How we survived Covid-19 — Survivors

As the world over is reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of persons globally have suffered from this deadly disease.

Some survivors are however are telling the stories of their isolation period, the early signs and symptoms, the medical support received, their fears of ever surviving through and how they finally made it.

On Tuesday March 17, 2020, The Sun of London  published some encouraging stories of three Covid-19 survivors.

Dr Clare Gerada’s survival tale is a dramatic one. Clare, 60, talked about “dosing herself with paracetamol, lemonade, and chicken soup.”


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“I was so sapped of energy. I couldn’t have found the energy to pick up a £50 note if it was on the floor in front of me,” says Clare.

For Clare, a former chief of Royal College of GPs, the disease is not necessarily a death sentence:

“The illness was draining and knocked me for six but I never felt my life was at risk.

“My body was doing what it could to fight the infection.

“I can understand why people are worried but the vast, majority will survive, like I have. It is not necessarily a death sentence.”

‘Living through the nasty illness’

Clare said her husband Sir Simon Wessely, ex-president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, protected himself from the virus while she was ill by wrapping a Chelsea football scarf around his face.

Writing for GP magazine Pulse, she said: “The only souvenir I thought I’d brought back from my recent trip to a conference in New York was a fridge magnet of the Statue of Liberty.

“Barely two days later, I realised I’d brought a lot more.

“Tucked somewhere in my body was developing Covid-19, which began to show itself a few days after arriving back in the UK.

“The symptoms merged in with jet lag — tiredness, headache and feeling ‘out of it’.

“The dry cough I put down to the long flight home and the effects of rebreathing cabin air.

“But what I couldn’t dismiss was the temperature which was now above 102F. My coronavirus experience had started.”

Clare said that for the next five days she stayed in bed — only getting up to use the toilet.

At the end of that period the symptoms disappeared, leaving only an “off metallic taste” in her mouth and intense tiredness.

Clare lived through the ‘nasty illness” without heroic interventions:

“I lived through this nasty illness, wishing it away but never feeling it would finish me off.

“I didn’t need any heroic medicines or interventions.

“Despite now being on the ‘other side’ of youth, I have no underlying health conditions and two paracetamol three times a day and lemonade was all I needed.

“I had God’s penicillin, chicken soup, which seemed to have a miraculous effect of bringing back my appetite.

“My husband practised social distancing. We communicated via mobile phone and he wore the only protection he had for his face — a Chelsea football scarf.”

Mum Mendy Charlton, 46, started feeling unwell after one of her daughters came home from school with a fever.

She went to the hospital when she began to feel feverish and tested over 100F (37.7C). The other symptom she felt was that her throat “felt like she had ‘swallowed glass’.” She had to self-isolate and took several precautions, but she had begun to recover when The Sun reporter interviewed her.

Describing her experience, “I’ve had the flu before but this is something else. My body has felt like it has been on fire,” she said.

Another survivor interviewed by The Sun reporter is named Andrew O’Dwyer, who was said to be diabetic. He tested positive after returning from a trip to Italy. Initially, after his trip from Italy, he decided to self-isolate, but on the seventh day, he tested positive to the virus.

Andrew explained his condition thus, “I had a coughing fit every couple of hours. I didn’t think about it too much.” By the next day, “the coughing fits were more frequent and lasting longer. I was struggling for breath. That night my breathing eased and my temperature fell.” His condition came and went, but by the 13th day he felt “almost back to normal.”

Culled from The Sun

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