Well, I’ve had a sore throat for about two days now, and along with the soreness there is a feeling of a slight chill in my lungs, as if there’s a thin lining of lint inside. It’s now five days since I sat in the Covid ward with Albert as he took his last breaths, and my great fear is, of course, that I’ve caught the virus from him – because I wasn’t given the appropriate PPE – just a blue paper mask to cover my mouth, when it should have been something more appropriate for the AGP (aerosol generating procedure) of the CPAP machine that he was on constantly. I had gloves, a visor, and an apron, but none of these protect against aerosols at all. I would have been better off wearing jeans and a t-shirt with an FFP3 mask for my mouth and clear goggles for my eyes.
I wouldn’t put it past me to develop a normal cold in these circumstances, but it would be a horrible coincidence.
As I describe in 50, I developed Covid in April 2020 during the first wave, although I didn’t get a test to prove it because they weren’t available to most people back then. I kept a diary of my symptoms and discussed them at length in the book. I was so frightened! We hardly knew anything about the virus except terrifying things. But one of my early symptoms was a fiery sore throat which seemed to come and go, as it does now. It’s fine in the morning, almost gone, then by 5:00pm it’s come back strongly and my anxiety ramps up again. It’s the only symptom though, which is GOOD NEWS. I read on the ZOE Covid symptom app – a nationwide study I’m part of – that the more symptoms you have in the early stages, especially if you’re over 50, the more likely you are to need oxygen and hospital treatment. Fewer symptoms during the initial 5-6 days means a greater chance of a more mild illness.
I wish so hard, as we all do, that Covid hadn’t been invented in China, that they’d been more careful with their virus laboratory, or that they hadn’t been so cruel to their wildlife in their horrible wet markets. But what’s done in done, and we all have to live (and die) with it now.
Presently, my children are largely unaffected, although Jack has had a sore throat for the last two days but this has now gone. Amy hasn’t complained of anything other than an ulcer on her tongue and cheek, but she gets them regularly anyway so it’s hard to say whether the kids are any more ill than normal. Jack’s sore throat has come to nothing so far.
The most common time to begin displaying symptoms is 5-6 days since initial exposure, but some people start at only 2 days, and others at 14. So if I did catch it from Albert, I’m bang on the typical incubation period. I hope to know soon enough whether I actually have it or not because this morning I took a test. If everything goes to plan I should get an email or text message in a couple of days. I’ll let you know straight away of course.
If my test is negative I’ll then wait until I’m 9 days post exposure and do another test just in case I’m one of the late developers or did the first test poorly. I want to be really sure I don’t have it, especially since I have SYMPTOMS. I’m not very hopeful though.
UPDATE: I tested negative!! (So, so relieved)