Boxing Day, 26th December 2020, I woke up with a temperature and cough. A few hours later, I booked myself in for a covid test. My son had spent most of Christmas Day with me and in the late afternoon had gone to his fathers. In the evening of Christmas Day, I went for a walk with a friend. So I had a responsibility to these people and myself to find out whether I had the Coronavirus. If I did, I knew I would have to quarantine and heal myself at home.
A day later, the test came back as positive. I already knew this was a very strong possibility. Although my temperature had already disappeared, the cough had got worse and I had no energy. The positive test proved to me that coronavirus had come to reside at my address.
I didn’t panic as I think many people rightly do so. Instead, I wondered where I had contracted the virus. I work in a junior school with 360 children and my son has a bubble of 250 in his school so the obvious solution would be to push the blame onto one of these. However the last time either of us had contact with these children would have been the 18th December. This date meant it was unlikely anyone in either of these environments could have passed the virus onto either of us.
Between the 18th – 25th December, neither my son or I had contact with any family or friends. Our only contact with people was at the supermarket, to buy food. I made the assumption that the virus must have been transmitted to me by a positive person either touching a product and putting it back down only for me to pick it up or me walking past somebody talking and the airborne virus transmitting its way into my body. Ironic indeed considering my work bubble is so extensive.
Now it has been just over a week since I had a positive test and I am feeling slightly more human. All my healing has been done at home, by myself. I want to talk about the physical and mental impact this virus had on me and the possible solutions you can think of for yourself should you contract it.
No covid negativity! How to heal yourself at home
Firstly, don’t be negative. At the moment, your life is going ahead, you do not have any symptoms so please focus on the good in your life and the positive in your new year ahead. A blank slate is there for you to fill it with beautiful things.
Secondly, prepare yourself. This, I did not do and I regret it. One of my New Years Resolutions for this year is to look at my diet and see how I can improve it and make myself feel and look better by the food and vitamins I put into my body. In my day to day life and diet, I can make my future better by promoting my health at home. There are current studies taking place looking at the effect of vitamins and minerals on Coronavirus – taking them before hand and also during a positive test result. Below are the three that seem to have the most recommendations behind them.
Vitamins to take to help prevent Coronavirus (and heal at home)
Vitamin D is nicknamed the ‘sunshine vitamin’, as our body makes it naturally when we are in natural light. It is a good supplement to take as it builds hormones and strengthens the immune system.
In 2017, the Britisth Medical Journal published an analysis that suggested Vitamin D would help prevent respiratory infections in those who are deficient in the vitamin.
However, you can overdose on this and taking too much could lead to high calcium build-up in your blood. So make sure you follow the guidelines on how much to take daily.
Studies are now in process to evaluate the use of Vitamin D against coronavirus and to see if newly diagnosed patients given Vitamin D are less likely to need hospitalization than those given a placebo.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and can help reduce inflammation. As lung inflammation is a symptom of severe Covid which can lead to severe health problems, it is advisable to start taking Vitamin C now. Studies have shown there is no benefit either way if you just have a mild bout of Coronavirus but as we never know how seriously we will get it, it is a good vitamin to take.
Zinc is a mineral found in certain meats and beans. Playing a supportive role in our immune system it suggests that using it right after the coronavirus symptoms start might make them go away quicker. Research has shown that patients with lower levels of zinc on admission to hospital with Covid fared worse than those with normal levels and had higher levels of inflammation.
So it seems that these three supplements are the way to go, with our immediate Covid-19 future. Even though there are still scientific tests being conducted on their ability to have any effect on the virus, they are all known to have health benefits so we should all include them in our reservoir of treatments.
Physical symptoms and effects of coronavirus
So, do you know what symptoms to expect with this virus? Are you prepared for them should it inhabit you? I wasn’t particularly and felt like it hit me like a ton of bricks. Below, I have detailed both the official symptoms and ‘all the others’. By ‘official’ I mean the symptoms that the NHS choose to publicize.
Official symptoms of Coronavirus
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Feeling and being sick
My first symptoms were a temperature that lasted half a day and a cough which is still ongoing. I suffered with a persistent migraine which lasted for approximately four days and being sick every few hours which relieved the pressure in my head. Other symptoms included general nausea and absolute exhaustion which manifested in not being able to stand up for longer than a minute for the first week. I attributed this in part to the fact that I did not eat anything for five days. Lack of concentration also appeared, probably due to a lack of food.
Luckily for me, my caring family and friends regularly checked in on me by phone. Such an illness is awful, going through it by yourself is diabolical. I was fortunate in having people that cared, who made sure I had regular contact and sustenance when I came to the stage of being able to eat. Nobody wants to have to go to hospital with an epidemic raging so having a support network is invaluable and part of the mental effort of having to heal yourself at home.
Several of the symptoms are similar to flu but the nausea and headache are not. It felt like a virus I had never experienced before and one that cannot be treated like a common cold.
I am physically fit, reasonably young and have no underlying medical issues, yet this virus floored me. I would recommend that we all prepare for the high possibility that we may catch it at some point and take the following precautions to heal ourselves at home.
- Take supplements
- Have a supply of paracetamol available (this is for the headache, nausea, aches)
- Buy a supply of meal supplement shakes (this was a lifesaver with me when I felt well enough for food but not for solids)
- Make sure you have a ‘sick bucket’
- Do an online food shop or at least book a timeslot
- Make sure you have a good supply of TV channels. I love to read but had no energy for it and TV distracted me from the virus
- Do a ‘deal’ with a family member or close friend – if they catch it, you’ll be their ‘phone buddy’ and vice versa
- Don’t forget to fill in your ‘track and trace’ if you have a positive result
The coming year and vaccinations
I hope my experience has not made you feel negative. Although my time with covid-19 is still ongoing, I feel like I am past the worst and can now concentrate on the year ahead which will bring with it the vaccination and a new semblance of normality. I am grateful I experienced the virus mildly and managed to heal myself at home. In my positive mind frame, I am looking upon the experience as a learning curve and am going to examine my diet as part of my resolutions for this year. Maybe a stereotypical resolution but it is one I am looking forward to and am excited about.
May 2021 bring you better health and happiness than 2020