As some you may know from the blog, I contracted COVID-19 at Christmas. The existing prolonged self-isolation, chills, foggy brain, achy muscles, fatigue, migraines, and the most prominent for me the absence of taste and smell. Everything in my life was forced to a standstill during that time, I struggled to understand what was happening as my body was trying to navigate this volatile situation.
Each day would be a new challenge to get out of bed and engage with day-to-day tasks, while short-term OCD heightened my perceptions and emotions. The sheer exhaustion and disorientation held me fragile and reticent from any physical and mental excursion. My immersive eating experiences was stripped away, leaving muted essences and sole reliance on textures to blindly guide my remaining senses. The notion of even going outside was beyond comprehending - I had become genuinely numb. ????
But with the support of my family and friends I continued to rest, be realistic of my fitness goals, and gradually restore my strength and confidence to leave the house, go for a walk, go collect groceries and most recently tried to push myself even further.
What's the important takeaway?
I can't stress enough the realness of this respiratory virus and how individuals bodies can be affected in so many different ways, not to mention the increased mortality rate for those in the high-risk category. I worked at the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium at Oxford University throughout last year. They've been collaborating with multiple institutions in the health response to this pandemic. I've seen the overwhelming research data and brave experience testimonies from individuals worldwide. For some individuals, the long-term effects known as Long Covid can last weeks or even months after the infection has gone.
For me, the sense of taste and smell comes and goes, and I'm slowly overcoming the fatigue. But, the psychological brutality of the experience is something that requires further rehabilitation. My new-found pessimism on standard human behaviour in places like supermarkets and on public transport remains on high alert. If someone comes too close whilst I'm queuing, walks too close behind me or past me as through spacial awareness has now become a commodity, I lose my ****. And I've started creating internal commentaries in a wildlife documentary style of my encounters with people who don't wear masks properly, not at all or refuse to adhere to social distancing.
Knowing that I'm through the worst of the virus, and the severity of my symptoms hadn't resulted in any internal damage or significant life risk, I am honestly thankful. ????❤️
I continue to take each day as it comes, practice gratitude and encourage others toot feel scared to share their experiences, help raise awareness, research evidence, resources and support.
I definitely continue to take each day as it comes, practice gratitude and encourage others not to feel scared to share their experiences, help raise awareness, research evidence, resources and support.
Some links to information, resources and support on COVID-19 and Long Covid.