Currently the news right now is filled entirely with coronavirus, or Covid-19. It surrounds us completely through information boards, increased police and roaring sirens in the distance. It is hard to think about anything else during lockdown as most of us have very little else to do.
I am sure, by now, we are all well versed in the Do’s and Don’ts of social distancing, and preventative measures to keep us safe from coronavirus: wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, keep at least two meters distance from others, do not leave your house unless necessary – the list goes on. These are all measures that I have adhered to, unlike many of my peers who believe only the elderly are affected.
I, like most of us, have been listening to and watching the news since I was furloughed just over four weeks ago. I have barely left my apartment and am more than happy to cross the street to get away from people I do not know, not just for my safety but for theirs as well.
Until late last week, I believed that I was healthy and untouched by coronavirus because I had followed all of the rules. My flatmate had had a small cold four weeks earlier which I caught for a mere three days but otherwise I was fine.
It wasn’t until I got tested for coronavirus in order to begin a new job did I find out that I had been living with coronavirus. I have no idea where I caught it or how long I have had it but so far I have had no obvious coronavirus symptoms like the dry cough and fever.
Knowing now that I have had it is concerning – all I can think about is the lives I may have put at risk by going to the shop that one time to get something I didn’t 100% need; and although I have done everything in my power to use social distancing, some people still believe that this virus only affects certain demographics and are ignoring the rules.
Currently I am one of the lucky ones. I have had no symptoms and still am feeling perfectly healthy, but this is the biggest problem with this silent killer. I am sure that if most people who believe they are okay got tested then those tests would come back positive. Being asymptomatic is almost worse than showing signs of the virus in my mind. It’s the not knowing and the belief that we are okay that is going to continue spreading this disease and endangering so many lives if we are not careful.
After finding out that I have the virus, it is all I have been able to think about. I walk around my apartment with a bottle of dettol spray and a cloth wiping everything I touch and even things that I might have touched without realising. I open all the doors around me with gloves or a sleeve, even my dettol cloth just to be sure I am not leaving any virus germs lingering on the surface. Some might say that is a bit much, particularly in your own home, but I think these measures are necessary while trying to fight this virus.
I have a flatmate who I need to think about and no one knows for sure yet how long the virus lives for on different surfaces. It’s been a whirlwind week of emotions for me since being diagnosed and I have done everything I could think of to ensure I don’t spread the virus anymore. I have been consumed with guilt and worry thinking about all the times I passed someone knowing now that I might have given it to them.
I realise there is no point in blaming myself for something that is out of my control, but as a person who cares so deeply about the safety of others, my diagnosis is always on my mind. I just hope that my knowledge and practice of social distancing and preventative measures were enough to keep others safe from me.
All I can say to people out there is that this disease really is silent. I don’t know how long I had it in my system and I might never have known if I hadn’t been tested. The guidelines the government have released are there for our safety, spending the next few weeks inside is a small price to pay to save lives and I know I will be even stricter with myself coming out of isolation and back into the lockdown. Spending a few days inside and knowing I haven’t seen or been near anyone else gives me peace of mind that I haven’t played any part in spreading the virus, and that, for me, makes it all worthwhile.
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