A non-practicing physician’s social isolation experience with Covid-19

Last Wednesday morning, 11th March at a breakfast meeting I felt perfectly well. That evening I started coughing a lot. A very dry cough. No fever. Following morning, I went for a walk and suddenly felt exhausted and unwell, developing a fever alongside the dry cough. So I put myself into isolation on Thursday. I ordered two ear/forehead thermometers and a pulse Oximeter. My symptoms worsened over the next couple of days with unpleasant rib and sternum pains, exhaustion and continuing intermittent dry cough. Started ibuprofen. However, I switched to 2 paracetamol capsules 500 mg every 4 to 6 hours, as ibuprofen and other non steroidals are now a no-no for Covid-19. On Sunday, I thought I was getting better, so walked a lot around the 2 rooms I’m allowed to be in, keeping well away from the MRS! It’s quite depressing....food being left at the top of the stairs.

On Monday, 16 March I was coughing minimally, no fever although extremely tired. Thankfully the bone pain had gone. I told friends and family who called me (wonderful that friends care👍🏻), that I was getting better. I was wrong.......by the next afternoon, 6 days post onset of illness, the fever came back, chills, with hot head and chest. Exhaustion returned. On Wednesday 18th, a low-grade fever of 38.1 C. Still very tired and feeling unwell. Thursday 19th, no fever, felt a little better. Still very tired. Although it’s not like flu as there is no sore throat or no bad headache, the exhaustion seems to go on and on and the fever is very intermittent. Since then the fever comes and goes. Overwhelming exhaustion still there at 11 days and I’m just hoping that my symptoms will now start to improve. I’m fortunate so far that there is no breathlessness apart from after doing minor chores, like a shower, or remaking my bed. For a few days was too tired to even shower. A week ago I was a 66 year old who worked out 3-4 days a week and did another day or two of cardio. After 11 days it would be tiring to climb just one flight of stairs.

My advice for anybody who gets this is to start resting as soon as your fever or dry cough starts and start taking paracetamol. Drink lots of water. Small sips throughout the day rather than large amounts in one go. I’m taking Selenium, Zinc, odourless garlic pills for the Allium, and VitC. Drinking lots of green tea. All to boost the immune system - hopefully. In the UK I couldn't get a NHS Covid test so I paid a crazy amount via a private lab as I wanted to know for sure. Then I was notified that the lab was not able to send the test for ages and was in fact profiteering. But I’m now 100% certain I’m a Covid sufferer. So I would like to take an antibody test once the government has approved its use. I was finally able to see the wife again face-to-face rather than by phone after 4 more days, when I was more or less recovered. I suffered more than some, but thank goodness far less than others. Three weeks after symptoms, I have fully recovered except for a minor cough and a great deal of tiredness from time to time.

Since recovering, my pO2 from the oximeter reading is a completely normal 95 (or more). My readings during the worst phase of my illness were around 90 showing that my lungs were significantly more affected than I thought.

Don’t underestimate this. Keep away from people. Stop socialising. Don’t hoard supplies. Then we’ll all come out of these unprecedented times and hopefully make this a better less selfish world. Stay well.

#covid_19 #covid19 #coronavirus #covidsymptoms