Long Term Covid - A Personal Experience
Monday 19th July – all remaining restrictions that were put in place for the Covid-19 pandemic in theUK were lifted. No compulsory social distancing, no compulsory masks, and to me what seems to be no regard for people’s safety. Many people now treat Covid-19 as something which can easily be dealt with or as something which will have little impact on them in the long run. For a while now, there has been an idea that those who are “young and healthy” will be less likely to catch it, or if they do, it won’t affect them badly. This is the prevailing argument I’ve seen and been subjected to by those who refuse preventive measures. So, I’m going to share my experience of Covid-19, from the perspective of a “young and healthy” person.
I was 15 when I tested positive last December. I hadn’t had any colds last year, and don’t have any underlying health problems. I did PE/sports twice a week, and walked 20 minutes to school every day. I won’t say I was in perfect condition, but I was what you would call “young and healthy” - these same adjectives I have seen being used as objections to wearing masks or getting the vaccine. Three members of my family also tested positive after Christmas – which I had had to spend alone in my room. My symptoms during Covid were not as bad, it’s true. It was just like an especially persistent cold, a bit of a sore throat, a small cough and a fever for the first three days. Constant fatigue, headaches, and random bouts of nausea was probably the worst it got. My parents had similar symptoms, only theirs were a little worse due to maybe age and a few underlying health
My sister was 28 at the time, likes keeping fit, having a healthy diet, and has no underlying health problems that would cause Covid to affect her more. And yet she had the worst experience out of all of us - ironic since she’s young, and was probably the healthiest. High fever for almost all of her isolation, a constant migraine, a sore throat and a bad cough. Weakness, fatigue, and constant aching limbs meant she could barely get out of bed. Even after isolation, she had chest tightness causing her to have a slight difficulty in breathing.
We all had symptoms that remained with us long after Covid. Dulled taste marred all enjoyment of food, meaning that eating became a chore. My chilli tolerance was impressive, but only because it was one of the few things I could actually taste for 6 months. Worse sensitivity to car journeys, more regular headaches, nausea and general fatigue were some things experienced by us all.
So here is the reality many overlook - Long Covid. Being tired for no reason, feeling nauseous, having a strange smell hanging about the nose. How about not being able to enjoy food? Having cravings that can’t be satisfied, eating what was once your favourite dish and barely tasting anything? What if a five minute car journey causes you to gag when it never used to? What about when simply running up the stairs causes you to lose your breath? What then? Young I may be, but I don’t think having these symptoms means I’m as healthy as I was before Covid. And I’m only 16 years old, in my GCSE (middle school) year. I’ve personally been affected by Covid for over half a year now. My overall welfare has suffered so much, and it’s been tiring and frustrating, especially because I can’t even blame myself for it. As the Covid-19 vaccines rolled out, opposition started and arguments often used by vaccine skeptics are that those taking the vaccine have been sucked in by government lies, and are misguided. Throughout the pandemic, our spiritual leader, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, has advised us to follow Government guidelines. As an Ahmadi Muslim I feel how can someone guided by God be under the influence of harmful propaganda? Isn’t it better to listen to the overwhelming scientific advice and trust in God?
My overall point is that Covid is dangerous. Maybe it won’t affect someone as much if they’re fit and healthy, but there is absolutely no guarantee of this. And then there’s the long-term effects of Covid, something many don’t consider, but which is a hindrance in everyday life. And finally, even if someone is “young and healthy” and they manage to quickly recover, there are many who are not. They and their families shouldn’t have to suffer either. It’s important that we are still careful, and remember that Coronavirus and what it can do will not disappear with the restrictions.
Danila Jonnud is a student in the UK. She is interested in current issues and justice.