I have been writing about coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

Now, just as lockdown eased, I get to experience it.

In the past 13 months, I have been reporting on the rise and fall of cases in the area, the pressure experienced by hospital staff, the people who lost loved ones, and the ways society has had to change as a result of this new virus that turned our lives upside down.

If there's one thing I learned just by talking to people and watching news reports, it is that Covid affects everyone in different ways – some develop symptoms, some don’t; some end up in hospital, some don’t; some recover and some, sadly, don’t.

What I learned from my own experience though is that sometimes, symptoms can be so wide-ranging that the thought we might be infected doesn’t even cross our minds.

But understanding that we might be can make a huge difference, which is why I’m sharing this: my Covid diary.


It all started two weeks ago, on Friday April 9, when I woke up feeling a bit sniffly and generally unwell.

I put this down to the sudden drop in temperatures – going from 15-degree heat during the Easter bank holiday weekend to freezing, winter-like temperatures as we all went back to work.

I spent the weekend in the house not doing a great deal, taking paracetamol, drinking lots of water and just trying to shake off what I thought was a common cold.

The days that followed, I felt even more congested and my nose was totally blocked.

Convinced this was just a cold, I didn’t think too much of it. I carried on working and even doing home workouts with my housemate who too had come down with “a cold”.

Alarm bells rang towards the end of the week, on Thursday April 15, when, after work, I opened a bottle of Corona and realised it didn’t taste of much.

Eating a pot of tiramisu after dinner also felt rather weird as I could feel the consistency but none of the flavour.

As I realised my sense of taste was a bit off, I knew I had to book a Covid test, though part of me was still convinced there was no way my cold wasn’t a cold.

Before going to bed, I sprayed some perfume on my wrists to see if my sense of smell had been affected at all. My heart sank when I realised it was completely gone.

The next day, before work, I went to a walk-in centre to get a PCR - the first and only time so far I’ve had to take one.

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I spent the next 12 hours wondering when I might have caught it, how and from whom, but also slipping back into denial by reading articles suggesting a loss of smell could be caused by things other than Covid (ie a sinus infection).

That night, at 10.40pm, the result came through confirming the dreaded news. I was positive.


As soon as I booked the PCR, I had to tell my housemates they couldn’t leave the house until I got my result back.

I felt so guilty doing this as I knew most of them had exciting plans to see friends they hadn’t seen in months at the weekend.

But I knew there was no way I could keep it to myself – I had to tell them.

On Friday April 16 our 10-day self-isolation period began.

As we’d all been sharing the kitchen and living room with no masks or social distancing for the past week, it made sense for all my housemates to get a PCR test.

Once all the results came back, we found out I wasn’t the only positive case, in fact four of us (out of seven) are currently infected.

As the last positive results were confirmed on Saturday April 17, our self-isolation clock was reset.

Providing our three non-Covid housemates don’t develop any symptoms, we can all be released on Tuesday April 27.

My recovery

After finding out my cold was actually coronavirus, I was curious to see what impact the virus would have on me after a week of cold-like symptoms.

Luckily, in the past week I’ve been improving every day, albeit slowly, helped by home remedies such as nasal rinses and steam inhalation.

Looking back, this is the longest it has ever taken me to recover from a cold, and now I got my test result, I know why.

My sense of taste is also coming back and so is my sense of smell.

Considering many people have to wait weeks if not months to get them back, I feel extremely lucky.

My experience with Covid will be very different to that of others but it might serve as a reminder of two things:

1) You don’t have to have a cough or a high temperature to have it

2) Just because life is going back to near-normal, it doesn’t mean that you can’t catch it

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