Friday March 20
Friday was my first day working home during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. Until today, my daily routine has been a 1 mile walk to work and I’ve grown to love fresh air and exercise first thing in the morning. By 11 am I was feeling cooped-up, so I laced up and went for a run. It was a beautiful day, and just 45 minutes moving in sunlight changed my day, which is to say it changed my life!
Less than two hours later my energy plummeted and I got the chills. I took the rest of the afternoon off and retired to bed. On a 10 point scale, my discomfort was 1 or 2. I haven’t had a fever in many years and normally I would brush this aside, but given the back drop of the virus, my anxiety was pretty high. The thermometer revealed only a slightly elevated temperature of 37.2C, which I believe is a low-grade fever, at worst.
Saturday March 21
On Saturday I was mainly tired and had a slow lazy day with a lot of time in bed. My appetite was low, which kinda pissed me off because it was my “cheat day” (I have been eating Slow Carb, as prescribed by Tim Ferriss, which incidentally I love).
Sunday March 22
On Sunday morning it was more of the same. By the afternoon I wanted to eat but the only thing that seemed appetizing was pizza, so we ordered Pizza Hut (it’s very rare for us to order in anything). I ate a fair bit but it didn’t settle very well. Later in the evening I started having severe GI issues, starting with diarrhea. I went to bed early (maybe 7:30) and within a minute I raced to the toilet for the most violent vomiting session I’ve ever had. For the next 12 hours I continued to experience severe diarrhea.
Monday March 23
Monday morning, needless to say, started unpleasantly. Although my energy returned, I spent nearly four continuous hours on the can. At this point I thought I might have a stomach virus, which would be consistent with my wife having GI issues a few days earlier. I became increasingly concerned about how much fluid I was losing. Around mid morning my temperature rose from 36.4 (by now I started taking regular measurements) to 39.2, firmly in the category of fever. I was shivering but not sweating. I was disoriented and unstable on my feet but still “with it”. I also developed a bad headache, surely not helped by all the fluid I lost. I spent most of the day in bed. My discomfort was 4-6 out of 10 throughout the day. (keep in mind, this is a relative scale, as I can only relate to the worst sickness I’ve ever had, which might have been more mild or severe than yours). Shortly after my fever spike, my temperature went back down to 36.4.
The Anxiety Is Worse Than The Disease
The worst part of this sickness has been not the symptoms but the anxiety around Covid-19. If I have the disease I know these might just be the early (“easy”) symptoms and the real trouble lays ahead. So far I’ve had no respiratory issues, but I’ve had brief moments of terror knowing I could be mere hours away from drowning in my own bed with pneumonia. Of course I also think of all the people who are worried about me. Most of all, I am worried that I’ll check out of this life just as the best part is coming with my lovely wife and beautiful 6-month old daughter. I know I was scared because I stopped caring about work and the damn stock market. None of that will matter when I’m dead. This is what anxiety does. It projects all sorts of “maybe’s” into certainties. In reality, my symptoms don’t warrant more than a visit to my doctor and under normal circumstances I wouldn’t even consider doing that.
Tuesday March 24
Another reprieve. The night went well and I awoke Tuesday with relatively higher energy but feeling foggy, probably because of how much time I’ve been spending in bed.
I’ve been doing a lot back twists in bed to alleviate the strain of being in one position too long. I do this many nights so this isn’t new to me. However, when I got up this morning, I noticed a sharp pain in my right hip. I’m not sure if it’s from all the gymnastics or a new symptom.
I’ve had two fevers three days apart. I’ve had quick recoveries only to get sick again, at an alarming speed. This is very bizarre. I am thankfully in a reprieve, but who knows how long this will last.
I still don’t know what I have. I have been pretty careful with washing hands and staying away from public places, but not perfect. I’ve taken several trips to grocery stores and drug stores. I haven’t been sneezed or coughed on. If I do have Covid-19, which is now a leading hypothesis, then it goes to show how easy it is to transmit.
Objectively speaking, I am optimistic. I am relatively young and have no pre-existing conditions. I eat well and get plenty of exercise. So even if I do have Covid-19 I should hopefully be in the “mild” category, which means a week or so of sickness followed by a complete recovery.