I have COVID-19. I am ok. Others won’t be.

So stay at f*ckin’ home fella!

Hi. My name is Katie, I’m 25, and I have just tested positive for COVID-19 – but don’t worry, there’s no chance I passed it on to you because I STAYED INSIDE.

Ok, so this all starts in France (not the virus, that’s been traced back to Wuhan, China…my story starts in France) where, since December, I had been living my best life, doing a ski season in a place called Morzine. We’d heard about the virus, the stockpiling of pasta and toilet roll and we all sought comfort in the fact that it was all happening far far away from our little bubble –  a similar scene to what was happening here I’m sure. 

This blissful ignorance was shattered when our man, Macron, announced the French lockdown and the ski resort closed with immediate effect. 

I was heartbroken; in hindsight, a first world problem, but at the time, a significant one because how the fk was I meant to get back from the French alps to the Isle of Man before France closed their borders??

Well, after spending about £500 on flights, packing up my room at a speed I didn’t know my body had the ability to move at, and spending 3 days travelling through Geneva and London, I did it. And looking back, this is probably where I picked up the virus. But let’s not speculate, I can’t be sure where I got it, alls i know is; I gots it – 10 points if you read that in a Ness from Gavin and Stacey voice.

Anyway, I returned to the island on March 19, which was the day after the government introduced the self isolation rule: 14 days of house arrest for anyone returning to the island. 

My sister and her boyfriend moved out of their apartment and into my mum and dad’s to VERY KINDLY let me self isolate on my tod. A decision I’m sure they have now come to regret. Soz guys, promise I’ll buy you both a pint when this is all over x

So March 19 was the start of my 14 days of self isolation. I was a model citizen and followed the rules to a T. It was only on day six that I realised I was actually allowed to go for one walk a day if I was not showing symptoms (which, I was not). So, after 6 days inside I felt liberated, threw on my trainers and went for a stomp. I vowed to make the most of this time outside and went around Scarlett at golden hour each evening, where I caught some saucy sunsets. I got 4 of these evening walks in before I became symptomatic (upside down smiley).

Ok so if you’re here for the symptoms, here’s how it all panned out for ME*

*symptoms can vary from each person

March 27 – Isolation Day 9 – Symptoms Day 1

Symptoms

  • Sore throat 

  • Itchy ears

  • Some shortness of breath

At first I thought it might be hay fever but, given the global pandemic that was swiftly unfolding around me, I erred on the side of caution and decided against my evening walk. Besides, hay fever and a walk near fields didn’t seem like the best idea. That night I got out of breath when making the bed, a common occurrence when fighting with the duvet cover, however, when I was sweating my tits off in bed a few hours later I thought to myself ‘hmm maybe this is something more than seasonal allergies’.

March 28 – Isolation Day 10 – Symptoms Day 2

Symptoms

  • Sore throat 

  • Some shortness of breath

  • Felt warm

  • Tickly cough

That morning I called 111. I described my symptoms and explained how I had something called Thrombophilia (which is basically thick blood) that led to a blood clot in my lung back in 2013. This, combined with my symptoms and the fact that I had travelled back to the island recently, was all taken into consideration. I was told I qualified for the test and that because I was unable to get myself to the grandstand to be tested (I don’t have a car and no one is here with me to drive me), a nurse would instead come to me, but this might take a few days. I was told to drink plenty of water and take paracetamol when necessary. 

I wasn’t worried and quickly resumed working on my laptop and watching Tiger King.

March 29 – Isolation Day 11 – Symptoms Day 3

Symptoms

  • Fever

  • No sense of taste or smell

  • Aches

  • Sore throat

  • Shortness of breath

  • Headache

  • Diarrhea (I know, I’m embarrassed to be telling the world this but it’s a symptom, okay!?)

  • No energy

  • No appetite

  • Tickly cough

This was definitely my worst day. 

The biggest change I noticed was the shortness of breath; I was sending voice notes to people that sounded like they were narrated by Wheezy from Toy Story. My lungs felt achey, like I’d just got in from a run and overall I just felt like pure shit. I was following 111’s advice, drinking lots and taking paracetamol, but that was only taking the edge off. Despite drinking enough to make myself need a wee every 10 minutes, I felt dehydrated (probably because I had such a bead on).

That night, I was up until 4am with a fever, hot and cold sweats and my throat felt like I’d swallowed razor blades. I finally got off to sleep and when my mum called me a few hours later to see how I was, I politely told her to fk off and leave me alone. Sorry mum, love you.

March 30 – Isolation Day 12 – Symptoms Day 4

Symptoms

  • Sore throat

  • Tickly cough

  • Shortness of breath subsided

  • No taste or smell

My fever had broken in the night, I was no longer achy and my headache had gone.

That afternoon I got a call from a nurse and within 10 minutes they were in my (sister’s) living room sticking swabs up my nose. It was uncomfortable, but not awful. One swab went around the back of my throat, the second in the back of my throat again, then far up one nostril (which felt like it was in my eye), and then up the other nostril – but thankfully not as far this time. It was all over in less than 2 minutes, the nurses were lovely, and as this was the first time I’d had guests in nearly two weeks, I was reveling in some real life human interaction and chatting absolute shit to them. That night I slept like a baby.

March 31 – Isolation Day 13 – Symptoms Day 5

Symptoms

  • Sore throat

  • Tickly cough

  • Mild shortness of breath

  • No taste or smell

After a good night’s sleep I was feeling SO much better. I had the energy and motivation to do my hair, paint my nails and even make a banana loaf! (Although I couldn’t taste it). My shortness of breath had definitely subsided and although I’d love to say I smashed a 20 minute home HIIT workout, the main reason I noticed this was getting better was because I sat and talked to my friend on facetime for about an hour without having to take breaks to catch my breath.

Which brings us to today,

April 1 – Isolation Day 14 – Symptoms Day 6

This morning I received a call from a lovely guy from Public Health. He asked if I had received a text – at which point I had not, explained the reason for his call was because my result was positive, and that it is his job to trace anyone I may have been in contact with whilst symptomatic; which, I happily told him, is NO BODY. Not one person. None. Zilch. Nada. Not a soul. Why? Because I stayed inside. I followed the 14 day self isolation procedure.

Now, here are my symptoms as of today, day 14, what is meant to be the last day of this quarantine period. I am back into a normal sleep routine, my throat is not as sore as it has been, I have a somewhat chesty cough which I can clear easily, I’m not noticing the shortness of breath that much, and having consumed another 3 slices of banana bread for breakfast to test, I can confirm my sense of taste and smell are slowly returning. I am ok. I am, I think it’s fair to say, over the worst of it but, and this is a big one, others will not be.

I made this man’s job very easy this morning by telling him the only time I’ve seen people in the last 14 days is when they’ve dropped off food to me. Which they have done by leaving it on the path up to the apartment, stepping away and I have then collected once they’ve left. He was very happy to hear this as it seems others have not been such law abiding citizens- yes, there are quite literally laws around this.

Now, I’m not trying to say I’m a saint. I am not trying to promote myself as the queen of self isolation; although, I have done a pretty damn good job of it. It’s not hard! 

What I am saying, is STAY AT HOME. All joking aside, this is serious. It is a global pandemic and as much as we are often protected from the cruel elements of the world on our safe island, this is not something we’re exempt from.

I am a prime example of how the 14 day isolation period works and why social distancing is important to enforce.

Can you imagine how many people I could have spread this to if I was just swanning around the island upon my return? I’d been away for 4 months, I had loads of people I wanted to see; my nan, gran, aunty & uncle, cousins, the girlsssss. I was DESPERATE for an M&S meal deal, and had I popped in there one day and breathed over the sushi…well… who knows how many people I could have passed it onto. By simply staying the fk inside for 2 weeks I have stopped this virus spreading from me onto anyone else. 

I’m not doing this to scare you (well, maybe I am a little). I’m posting this to share my experience in the hope that if you’re not already, you will now take this seriously. 

This virus is real, I am real and I have it. The only way we can stop this spreading is to STAY INSIDE. 

You’ve heard it a million times before and you’ll hear it a million more. Please please please, only go out if it’s absolutely necessary.

Enjoy this enforced down time, it’s like the summer holiday I’ve not had since year 11! (just without the outside part) Play Sims, read a book, shave your head*, paint the fence, learn that foreign language, have a drink at 9:45am. Whatever you do, just PLEASE make sure you do it INSIDE. The sooner everyone starts, the sooner it’ll be over and YES, it will end, we’ve just got a little while to go.

*please don’t shave your head, it’s like cutting in a fringe, only very few people suit it and you’re probably not one of them

P.S. I’m now in self isolation for another 10 days, until April 11, which will have been 14 days from the onset of my symptoms.

32 thoughts on “I have COVID-19. I am ok. Others won’t be.”

  1. Thanks Katie, good to read something real – glad you followed the rules and hope others start/continue to – wishing you a full and speedy recovery

  2. Well done for staying inside! Glad you’re over the worst and a tiny bit jel that you’ll be full of those lovely antibodies by now 🙂

  3. I’m sorry you went through all this but I just wanted to say I really appreciate you writing all this down! Make everyone realise how important it is to self isolate even if your not showing any symptoms. Take care of yourself x

  4. Glad you’re feeling better Katie! Well done for taking the self isolation so seriously 👍 Sure we’ll see you at yr mums soon x

  5. Hi Katie. Thank you for sharing and for staying inside! Wishing you a speedy recovery. Take care, Sinead

  6. Hi Katie, so pleased you are on the mend.I had similar symptoms as yourself but however many articles I read not one said a dodgy stomach so I’m so happy to read that you did ( if you know what I mean by happy lol )I also had what I can only describe as a fizzy nose – almost as if I’d got sherbet up my nose. This started before most of the symptoms at the same time as the dizziness and headache.I’ve not had the test so I’m uncertain if I’ve had coronavirus or not and that’s one thing I envy of you.All the best – stay safeAli

  7. You didn’t keep to the rules of self isolation for people returning after 18th March. We also arrived back on the 18th and it was made very clear that people arriving on the island had to go straight into 14 days self isolation and NOT leave their homes for ANY reason at all. For us, this 14 days ends tomorrow.I’m very pleased to hear that you are recovering now.But you left home when you were infectious, which was not allowed.

    1. Heather You are actually wrong, we returned on Monday 23rd March and our leaflet states: "YOU CAN use your garden, if you have one. You can also leave the house to exercise if you DO NOT have symptoms, but stay at least 2 metres away from other people."

  8. No, The initial advice was to stay home, but after the first day or two the rules stated that new arrivals could go out to exercise as long as they had no symptoms.

  9. I hope you recover quickly and Thankyou for sharing your story,you are an example to what makes this little island great god bless you x

  10. Hi Katie, just read this and sorry to hear you have the virus but glad you are on the mend. Your account of your illness will help people understand the symptoms and the necessity to stay isolated.Thank goodness for sisters eh👍Take care and hope you are better soon. Ruth & Eddie

  11. What about the people you sat next to on the plane? The person who picked you up from the airport? There is a chance you passed it on to them.

    1. Did you read the article? She wasn’t symptomatic for 9 days. Were we, the general public, instantly self isolating as soon as the first case was announced in the UK? Air travel and indeed other means of transportation were still in use at this time. What if it was the person next to her on the plane that spread the infection to her? We simply do not know. It would be amazing if we were all perfect human beings. Unfortunately, until symptoms appear, we have NO WAY of knowing if we are infected (which I’m sure you’ll agree is one of the main points within this article).

    2. I have been informed, by Public Health that the only time I could have possibly passed on the virus is from when I began showing symptoms- at which point I had been self isolating for 9 days. There is no chance I could have passed this onto anyone during my travel back to the island

      1. I admit it’s most likely you picked it up on your trip home but to say there is no chance is wrong.

  12. You have highlighted a problem about conflicting information regarding the rules of self isolation for returnees. The leaflet my sister was given, when she got off the boat following a lockdown on holiday, stated complete isolation at home for 14 days, which she has been strictly following. She is now on Day 12, and has been symptomless throughout. She found out yesterday that she could, actually, have had a daily, isolated, walk though, she hasn’t done so. Seems there was a lot of confusion over this, and there should have been more clarity. Glad you are recovering well. People need to hear more of this to balance all the frightening stuff.PS To the person who said you might have passed it on to others during your travel home; it is more likely that you picked it up from a fellow traveller en route. Planes and airports would be hot spots of high spread.

  13. Hello Thank you for this. I have had symptoms but didn’t get offered a test as we were self isolating the same as you after our flight from Gatwick. They did seem interested about which airport we had coned from. We managed to get the last flight to Gatwick from paphos. Please can I ask if you were on the morning flight with us. Thank you regards Chris ps glad you are better x

  14. Hi Katie,A great read, brilliantly writern, great humor much needed during this time.I think an audio-Book version of your experience for the lazy selfish sods who couldn’t be bothered reading the COVID-19 rules ‘STAY AT HOME’!!Keep getting better.CheersIanBanana cake fan

  15. Hi Katie thank you for posting this very brave of you , I hope it gets out to as many as possible to show people how dangerous this virus isAnd perhaps now people will self isolate them selves and their family’s instead of roaming around the island , hope you are now on the mend and back to normal as soon as possibleKeep safe Katie x

  16. My girlfriend lives in another city. We know, we can’t see each other until this thing lasts. How does it make us feel? I rather not say it. I’m just happy we are not in the Philippines, where President Duterte just gave shoot-to-kill order during the lockdown… Still, I’m happy to read your blog. You’ve done what had to be done, even though, I firmly believe, the epidemic is now unstoppable. I’m not getting into conspiracy theories, there are others for that to do so… Still, I’m more worried about the Storm that is to come after the Silence. And it will come. That is why we need to stay strong and follow the "law". Even though, the Revolution will start Tomorrow…

  17. Umm since my comment seems removed, I’ll repost. I was told you had symptoms even prior to arriving. How does that fit in with your ‘story’?

  18. oh my God, Katie you are amazing, your article is amazing, thank you for sharing!! I hope it is gone soon, I keep my fingers crossed!!! Take care and stay safe!!!! Karolina

  19. Very well written Katie. I hope you get back to full good health very soon and that people take your remarks on board! Take care!

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