Maybe it is just me but I have wondered, why isn’t the general media talking to or sharing stories from those who have had COVID-19 and survived it? Wouldn’t that help us all to understand better what to expect? Instead, the media has led with sensationalized, fear-based stories to grab your attention. For Inspiration Friday on Total Motorcycle, I am going to do the opposite to the general media and instead share with you 10 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Recovery Stories to inspire, inform and reassure you. I will also include WHO facts and Government information to give you a more well-rounded picture, instead of sowing the seeds of panic and concern over the unknown.
Let’s look a stories of survivors. How were you feeling? Did it get worse before better? How long did you have it? How did you recover? What helped you? Today, I cover these topics with inspirational stories from 10 survivors that I found helpful. I want to thank the different media outlets for posting and sharing them to their readers (Government of Canada, Mirror UK, Business Recorder, Glamour and World Health Organisation (WHO)).
I have tried to avoid posting Coronavirus news as there is so much fear and uncertainty out there but I wanted more solid information to come out rather than concern and uncertainty. COVID-19 has affected so many people in our industry and our industry itself. Many events have been canceled or postponed, companies are and will be adversely affected, employees and their families are worried, even websites like Total Motorcycle have had large traffic hits as people focus on their health and sifting through the piles of news.
I want to be firm and say, this is all temporary, we will all get better, this will pass and life will go back to normal once again. We did this with SARS and MERS, even EBOLA (a much worse virus) and we will do this as well with COVID-19 too. Humans are resistant and our best qualities, like those of co-operation and caring for each other, will help us to win this war.
Thank you for visiting and supporting Total Motorcycle. I, my family and my staff appreciate your support in these tough times.
Factoid: Did you know? COVID-19 is also known as SARS-CoV-2, nCov, 2019 Novel Coronavirus? Who knew.
Please note: Any information in the personal stories below including health tips and suggestions that are not endorsed by a medical professional, government or WHO should be taken with a grain of salt.
Author: Julie McCaffrey. March 13th edition
Coronavirus survivors lay bare symptoms and what having Covid-19 really feels like. As fears over the coronavirus pandemic spread, there’s one question that comes up again and again – how bad is it really? The severity of symptoms can vary dramatically, from a mild sniffle to a hellish feeling of suffocation.
Jaimuay Sae-ung, 73
Jaimuay Sae-ung was the first Thai national to contract coronavirus, becoming ill in December.
She experienced a fever and a bad cough, then developed pneumonia while in quarantine.
Jaimuay said: “I only knew (I had coronavirus) after I came to the hospital. I felt a bit sad, a bit shocked, tired and fatigued and I couldn’t eat.”
After 10 days, Jaimuay’s condition had improved and she was eventually discharged following two negative test results.
Carl Goldman, 67
Carl Goldman, from Santa Clarita in California, was on the Diamond Princess cruise ship and later tested positive for coronavirus. He said the virus “hasn’t been that bad”.
He developed a fever and “a bit of a cough” during his flight back to America and was quarantined on his return.
He said: “The sickest I’ve ever been was when I had bronchitis several years ago. This has been much easier – no chills, no body aches. I breathe easily and I don’t have a stuffy nose.
“My chest feels tight and I have coughing spells. If I were at home with similar symptoms, I probably would have gone to work as usual.”
After having the illness for one month, Carl now has no symptoms, but is still testing positive.
He said: “I have to be tested three days in a row of being negative in order to be released. I will not have this virus for ever. I am just a slow shredder.”
Marc Thibault, 48
Teacher Marc, from Rhode Island, in the US, led a school field trip to Italy, France and Spain last month and was admitted to hospital on February 27, five days after he returned home.
A week later he was diagnosed with coronavirus.
He said the illness had hit him “like a hurricane”.
Marc, a school vice principal, said: “You feel like you’re asphyxiating, and you’re panicking because you can’t breathe.
He added that he felt “one inch from death” and remains in intensive care.
He had been under the weather before the trip, but when the group returned on February 22 he felt run down and had stayed off work.
Liz Schnedier, 37
Liz caught coronavirus after attending a house party in Seattle where no one was coughing or sneezing but 40% of guests became sick within the next three days.
In an Instagram post on Monday, she described her symptoms: “Headache, fever, severe body aches and joint pain, and severe fatigue.
“I had a fever that spiked the first night to 103 degrees and eventually came down to 100. I felt nauseous one day. Once the fever is gone some were left with nasal congestion, sore throat. Total duration of illness was 10-16 days.
“I was not hospitalised. I didn’t even go to the doctor because I was recovering on my own and felt it was just a nasty flu strain different from the ones I have been protected from with this season’s flu vaccine.”
Bridget Wilkins, 29
Bridget flew to Australia via Singapore for a friend’s wedding last week.
She is now quarantined in a hospital in Brisbane after testing positive for Covid-19.
She had suffered a headache, a sore throat and fatigue – all of which were symptoms she mistook for jetlag.
Bridget, from London, said: “I think we have to calm down, because for most people, like myself, it is just a long cold that we can shake off.”
David Abel, 73
David and Sally Abel were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary when they contracted Covid-19 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, quarantined in Japan.
David, from Woodford Halse in Northamptonshire, said: “Outside the hospital I came over a bit weird and nearly passed out. Every pore on my body opened and I was wheelchaired to our room.”
They were both later diagnosed with pneumonia as well as coronavirus.
Sally has since been given the all clear. But David tested negative twice and positive once, so he cannot leave yet.
Connor Reed, 25
Connor Reed, originally from Llandudno, North Wales, had been teaching English in Wuhan, China when he began to experience “just a sniffle” on November 25.
Seven days later he began to feel much worse. In a diary, Connor, 25, wrote: “This is no longer just a cold. I ache all over, my head is thumping, my throat is constricted.
Two days later his breathing had become “laboured”, and said that going to the loo “leaves me panting”.
Connor Reed caught the disease while teaching in Wuhan
He got a taxi to Zhongnan University Hospital as he knew there would be British doctors. He was tested and given antibiotics.
By Day 21 he ached “as if I’ve been run over by a steamroller”. He wrote: “My eardrums feel ready to pop.”
But, by Day 24 – just before Christmas – he was better.
Andrew O’Dwyer claims to have suffered more with flu than he has after being diagnosed with coronavirus.
The father-of-one caught Covid-19 after a ski trip in Italy last month and he said that despite having type 1 diabetes, the virus “isn’t anything to worry about for me personally”.
The cough he developed was “quite debilitating” and he has had a high temperature.
Author: Josh Smith. March 18th edition.
Rebecca James*, 25, was one of the first people to be tested positive for Coronavirus in Europe over two weeks ago. While the sickness was worse than she had imagined – what shocked her most was the judgement and suspicion she received from those around her. Here, Rebecca tells her story…
On Saturday 29th February, my four friends and I were at a day-time rave. Despite the Coronavirus sweeping across the world we still felt it wasn’t a reality. We were carefree, drinking and doing what we always do together: having fun. I had just returned from a holiday skiing and had just started a new job working in a new office.
The situation in Italy had started to escalate just as I was flying for my holiday. In the five days I was gone, it felt like it exploded. But coming home, I still couldn’t imagine that catching Coronavirus was something that would happen to anyone I knew, or this quickly.
Minus the inevitable hangover that followed the day after the rave, I felt completely fine. But by Tuesday, by lunchtime I started to get horribly achy while I was at work. By 3pm I was really dizzy. I remember the specific timing, because this was the point I received a text from my best friend Julia, who visited me that weekend, saying she also fell ill and was going to be tested in hospital. We’d been partying with two other friends who are incredibly fit and they started to message our WhatsApp group saying they felt the same way.
At this point, it was still so early on in the pandemic, we still didn’t realise how serious it was going to be. After all, the government, the media and everyone around me was telling us, “If you are young, it will be like a mild flu.”
My new office houses a total of four hundred people, so there’s a lot of human contact during the day. That’s why, when I saw my friend’s message, I thought ‘holy f**k, I have Coronavirus and I’m going to infect everyone!” I stood up from my desk and for the first time in my life, I fainted.
My co-workers attended to me on the floor, making sure I was ok. While I was panicking about having Coronavirus, they reassured me saying, “Relax, you won’t have it, don’t worry.” I still took myself in a taxi to the hospital. I was freaking out all the way there mentally going over the scenarios of what might happen if I was about to be diagnosed with Coronavirus.
When I got to the hospital reception, they asked me about my symptoms. They instantly correlated them Coronavirus symptoms. The woman behind the desk looked at me with wide eyes. I then went into the doctor and as he was trying to shine a torch down my throat, but comically, was standing a couple of metres away from me. It was ridiculous. How could he even see down my throat from that far away?
The doctor took my vitals – including my temperature, my blood pressure and checked my heartbeat – and the whole way through he was so chilled. Eventually he told me to go straight home, stay isolated, stay hydrated, eat healthily, take vitamins and sleep as much as possible.
No formal test was taken and to be honest I think they just thought I was overreacting or being a hypochondriac. They never informed me to come back, just to take myself home.
My boss was equally really calm about it and said, “Obviously don’t come to the office, you need to rest and look after yourself.” I was just feeling so embarrassed, a bit panicked. I kept thinking, “This cannot be real. Do I actually have Coronavirus?”
I took a taxi back to my flat which I share with two people. I told them I was really sick, I was entering into self-isolation and luckily, they didn’t freak out at all, they were hugely supportive, offering help in any way they could.
By that night, I was completely soaked in sweat with a high fever and chills. My body was so achy. It was painful to get out of bed, It was painful to gather the energy to go to the bathroom and I had a continuous and unrelenting pounding headache. All I could do was lay in bed, drink water and sleep on and off all day. I didn’t have much of an appetite but, I ate anyway out of boredom and knowing my body needed the nutrients. I ate mostly salty things like soups, rice with tomato sauce or just the simplest, bland things I could think of. At one point I remember trying to eat a pizza and I just felt awful afterwards, as your body is just crying out for proper nutrition and that pizza did nothing good for me.
Whilst I was self-isolating in my room, I had to be very careful when moving into the communal spaces. My two roommates tried their best to look after me, always asking if I needed anything and went to get me food and paracetamol. I still cooked for myself, continuously washing my hands and bed sheets. I would vacuum, sweep all the floors, sterilise the door handles and sink faucets with antibacterial spray multiple times a day to help protect the other people in my home.
People ask me what I did with myself during this time. I knew my best friend was going through the same thing at the same time so I didn’t feel alone. But, for the first two days, my eyes hurt too much to look at a phone screen or speak to anyone. In those first few days, I felt like I was dying. I just slept or stared at my ceiling. It was only by the fourth day I felt well enough to watch a bit of Netflix, read and message friends again.
Even though I was slowly but surely, getting better, I still didn’t feel well, so I went back to the doctors. Finally, when they checked my vitals again, they confirmed I had Coronavirus. I was also told I was only allowed to leave isolation after seven days. I told my boss and he knew it was safe for me to return to work, although we are all now following instructions to work from home.
Going back into the outside world the following Tuesday felt scary. I had only just stopped feeling dizzy the day before. I was unsure as to whether I would even have the energy to get through a full day, but surprisingly it was ok. By Wednesday I was playing netball for my local team, again. I think being young, fit and healthy enabled me to have such a speedy recovery.
I still worry about coming into contact with people and being responsible for spreading it. There is so much conflicting advice.
What I could never have envisaged is the suspicion I felt from colleagues on my return back to work. I felt judged by those around me. People around me would eye me suspiciously and question my physical condition throughout the day. I felt so conscious of people watching me and observing me, that I became very careful about coughing or sneezing to avoid making people even more paranoid. Part of the stigma around having this disease, means I want to stay anonymous for this story because I’m worried about how people will judge me.
Now I can honestly say I feel strong again, but I still get tired easier than normal. The doctors who I have been back in contact with are telling me to continue to stay isolated as much as possible , avoid alcohol, and continue to stay hydrated and rest often.
If I could go back and give myself some advice that weekend before I went out and possibly caught the virus I would say to stay in as much as possible. I would also say to healthy me, to eat healthy and take care of yourself and wash your hands regularly. Crucially I would also say keep yourself and your mind as fit as possible because you will need your mental and physical health.
By going through this I have learnt that we all need to be more conscious of the way we treat ourselves, but also others. This time really shows people’s true colours – whether that be unnecessary stock piling or stigmatising the sick and not supporting your friends who have got it – we need to reach out to each other and be supportive of one another. In times of trouble it’s important to reflect, realise who actually has your back and in a positive way people are being humbled right now. We need to stay grounded and think about what’s really important in life. I hope these lessons last long after Coronavirus has hopefully disappeared from view.
*Names and certain details in this account have been changed to protect the person’s identity*
Author: Aisha Mahmood. March 11th edition
“I had COVID-19 and here is my story,” Coronavirus survivor gives useful tips
“The main issue is that without reporting a cough or trouble breathing many of us were refused testing,” Elizabeth Schneider said.
A resident of Seattle, United States has shared how she contracted the novel coronavirus and how she recovered from it.
In a post shared on her Facebook, Elizabeth Schneider has cleared misconceptions about how one can get the deadly virus. In her post she wrote that people have been advised to wash their hands and stay away from people who have the symptoms. However, she said that is not the case as she contracted the virus ‘when attending a small house party at which no one was coughing, sneezing or otherwise displaying any symptoms of illness’.
Within three days of attending the party, she said, she and 40% of folks there were all sick with the same symptoms including fever. She further said that the symptoms however, differed depending on age. She said most of her friends are in their late 40s to early 50s.
For her, she shares it was headache and fever for first three days consistently and then on and off after three days, severe body aches, joint pain and severe fatigue.
“I had a fever that spiked the first night to 103 degrees and eventually came down to 100 and then low grade 99.5. Only a very few of us had a mild itchy cough. Very few had chest tightness or other respiratory symptoms,” she wrote in her post.
Schneider said that the main issue is that without reporting a cough or trouble breathing many ‘of us were refused testing’. She raised alarm that the lack of testing is leading to folks to believe that they just have a cold or something else going out into public and spreading it. “And worse folks with no symptoms are also spreading it as in the case of a person attending a party or social gathering who has no symptoms,” she said.
She said she got herself tested at Seattle Flu Study. “I was told that all of the samples that have tested positive in the research study have been confirmed by Public Health,” she said.
She also shared what worked for her. “One thing that I believe may have saved me from getting worse respiratory symptoms is the fact that I consistently took Sudafed, used Afrin nasal spray (3 sprays in each nostril, 3 days at a time), and used Neti pot (with purified water),” she said.
The King County Public Health Department, Schneider recommends staying isolated for seven days after the start of symptoms or 72 hours after fever subsides. “I have surpassed both deadlines so I am no longer isolating myself however I am avoiding strenuous activity and large crowds,” she added.
Government of Canada Official
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Symptoms and treatment
Symptoms of COVID-19
Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.
Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. This is the longest known infectious period for this disease. We are currently investigating if the virus can be transmitted to others if someone is not showing symptoms. While experts believe that it is possible, it is considered less common.
Symptoms have included:
- difficulty breathing
- pneumonia in both lungs
- In severe cases, infection can lead to death.
If you become ill
If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, reduce your contact with others:
Isolate yourself at home for 14 days to avoid spreading it to others, if you live with others, stay in a separate room or keep a 2-meter distance, visit a health care professional or call your local public health authority, call ahead to tell them your symptoms and follow their instructions
Most people with mild coronavirus illness will recover on their own.
If you are concerned about your symptoms, you should self-monitor and consult your health care provider. They may recommend steps you can take to relieve symptoms.
At this time, there is no vaccine for COVID-19 or any natural health products that are authorized to treat or protect against COVID-19.
If you have received a flu vaccine, it will not protect against coronaviruses.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people and others cause illness in animals. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.
COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact.
There have been 2 other specific coronaviruses that have spread from animals to humans and which have caused severe illness in humans. These are the:
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS CoV)
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV)
World Health Organisation (WHO) Official
Myth Busters and Faces on COVID-19
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
FACT: Coronavirus transmission in hot and humid climates
Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new coronavirus.
There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather. The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water.
Taking a hot bath does not prevent the new coronavirus disease
Taking a hot bath will not prevent you from catching COVID-19. Your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower. Actually, taking a hot bath with extremely hot water can be harmful, as it can burn you. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that coud occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
The new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.
To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.
Are hand dryers effective in killing the new coronavirus?
No. Hand dryers are not effective in killing the 2019-nCoV. To protect yourself against the new coronavirus, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer.
Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?
UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
How effective are thermal scanners in detecting people infected with the new coronavirus?
Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature) because of infection with the new coronavirus.
However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with fever. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.
Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new coronavirus?
No. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth). Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations.
Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?
No. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.
The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.
Although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health.
Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus.
There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.
Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?
People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.
Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?
No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.
The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.
However, if you are hospitalized for the 2019-nCoV, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.
Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?
To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care. Some specific treatments are under investigation, and will be tested through clinical trials. WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts with a range or partners.