It started on Adelaide Cup holiday on Monday, 14 March when Yani got a call to inform her that one of the children at Sunday School was likely to be positive for COVID. Yani was on duty to teach Sunday School the previous day – and as it was difficult to teach children with the mask on, she pretty much spent hours in one room as a potential close contact. That day was also meant to be the start of our holiday in Renmark, by the Murray River, here in South Australia. We decided to proceed with the trip and keep track in case we developed any symptoms. Yani bought some Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits, so she could test herself regularly whether she was positive for COVID. The results were clear. We kept to ourselves much of the trip, and we followed the health protocols whenever we stepped out of the cabin to explore.
So far, so good.
We returned to Adelaide on Wednesday, 16 March – and as Yani had a niggling discomfort in her throat, on Thursday, 17 March, she spotted a faint line to suggest that she might be COVID-positive. I felt fine – although when your mind was already pre-conditioned to think that you were unwell, you started to question whether you were feeling totally fine. So we both got our PCRs, which was our first ever experience throughout the pandemic.
The results came out later on in the evening – we were negative.
It felt quite anti-climactic, as I was already preparing myself that I had come down with COVID. Yani informed her boss about our results. However, as Yani works in the aged care sector, her boss asked her to do another PCR on Saturday, just to be extra sure. Besides, the throat discomfort lingered on for Yani at that stage. I didn’t go with her at that time, as I was feeling fine. Yani’s result came out positive.
So, for her – the COVID symptoms were mostly blocked nose and sore throat. She didn’t get any aches and pains, nor any fever. We then proceeded to sleep in different rooms and kept our distance as much as possible in the house – and I started to argue that it would’ve been better to catch COVID as it would mean that I have to self-isolate for seven days rather than the 14-day self isolation as a close contact (the rule at that time).
I informed work about my situation, and commenced by day-1 and day-3 RAT tests – which all came out negative. However, towards the evening of day-3 (22 March), I felt quite feverish. The thermometer showed that my body temperature had gone up to 37.4C and I felt so sore on my butt down to the underside of my thighs. I thought maybe it was because I had been working far too long in front of the computer – but then I thought it wasn’t excessive compared to the previous times. I also started to have aches and pains – just feeling sore. So, I decided to get a PCR on the following morning, 23 March – with the result confirming my suspicion that I was also COVID-positive.
There was something sweet that Indy did on the day though, as I slept in the spare room, Indy climbed up and rest himself on top of my legs and rest his head on my stomach. He must’ve sensed that I was unwell. We usually do that when I’m lying down on the couch – with me encouraging him to climb up to rest between my legs, so I could pat his head while watching telly. This time, he did it by himself — without any invitation to do so.
My symptoms were slightly more annoying than Yani’s. My COVID symptoms are similar to a really bad cold (thanks to the three vaccine shots!). I would loathe to think what I would’ve experienced if I have not been fully vaccinated. For the most part, it was as if somebody smeared a hot chilli paste around my throat – it hurt when I coughed. It would’ve been really horrifying to experience this in the lower respiratory tracts (for those catching the Delta variant), as I could imagine the horror and this discomfort deep in your lungs. The runny nose wasn’t excessive, but still very annoying. My hands and feet also felt cold when I went to bed, despite me resting underneath the blanket. This was a similar sensation when I received my Pfizer shots. The fever, along with the aches and pains, were the first to go. By day three, there was a sense of lightness – as if the cloak was taken off me. It’s just the slight sore throat that is lingering, but apart from that, I can’t wait for my day of freedom this Thursday (31 March) when I’m allowed to venture out of the house again! FREEDOM!
So, if you are (un)fortunate to also catch this pesky virus, here are my survival tips:
- Yes, it’s best to rest – binge on Netflix and watch silly programs on TV – but in my case I still want to do some work as it keeps me busy and prevents me from wallow in self-pity and venture into the manflu region. For this, Codral Day+Night tablets are your best friend! They help to clamp down on the runny nose and help with the throat discomfort.
- Give in to many short nanna naps throughout the day. I would leave the computer running, head to bed for an hour, get up, do some more work – and repeat the whole process.
- I don’t drink water enough, but I drink more during the period to keep myself hydrated and to flush out the germs. I had my first Coles Online shopping experience so I could order some juice and food for Indy. Regular warm water with a teaspoon of honey in warm water was so much welcome by my sore throat.
- Put some eucalyptus oil or similar rubs on the sole of your feet, put on your socks before you go to sleep. This helps you to get a good restful sleep!
As a postscript, it used to be a dread to hear about COVID19, personally after this experience, it is more of an annoyance and an illness that I’m not too alarmed anymore. Thanks to the vaccine shots. It’s a beast that I get to know – maybe for this particular variant. I acknowledge that it remains a very serious, debilitating, and even fatal illness for a lot of people. I chatted to a friend online who is visiting his families near Victor Harbor from London. He said nonchalantly that he had had COVID three times already, with the last one being so minor that he didn’t feel a thing. This is what we would all get to experience perhaps – just like a common cold when we are vaccinated already.