Published March 29, 2020

I caught some kind of "respiratory infection" recently which I am pretty sure was the Coronavirus. Obviously, as the UK is not testing people unless they are hospitalised, I can't say for sure, but I developed symptoms a week before the UK started its lockdown, and it has been unlike any cold or flu I've had before.

I did not develop any issues with breathing. But it's possibly important to note that I run about 40-50 miles per week and my lungs are a lot more capable than the average person's (and I wasn't exerting myself while ill). It is possible that my lungs would have to be much more seriously impaired before I would notice any problems.

I developed symptoms on Sunday 15th March, though on Thursday 12th I had diarrhoea and stomach discomfort that seemed to come out of nowhere and disappear of its own accord, and on Friday and Saturday 13th and 14th I had a slightly dry and tickly throat, but nothing much.


The progression went something like this:

Sunday 15th (day 0): I woke up at about 5AM acutely aware that I was very unwell with general flu type symptoms. My throat hurt, my head hurt and I just felt unpleasant. My heart rate when lying in bed is usually under 50bpm, but at that point it was 70bpm. I spent most of the day in bed. By the evening I had a fever of about 38.5°.

Days 1 and 2: The fever went down and I thought I was recovering (spoiler: I wasn't!).

Days 3, 4, 5 (Wed-Fri): At some point I started feeling very tired, and the cough that was previously a minor annoyance became a pretty major annoyance. Sleep became disrupted because I'd wake myself up coughing and other times I'd be coughing so hard I thought I was going to vomit. I strained a few muscles from coughing. I spent a few afternoons sleeping.

Day 6 (Saturday): I felt a lot better and thought I was recovering...

Day 7 (Sunday): It hit me again and I spent most of the day sleeping.

Day 8-9 (Mon-Tues): Still feeling rough, still coughing, but improving.

Day 10 (Wed): Cough improving, and went for a walk for the first time since this started

Day 11, 12, 13, 14: I've started running again and I'm handling it OK, but I'm definitely not 100%. Lingering effects are that my resting heart rate is still sitting about 5bpm above where it was before this started, my running heart rate is quite a bit higher still, and my throat is still sore. But overall I'm doing a lot better.

In total I only took two days off sick, but only because I was able to work from home.

It could just have been flu, but I've never had flu affect me like this before, and it seems coincidental with the timing that the Coronavirus outbreak was starting to pick up pace. I've had colds that make my nose drip like a tap and I've had flu that has left me bed bound, but this was different. I've never had a cough like this before.

It was quite disappointing to be infected as I was being very careful about hygiene, but the week before I developed symptoms I had travelled daily on very overcrowded trains due to numerous rail cancellations (thanks West Midlands trains).

Filed under: health, coronavirus

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