COVID-19 virus sufferer shares their story

COVID TESTS: The man interviewed is not pictured. Picture: Simon Bennett
COVID TESTS: The man interviewed is not pictured. Picture: Simon Bennett

What's it really like having COVID-19? A male resident aged in his 30s from the northern zone of the NSW northern beaches shares his story about testing positive.

"I WAS in a bit of shock when I found out I'd tested positive to COVID. Yeah I'm young and fit and healthy and I've got all that on my side, but when you watch what happens overseas there's young people there who get it and end up on ventilators.

I first noticed something was wrong on Christmas Eve. I was having a beer at home and noticed that I couldn't taste it and I couldn't smell it, I also had a bit of a scratchy throat. It rang alarm bells so I went and got tested first thing Christmas morning.

At about 8.30am on Boxing Day, I had a missed call on my phone, I called them back and the pathology told me I'd tested positive to COVID and that I'd get a call from NSW Health. I was shocked.

It started running through my mind about the things that are now going to change in my life, who I've possibly infected, friends and family, and who I'd been around the last couple of days. I was concerned for people's heath but also the impact on the people I'd been around because they're now going to have to isolate for 14 days whether they've got it or not.

I realised that I'd worked when I was contagious, I had no idea I had it.

The contact tracers called and talked me through the period of when I would have been contagious, they told me it was two to three days prior to my first symptoms. I realised that I'd worked when I was contagious, I had no idea I had it.

NSW Health identified I'd had 11 close contacts and we all had to go into 14 days of self isolation.

I isolated at home, I needed to be in a room by myself, have my own bathroom and I needed to get my wife to prepare all my meals because she didn't have the virus. I wasn't allowed to touch any common areas like doors or light switches, I really had to try and isolate myself to one room and one bathroom.

Overall I had mild symptoms. I'd certainly lost my sense of taste and smell and I had a sore throat. I was really fatigued and I developed a cough which lasted the entire time.

One of the most concerning things was you watch it all play out in the media and even though I had mild symptoms, in the back of my mind I was worrying if I'd get sicker.

I tried to stay off Googling signs and symptoms about COVID, I just thought I'd let my body deal with it and if I needed more help then I'd get it.

One of the most concerning things was you watch it all play out in the media and even though I had mild symptoms, in the back of my mind I was worrying if I'd get sicker.

I've got a pretty close network of work colleagues and we caught up on video a few times during our isolation. We even had a get together on New Year's Eve and had a chat and a laugh and a beer.

I had some really good support networks to deal mentally with getting through it, but I still found it really difficult towards the end of the isolation. I'm really happy that I was in a house during the isolation period, I can't imagine what it's like to do it in a hotel room where you don't have fresh air or anywhere else where you can really escape to.

Initially I heard from NSW Health every day and then as my symptoms eased it was every second day. They were fantastic. I couldn't praise them highly enough, those men and women behind the scenes.

The contact tracers were never able to pinpoint exactly where I caught COVID from and I still can't get my head around how I can pick it up somewhere and then share a bed with my wife [in those first few days of being contagious] and not pass it on."

  • All close contacts of this resident, who asked not to be named, have since tested negative to COVID-19.