Diary of Covid-19: Day 18

I should probably be writing this saying that I have said good-bye to Covid-19, but I have to admit that the virus and I seem to have come to an understanding – it lurks in the back of my throat and my nose while I stay rested but roars back into life when I feel better and start to exert myself.

So, my first dog walk two days ago left me tired out and coughing. The glass of champagne I shared with some friends via Zoom left me with a scratchy throat and painful chest the next morning. I was back on Lemsip and feeling very sorry for myself and determined never to touch alcohol again. And we’re talking over two weeks since I first experienced
symptoms.

My father, an eminent medic now retired, says I am living in synergy with Covid-19 for now, and I will gradually win the battle against the interloper. That is, unless I do something stupid to up end my immune system which has done such a valiant job so far. Alcohol puts a strain on the liver, which needs to be in tip top condition to cope with the
virus.

It doesn’t surprise me when another friend, who has been suffering from Covid symptoms for longer than I have, tells me she has started sneezing and coughing again. It really does feel as if this virus hibernates within you, making you feel complacent and false assured, before launching again.

My experiences tallies with what scientists in South Korea have found – that 51 people who apparently recovered from the disease tested positive again.

The likelihood is that the virus never actually left their bodies and was simply reactivated, according to Korea’s Centers for Disease Control.

Scientists at the Government-run health body believe the virus may lay dormant at undetectable levels in human cells.
Chinese scientists in Wuhan found that some patients had detectable virus levels over 40 days after they were infected. So an unwelcome guest may be something we have to learn to live with for an extended period of time. It also underlines the importance of maintaining social distance and hygiene precautions way after you feel you’ve turned the corner.

Photo: Aleksandra Pikalova/Shutterstock.com

Thea Jourdan
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