term.

Day 10

At the risk of becoming repetitive: my symptoms are slowly improving, and I'm feeling a little bit better each day. Work (on the laptop at home) continues to be more tiring than I'd expect.

Day 11

Today's the first day (since I got Covid-19) that I've actually felt motivated to do some work, rather than forcing myself to get some done, so I guess that's a sign of improvement on the fatigue front. My cough is slowly improving too, and my congestion is, say, 70% resolved. All very positive signs — perhaps I'll be able to leave the house soon!

I figure that antigens in the anterior nares are probably a sign that I'm contagious, so I've re-RATted myself this afternoon. It's positive still, but a much weaker indication than in previous tests. I reckon I'm nearly there!

I've uploaded a picture of today's weak positive result.

Day 12

After a morning of calls and meetings I'm utterly exhausted by midday. Hopefully with a bit of a rest I can get back into work later this afternoon.

Day 13

Still headachy throughout the day, but the good news is I tested negative with a RAT today! I choose to interpret that as "it's OK to leave the house", and I went to a basketball game this morning (still masked up, of course, although I was the only person there wearing a mask). It's really nice to get out of the house for the first time in nearly two weeks.

Day 14

Two weeks since my first symptoms:

Future updates

Given that things are settling, I won't be updating this diary every day from now on, only when there's something of note to report.

Day 18

It's my first day working from the office today, rather than from home. It feels good to be back.

I'm still pretty tired though — the 5 minute walk down the road to get to my physio appointment (unrelated to Covid-19) left me a little short of breath with palpitations, which is a tad frustrating. I'm trying to take it easy in the hope that that settles the symptoms faster than pushing myself will.

Day 24

Every day's a little bit better than the day before, and I've finally reached the point where I can work a full day without collapsing in utter exhaustion at the end. I'm going to be out of town with work for the next three days; hopefully that won't wear me out too much.

The headaches aren't as bad as they were, but it'll be nice when they're gone for good. The congestion's pretty much settled, my sense of taste has mostly returned, and the cough is now occasional and dry. Generally things are on the way up 😊

Day 28

Well, here we are after 4 weeks. Over the last few days I've been feeling that I'm back to my normal energy levels. I'm still being careful about not overdoing it, but it's good to be back to full productivity at work and home.

On the other hand, there's still a niggly cough and the headaches haven't fully settled yet. Every day's better than the day before though.