As Covid-19 pandemic is ruining the lives of thousands of persons across the world, some survivors are telling their stories, which span the signs and symptoms of the virus attack, quality of medical support they received, the height of fear they suffered, some common social and health solutions, and how they eventually recovered from the ailment.
The stories of three survivors, published by The Sun of London on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, are inspiring and encouraging. Mum Mendy Charlton said 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, Mandy, 46, said, “I’ve had the flu before but this is something else. My body has felt like it has been on fire.”
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.
He described 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.”
One of the most dramatic stories is told by Dr Clare Gerada, 60, who talked about “dosing herself with paracetamol, lemonade, and chicken soup.”
The Sun report about her experience goes thus: “Dr Clare Gerada, 60, ex-head of the Royal College of GPs, was bed-ridden for days after returning from a New York conference with the virus.
She had a fever, shivers, sore throat, dizziness, achy joints, a pounding headache and chest pains caused by constant coughing.
But Clare has now recovered — and said the vast majority of others who get the virus will also survive even if they are old and have underlying conditions.
She said: “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.
“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.”
‘I DIDN’T NEED HEROIC MEDICINES’
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.
She added: “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.”
Clare said the coronavirus was the worst illness she has had.
But she added: “I have little to compare this with other than childbirth — which isn’t an illness.
“I’m rarely unwell – have had the flu once, dental pain, and fractures over the years, but nothing more.
“It was painful, and frightening — the fear not because I thought I would die but because being unwell is just that, frightening.
“I’m glad I’ve had it early as I’m more than likely immune, and can now help my colleagues with the heavy lifting created by this crisis.”
Clare said she would advise every family to plan what they will do if one of them gets the virus.
She added: “And remember — most people will be fine, even if infected.”
Culled from The Sun: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11186999/coronavirus-paracetamol-chicken-soup-lemonade-survivor/.
Author: Theophilus Abbah
I’m a journalist, writer, researcher and trainer. I hold a PhD in English Language with specialization in Forensic Linguistics – Language and Law.
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