A-Z

Covid-19 in the community

Living through and recovering from Covid symptoms

In this section we explore the symptoms that people we spoke to had while they were ill, how these symptoms impacted their day-to-day life, and when they started to recover. People we spoke to caught Covid between March 2020 and October 2021, before the Omicron variant emerged. Experiences of Covid varied a lot between individuals and were also affected by someone’s vaccination status and which variant of Covid was dominant at the time they got sick.
 
Topics discussed in this section include:

  • Variety in symptoms and experiences 
  • Impact of different symptoms on day-to-day life
  • The road to recovery

 
Variety in symptoms and experiences

There were lots of differences in people’s illness experiences and the symptoms that affected them the most. For example, Elvis had no symptoms at all while his father, who lived with him, became extremely unwell from Covid and eventually died in hospital.
 

 

Dawn’s family caught Covid in October 2020. She was surprised about how Covid affected them all differently.

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Dawn’s family caught Covid in October 2020. She was surprised about how Covid affected them all differently.

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Yeah, it was quite surprising with our youngest daughter, she is a tough cookie and it really, it hit her harder than it hit me and she’s a fit young fifteen year old and she had the taste but only for a short period of time, loss of taste, but she did have horrendous headaches and a temperature that lasted probably a week and she was bed bound for a couple of days, which was quite difficult because we were all poorly at different points, including my husband, who is an athlete. He runs marathons, triathlons, very, very fit and he tested positive but was, said, “Oh, I’m fine, I’m fine.” Then, two days later, it completely knocked him for six. He was, he had the temperature and the headaches and it took him quite a few weeks to recover his breathing, when he was running. It took, it did take it out of him for quite a while, a good month I’d say after.


 
Some symptoms that people told us about were:

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Trouble breathing 
  • Changes in taste and smell 
  • Coughing 
  • Fever 
  • Aches and pains 
  • Vomiting and diarrhea 
  • Headaches
  • Feeling something is stuck in your throat
  • Impact on appetite

 
Some people we spoke to found that their experience of Covid was similar to having a cold. Rick felt lucky that he was never very poorly with Covid. Other people described their Covid illness as the most unwell they had ever been. Kashif noticed that ‘some people it affects a bit more and some people it affects a bit less’.
 

 

Sam caught Covid in July 2021. She was surprised at how sick they were and how many symptoms she had.

Sam caught Covid in July 2021. She was surprised at how sick they were and how many symptoms she had.

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I will say unequivocally, without yeah, shadow of a doubt, it’s been the worst I’ve been sick ever in my life and the longest I’ve been sick, and I didn’t appreciate just how difficult it would be to just how nasty the symptoms are and so many of them as well.


 
Differences in experiences were more obvious when several people within households or social groups caught Covid at the same time. Dawn said about her family’s experience that ‘it’s an eye opener, having Covid, because we all had different symptoms, and we all felt completely differently about it’. Mandy and several of her colleagues had very different Covid experiences, ‘some of us had it really bad, some of us had it really mild.’
 
 

Haliza’s family caught Covid in October 2020. They all experienced different symptoms.

Haliza’s family caught Covid in October 2020. They all experienced different symptoms.

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So my husband’s positive, my son’s positive too, yeah. But they, but what is really strange, what we had, I lost taste for about ten days. I couldn’t taste anything, couldn’t, didn’t eat very much. My husband was more achy, and tired. Maybe he swims everyday so maybe it’s like affected him, on his body. My son had sore throat, and very tired but maybe just a few days. So they both didn’t really, you know, had a funny taste, as it lost maybe one day or two, but otherwise, different from me. My daughter was fine, her housemates was fine. But two weeks later she’s positive.

 

Sam and her friends caught Covid in July 2021. Sam couldn’t get out of bed for three days, but her friends were just quite tired.

Sam and her friends caught Covid in July 2021. Sam couldn’t get out of bed for three days, but her friends were just quite tired.

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The consensus or the consensus between the three of us was I had the worst symptoms because I, you know, wasn’t able to get out of bed for the three, you know. For three days, I was just shivering on my sofa or sweating and didn’t sleep very well. Whereas from my friends, they were saying, oh quite tired. They were, one of them was just tired. The other one kept on saying how every day they felt better and it only kinda lasted a few days for them.


 
The people we interviewed caught Covid at different times across 2020 and 2021, when different variants were dominant in the UK. Different variants are associated with slightly different symptoms. Earlier variants, for example the Alpha and Beta variants, were more likely to affect things like taste and smell. Whether someone had been vaccinated also changed their experience, as having a Covid vaccine generally lessens symptoms and makes them easier to manage. Reflecting on the diversity of Covid symptoms between people, and how they changed over time and with different variants and vaccines, Matt wondered if it was even possible to identify a ‘classic Covid symptom’.

Impact of symptoms on day-to-day life

Tiredness

Tiredness was one of the symptoms that had the biggest impact on people we spoke with. Irene and Helen were normally very active people and were surprised at how tired they felt. Everyday activities like eating and washing became a struggle. Nargis said that she ‘couldn’t even stand long enough to brush my teeth’. Rabbi Wollenberg was so drained of energy that he wasn’t able to pick up his three-month-old son.
 
Some people we spoke described it as the most tired they have ever been. June felt like she was ‘quietly dying’. Susanne didn’t have the strength to watch TV or listen to the radio. Esther described her energy being ‘non-existent’ and imagined this was what ‘being hit by a truck is like’. Sam B described that it felt like he had been ‘unplugged’.
 

 

Gulsoom caught Covid in August 2020. She spent days in bed and was so tired that she struggled to brush her teeth or wash her face.

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Gulsoom caught Covid in August 2020. She spent days in bed and was so tired that she struggled to brush her teeth or wash her face.

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Because, when Covid hit me, it literally fatigued me to the point where I was just in bed for days on end, like literally, I couldn’t do anything. Going down the stairs was a challenge for me, you know. I couldn’t really brush my teeth or wash my face. It was like exhausting for me.

 

Irene caught Covid in September 2020. She described the tiredness as ‘awful awful awful’.

Irene caught Covid in September 2020. She described the tiredness as ‘awful awful awful’.

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And I had the awful tiredness, awful, awful, awful tiredness. I would sit down and then fall asleep, burnt dinner, all kinds of stuff. I was a liability really and that.

 

Tony Z caught Covid in December 2020. He couldn’t get out of bed and felt that Covid ‘drained every life out of me’.

Tony Z caught Covid in December 2020. He couldn’t get out of bed and felt that Covid ‘drained every life out of me’.

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All three of us are literally in our rooms all day, couldn’t even get out the bed, I was just drained, it was the weakest I’ve ever felt. That, that was the one thing I can say it drained every life out of me, I just felt completely weakened.


 

Coughing and breathlessness 

Some people we spoke to had symptoms to do with their respiratory system, like coughing and breathlessness. This was more common for people who caught Covid when the Alpha and Beta Covid variants were dominant in the UK in 2020 and at the start of 2021.
 
Jess didn’t feel very unwell but had ‘a bit of a cough’ and a runny nose. Paul’s cough lasted a few months and affected his sleep. Abdul really struggled with his cough, which felt like ‘knives being stabbed between the ribcage’. At its worst Doreen’s cough was so bad that her whole body would shake. A few days into his illness, Tun started getting intense coughing bouts that made him nauseous enough to be sick. 
 
Meanwhile, Sam didn’t get a cough, but she felt that ‘there was always something present in my lungs’. Many people we spoke to described feeling ‘phlegmy’ of full of ‘mucus’ while they were ill.
 

 

Mr Eshaan had Covid in March 2020. He would sometimes cough for half an hour without stopping.

Mr Eshaan had Covid in March 2020. He would sometimes cough for half an hour without stopping.

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You couldn’t even get up, let’s put it that way. Once a cough comes, it was a continuous cough, it would not stop. Once I continued to cough for a good half an hour nonstop, you know. And I think my wife and my daughter they could hear me at night time when I was coughing just to go to the toilet and back, you know. I could hardly walk from the bed to the toilet, you know. Just about to collapse, put it that way, you know. And sometimes yes, you have to drag yourself in drag yourself back, you know.

 

Abdul had Covid in January 2021. He felt like his ribcage was being ripped every time he coughed.

Abdul had Covid in January 2021. He felt like his ribcage was being ripped every time he coughed.

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I think at my worst point, I was, not just did I feel the sort of chest ribcage area really, really sort of, being ripped every time I coughed. It felt like, the only way to describe it is knives being stabbed, between the ribcages. So, it affected me really, really bad from a physical point of view. From a mental point of view it just completely knocked me out.


 
Some people we spoke to found it hard to breathe when they had Covid. Fahmida felt like there was ‘nothing inside my chest’. Gertrude felt that she was ‘running out of breath’. Breathlessness made it hard to move around, particularly to walk upstairs.
 

Walking upstairs made Emdad feel breathless and weak after he caught Covid in December 2020.

Walking upstairs made Emdad feel breathless and weak after he caught Covid in December 2020.

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Because we live in a second floor and I see that my breath got faster, when I climbed up the stairs. Sometime or other someone dropped the food downstairs and they call me, “I left the food down so can you come and pick up please?” Then I go to pick up the things from the down and I come back up to the second floor, within the second floor like maybe thirty, thirty five stairs, after that I become breathless. I, it’s taken a minute to stop my breathlessness like heart rate gone faster and then cough coming so I think it was because of weakness and the breathlessness, it’s hard work, make me more tired.

 

Gwilym caught Covid in March 2020. He could feel the energy drain away from him after going upstairs.

Gwilym caught Covid in March 2020. He could feel the energy drain away from him after going upstairs.

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And of course, once I started to do things, I realised that even going upstairs, I was a bit short of breath. Standing for a couple of minutes anywhere, I had to sit down because my legs were just giving way, you know, you could just feel the energy draining away from them quickly. 

 


 

Fever

Fever was a symptom for some people we spoke with. Some people felt very hot, some felt cold, and others would cycle between the two.
 

 

Tony Z caught Covid in December 2020. He described having ‘hot and cold sweats’.

Tony Z caught Covid in December 2020. He described having ‘hot and cold sweats’.

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Yeah, I had the hot and cold sweats. I mean I’d be sitting on the bed, and I’d be absolutely roasting, take my clothes off and then five minutes later be freezing so had to bring it all back on so it was, temperature was up and down.


 
Matthew said the hardest part of his illness was repeated fevers. June described that she would get a ‘kind of whoosh of heat’ from time to time. Doreen’s fever felt like ‘your whole body is on fire’ even though she didn’t have a very high temperature. Sam told us that ‘for four hours I’d be shivering, and it would be boiling outside and then for another four hours I’d be sweating.’
 
 

Doreen got Covid in October 2020. When she had a fever she felt like she was ‘burning up’.

Doreen got Covid in October 2020. When she had a fever she felt like she was ‘burning up’.

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Yeah so sometimes I was just hot. I felt like I was, we would use, it felt like I was burning up. Really hot, really hot so you could, everything off windows open, really really hot like my whole body would say like, your whole body feel like it on fire, that’s what we would say. Really, really hot.

 

Laurie had Covid in March 2020. She felt freezing but her temperature was 40 degrees and she was thirsty all the time.

Laurie had Covid in March 2020. She felt freezing but her temperature was 40 degrees and she was thirsty all the time.

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I was freezing, absolutely freezing with three duvets on you know, and woolly socks and flannel pyjamas. I could not, get warm I was so cold, but my temperature was 40 degrees, it was really, really high I was thirsty all the time. I know at one point I brought a 500ml water bottle in to the room with me. and at one point, I counted the number of times that I filled that water bottle, and I filled it 12 times in 24 hours, so that’s six litres of water that I needed. I was so thirsty, my skin cracked I was just totally dehydrated.


 
Fever made some people sweat a lot. This could be uncomfortable and made it difficult for them to sleep. Mandy decided to throw away all her bedding because she had sweated so much while she had a fever. Pooja described that her bedsheets were ‘always saturated’ and she was having four or five showers a day.
 
 

Robert caught Covid in January 2021 and sweated a lot through his fever. His wife likened his hot flushes to the menopause.

Robert caught Covid in January 2021 and sweated a lot through his fever. His wife likened his hot flushes to the menopause.

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The fact of the bed being so wet at night, having to have all these sweat, these showers and then I said to my wife, ‘you know, I’m experiencing also this, these hot flashes,’ you know, and she said to me, ‘Well I think you’re having a menopause.’ [laughs]. And it would go from cold to hot, hot to cold and that’s, I know my body was going through some changes I was not aware of.


 
Covid caused different experiences of temperature in the body for some people. Claudia said she ‘probably had more hot flushes’ while she was ill. Emdad described feeling a coldness in his heart.
 
 

Emdad felt there was a small hollow in his heart with cold coming through it.

Emdad felt there was a small hollow in his heart with cold coming through it.

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And during this two weeks time I feel like there is a sound coming out from my heart like a small hollow in my heart, something like a hole in a heart. And I feel like something is passing from the heart, something like that and after two weeks it’s like it stopped around three weeks time, then I never feel like there is a hole in the heart because you’re feeling like there’s some cold coming out from the, your heart. So I think I’m feeling like this.

Headaches and body pains

Some of the people we spoke were in pain while there were unwell. Sometimes this was because of headaches. Sonal felt she had ‘tons of pressure’ on her head. Laurie described it as ‘like an axe going in my head’. Miura had such an ‘absolutely awful’ headache that, at one point, that she felt like ‘jumping from my window’.
 

 

Mandy, who caught Covid in December 2020, had never experienced such a bad headache.

Mandy, who caught Covid in December 2020, had never experienced such a bad headache.

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I was my biggest symptoms was the temperature and the pains in my head. I have never experienced anything like it in my life. I felt like my head was gonna explode. And I said to him, the only relief I got was a hot water bottle and I’d have a hot water bottle on my head ‘cos the heat of it and then I’d go and stand under a boiling hot shower and then the water went on my head. I needed heat on my head, something to try and help it.

 

 

Emma got ill with Covid in December 2020. She put on a brave face for her kids while she had an unbearable splitting headache.

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Emma got ill with Covid in December 2020. She put on a brave face for her kids while she had an unbearable splitting headache.

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I had splitting headaches. I’ve never had such headaches in my life. I thought my head was going to explode. The pain was unbearable and I was sitting there lying in bed. I couldn’t get up, you know, but I thought I’d better put on a brave face because I didn’t want the kids to see me looking a bit off, you know. It was bad enough that my mum was in the hospital. I kept, you know, pushing and trying to appear normal.


 
Other people we spoke to had pain in their bodies. This could be pain in muscles, joints and organs. Some people felt that pain would move around their bodies. Gertrude said, ‘There’s no pain like the Covid pain’. Razia describes the pain she felt while she was ill as worse than childbirth. Sunita remembers feeling ‘every muscle, every everything in my body just aching’.
 
 

Nargis, who caught Covid in January 2021, usually has joint pain but Covid made it ‘ten times worse’.

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Nargis, who caught Covid in January 2021, usually has joint pain but Covid made it ‘ten times worse’.

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Yeah, it’s I’ve got inflammation with it and I’ve got my body hurts inside and my generally, just causes joint pain and I just always get joint pains so. And it sort of made everything worse, I would say ten times worse and it was really bad. I couldn’t tolerate the pain at all. I was taking paracetomol and then I get really cold because of my underactive thyroid and this, it actually made it worse. And I was feeling really cold. It was like a cold shower was sort of. But it was in my body inside and I’d get stabbing pains going all around my body. So I’d take paracetomol for it and then I’d start feeling hot and I’d get really sleepy. I’d sleep about ten minutes and when I’d wake up, I had a fever. Yeah, all my symptoms were really strange. And it just went around in circles.

Changes in taste and smell

Some people we spoke to who caught Covid in 2020 and early 2021 noticed changes in their taste and smell. Sue and others described having a metallic taste in their mouth. Jaswinder never lost her sense of smell but couldn’t taste for about five days. Emdad said he lost about half of his taste and smell. Paul couldn’t smell for several months. It eventually started to come back for about an hour a day. Other people experienced changes in taste and smell, such as these senses becoming more extreme or certain tastes and smells getting mixed up.
 

 

Emdad, who caught Covid in December 2020, felt that he lost about fifty percent of his taste and smell while he was ill.

Emdad, who caught Covid in December 2020, felt that he lost about fifty percent of his taste and smell while he was ill.

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I lost the smell like a half of it and the taste also half, for fifty percent gone because when you eat something, we can’t get that much like a flavour from the curries and taste also bit like, you know, they fade out and that time for just for eating we are doing dinner, eat other food and we just emphasise on the hot tea with ginger, lemon, something like that, you know.

 

Sarita caught Covid in January 2021. Her taste was affected and everything tasted the same.

Sarita caught Covid in January 2021. Her taste was affected and everything tasted the same.

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So my taste changed so much where upon the only thing I could, my body or my brains rather could realise that my palate, could realise that I had something salty, sweet and spicy but I could not get no flavours of anything. It wouldn’t have mattered if it was a piece of potato or a piece of chicken you know it just all tasted the same.

 

Nargis caught Covid in January 2021. Everything smelt like eggs and washing powder became overwhelming.

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Nargis caught Covid in January 2021. Everything smelt like eggs and washing powder became overwhelming.

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I mean, to tell you the truth, I couldn’t manage anything. I, you know, my husband, he was, he had it himself. He was unwell. He was passing me water in bed and anything, you know, I couldn’t eat. Even if he was passing me food, I couldn’t eat. My, I mean with Covid they say your taste and your smell goes but mine was enhanced. Even the slightest spicy food was extremely spicy for me. I couldn’t I just couldn’t manage it. Eggs, eggs smelt to me, I couldn’t eat them. And for example, everything smelt really, really bad to me. Like I told you before, my husband changed the bedsheets and, although they had been washed like two weeks previously. It smelt like they’d just come out the wash and they still had washing powder in them. That’s how much washing powder I smelt off the bedsheets.

 

Impact of covid symptoms on appetite and eating

Covid sometimes had an impact on people’s digestive systems. Lots of people we spoke to and lost their appetite while they were ill. Others struggled to eat because of nausea. Diarrhoea, or sometimes constipation, also meant people didn’t want to eat. It was three weeks before Esther was able to eat properly after she first caught Covid.
 

 

Esther caught Covid in January 2021. She lost her smell and taste for a couple of days, but had vomiting and diarrhoea which lasted several weeks.

Esther caught Covid in January 2021. She lost her smell and taste for a couple of days, but had vomiting and diarrhoea which lasted several weeks.

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I lost my smell and taste maybe for a day or so, really not like, my partner lost her sense of taste and smell a lot, lot worse than I did. But I just I, I just my body just couldn't handle it. So, for a few days, I was throwing everything up and then I would say for a good four to five weeks post having a positive Covid test result, just had really, really awful diarrhoea. And so, at one point, it was kind of a mixture of both and it was just not great not great [laughs]. And yeah, and so eating was just not appealing. Just didn't have an appetite at all, really.

 

Haliza had Covid in October 2020. She lost her appetite and ate just a slice of toast each day.

Haliza had Covid in October 2020. She lost her appetite and ate just a slice of toast each day.

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There’s not too much coughing, some coughing but very, very tired, you know, sleeping and no energy even to go downstairs to make a drink. I, yeah, no energy and lost appetite, didn’t eat very much. It’s, I probably, for many, many days, I probably had a slice of toast a day.


 
Nausea and diarrhoea were difficult symptoms to live with. Miura felt like there was a ‘storm inside my tummy’. Robert was ‘vomiting and vomiting’. The smell of certain foods made him feel sick. Paul was kept awake with bad stomach pain for a couple of nights. These symptoms made it hard to eat or to keep food inside the body, which meant that some people lost weight while they were ill. Matt lost about ten pounds in his first week of illness because of diarrhoea.
 
 

Robert caught Covid in January 2021. He vomited a lot and found it hard to breathe.

Robert caught Covid in January 2021. He vomited a lot and found it hard to breathe.

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I lost any kind of appetite for food and the smell of certain foods made me vomit. So, I was vomiting and vomiting even though I had not eaten and the vomit would seem to have my, my internal organs, just seems to be tight and, and, and it was hard to breathe. I had to sort of try to gasp for breath at times and the experience became worse and worse.

 

Pooja caught Covid in March 2020. Her stomach was in pain from the intensity of throwing up.

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Pooja caught Covid in March 2020. Her stomach was in pain from the intensity of throwing up.

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The pain in your stomach from having thrown up so much, you know, the intensity of throwing up but nothing is really coming out. It was only just bile coming up and that was horrific because it was like the heart, you know, the heart burn and things because there was nothing but acid coming out your mouth, basically, stomach acid. And the same with like when I was like with my, I’m sorry, I’m going into like really graphic detail. Like, you know, with my diarrhoea because I was hardly eating anything. Obviously, I wasn’t eating anything. I was just drinking water and that was just like bile coming out as well and it was it was painful, you know.

 
Other symptoms 

While the symptoms described above were some of the most common across different people’s experiences, people we spoke to also told us about a variety of other symptoms.

  • Rashes and itching were an issue for some people. Dawn was affected by ‘itching from head to toe’. Genevieve had a strange, uncomfortable itch inside her ear.
  • Surindar hallucinated while she was ill. She could see George Clooney and David Bowie on her bedroom ceiling.
  • Some people we spoke to experienced eye symptoms. Beth had ‘really gunky eyes’, and Shaista’s eyes were very dry and irritated.
  • Some people also had unusual symptoms after they had recovered. Sonal experienced hair loss, and Mr.Eshaan had a long-term rash.

 

Beth described her ‘weirdest symptom’ as being ‘really gunky eyes’.

Beth described her ‘weirdest symptom’ as being ‘really gunky eyes’.

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Yeah so, I had like a cough. But it wasn’t like, it wasn’t constant, it was like a cough and but it kept coming and going. And then I had like a headache, a sore throat. My eyes were probably one of the weirdest ones I had, the weirdest symptom I had was I was getting like really gunky eyes. Yeah so, I didn’t really, I felt poorly but I didn’t feel as poorly as like other people were there.

 

 

The road to recovery

Not everybody, but a lot of people we spoke to felt like they had either fully or mostly recovered from their worst symptoms around two or three weeks after catching Covid. Any remaining symptoms reduced within about a month. Temitope’s cough got better after about two and a half weeks, and it was fully gone by four weeks. Claudia, whose experience was ‘really quite mild’, felt better within just a few days. Sunita said she recovered within a week but that ‘it wasn’t nice’.

Some people we spoke to described having a few ‘bad days’ in the middle of their illness. Cindy felt so ill at one point that she was frightened she might die but recovered after ten days. Abdul had a ‘very, very dark point’ where he thought he might not recover but felt better when he woke up the next day.
 

 

Esther and her partner had two days when they were ‘absolute zombies’ before they started to recover.

Esther and her partner had two days when they were ‘absolute zombies’ before they started to recover.

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So there were, there were a couple of days, I think about two days where we were both like absolute zombies [laughs]. We were both like unable to do anything. It would literally be like you make the tea [laughs]. No, you make the tea. No, you make the tea because we were both just so wiped out and had like no energy. It was really, really comical. And thank goodness, she recovered really quickly. So, she had about two days of feeling really, really rough and then, you know, a couple of days and then a few days after that of feeling a bit rough, but not being, not having a fever. Not being in bed, basically. And yeah, I just think thank goodness for that, otherwise who knows what we would have done, really. And, and so, yeah, it was just really a couple of days of kind of having to struggle all through both of our, you know, of being forced to exert energy that we both didn't have, really to feed ourselves, wash ourselves and do all of that stuff.

 

Jaswinder was back to normal after ten days, with four ‘very bad’ days in the middle when she could hardly stand up.

Jaswinder was back to normal after ten days, with four ‘very bad’ days in the middle when she could hardly stand up.

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Our condition for four days was very bad. Like, for two days we had only cough and then it turned out to be Covid positive, so for the initial two to three days we had lot of weakness. 
 
Like, going to the bathroom, brushing teeth. We did not even have the strength for that. How many minutes does it take to brush? Two or three? But even through that we needed to sit down after returning we used to feel shortness of breath. 
 
So, the, having the strength to preparing our food was beyond possible. But even if somebody has given us ready cooked food, I did not have the strength to just warm the food in the kitchen to just be able to stand for two minutes. 
 
That’s how it was.
 
My daughter was mostly fine, maybe because she is quite young, children feel less impact anyway and we are in middle age now so that is why we it is because of that. 
 
It took me, took me, 10 days, to get back to normal, for instance, I went in kitchen, just made some tea in a pot, then I used to feel like, quick let me sit down on the sofa, after turning off the gas.
Back to a little rest and then back, I mean, it took 15-20 minutes to do everything.

 


 
Within households people sometimes recovered at different paces. Haliza’s children recovered quicker than she did, within just a few days. When everyone in Gulsoom’s family got Covid, those with milder symptoms were ‘absolutely fine’ after five days but others took several weeks to fully recover.
 
 

Matt caught Covid in August 2021. He felt ropey for a while was very grateful to have had the vaccine.

Matt caught Covid in August 2021. He felt ropey for a while was very grateful to have had the vaccine.

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It was sort of standard tale of isolation I think for about ten days pretty, in bed or you know, not venturing much further than the kettle or the television. And we were pretty ropey for about ten days after that as well and that pretty much takes us to about ten days ago, I think at which point, since when blissfully felt pretty buoyant, healthy and recovered and were grateful, really as we are for the vaccines.

 

Everyone recovered from different symptoms at different times in Gulsoom’s family.

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Everyone recovered from different symptoms at different times in Gulsoom’s family.

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Right, so for some of my siblings, they got cough symptoms, so their cough didn’t go or their smell and taste so, my smell and taste luckily came back after two weeks but their smell and taste didn’t come back for a good three months. But also, their cough symptoms didn’t go.

So they were coughing, like I didn’t really get the cough and I did lose my smell and taste  but mine came back after two weeks but they lost their smell and taste for a very long time. They probably weren’t as much fatigued, but they probably had lost their smell and taste and they had cough symptoms but some of them got really mild symptoms so, after three to five days, they were absolutely fine.


 
Some people we spoke to felt a lingering tiredness, even if they considered themselves to have mostly recovered. Ayny, for example, described that she was still ‘very tired’. Some people, like Tun, June and Irene, talked about living with other persistent symptoms months after first becoming infected. We explore this more in the section ‘Longer term impacts of Covid symptoms.’ 

 

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