As the coronavirus pandemic hits country after country, people the planet over are worried, scared, uncertain, and sick. And many of us, from inside our homes—eyes glued to the news—are curious about Coronavirus patients, their symptoms, how they got tested, and their recovery stories. Over on Reddit, u/carrotsandvinegar asked people who’ve been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus to chime in with their experiences.
Though the question does not specifically mention coronavirus, we can assume that is what OP is referring to. They also asked for “serious responses only,” receiving about 11,000 replies (many from people who were sick but could not get tested).
“I (34F, otherwise healthy) caught the virus 3 weeks ago. It was hell, to be honest. 103-104 degrees fever for 6 days, terrible cough, had trouble breathing (no pneumonia though, thank god for that), got an ear infection and the second week I caught some vicious stomach bug and I legit thought that I was going to die because my body was so exhausted. Because of the vomiting, not being able to eat at all and being so sick the week before I fainted, got extreme chills that made me unable to even hold things because I was shaking so much. I had to go to the emergency room for a night, and when I got home I finally started to feel better. They were unsure if the vomiting was because if the virus or something unrelated. Been symptom-free for 4 days now and my doctor cleared me for work on Monday. I actually feel completely fine now. A bit tired after everything, but nothing worse than that.
*Edit: Since this blew up when I was asleep, I’m going to answer some of the frequently asked questions here. My lungs are fine. As others in the thread have pointed out, the risks for permanent damage is higher if you get pneumonia, and I didn’t. I breathe just fine and are back to normal. It has been two weeks since I had a fever, cough and ear trouble. When I said that I was symptom-free for 4 days, I meant from the stomach problems. And symptom-free includes getting my full appetite back and no signs what so ever of anything. My doctor tested me earlier this week and he told me that I was cleared for work, so I trust him. Yes, I tested positive. I live in Sweden.”—Solum.Luna
“ER doc here. Tested positive (test done Mon but results back only today.) I’m 48, female, in California. Hubby with the same symptoms but test was negative (suspect false neg as we both work ER). Had bad body aches. Fevers to 101, cough, headache first 4 days. Today shorter of breath and still achy but no fever. Feel like I inhaled soap or chlorine. Short of breath but not terrible. Stay safe everyone.” — Sinnercin
“I currently have it. I feel kind of groggy, the cough is stopping me from sleeping but I think the worst is that I can’t get medicine to soothe my symptoms because everyone is hoarding them, as well as that I’m worried about groceries and stuff because I have to take at least two weeks off work, and getting my student work done at the same time while feeling like shit.
Update, because I’ve had many people DM’ing me and asking what the symptoms are I’ll give my current situation; Day1: Headaches Day2: Headaches, Sinuses start hurting, cough appears and cold symptoms start appearing (Coughing produced no phlegm. Like a chesty cough that rattles in your ribcage and throat) Day3: all of the above and chest feels very tight, it’s hard to breathe and I feel very weak, appetite has completely disappeared
Day 4: (currently) Throat is starting to feel scratchy, very lethargic and sleepy, appetite has completely gone, headaches come and go, very very sensitive to light.” —TaterThotsandRavioli
“40M w/ barely high blood pressure. It was super mild for me. I had a bit of a cough one day and the next had a 99f fever and regular coughing. I took just regular cold and flu pills and felt fine. Next 2 mornings I woke up with 102 and 101 fevers before pills. Combo of Musenex and cold and flu pills kept it pretty under control.
After that no more fever but still some coughing and phlegm but super mild compared to any other time I’ve been sick with lung crud. If it wasn’t all over the news I wouldn’t have known it was anything bad. For the record, though I have a pretty rad immune system.
We were over in Afghanistan and went black on food and water for a few days (ran out). We ended up drinking Afghan ditch water. Everyone else got the shits. I didn’t. Not sure where I got it. I flew through LaGuardia and Syracuse about 5 days before I got sick but also a few coworkers tested positive days after coming back from Italy around the same time. edit Yep they tested me cuz the Italian people. I am positive.” — elitist_ferret
“30 male, good health, maybe a few pounds to heavy, non-smoker. So, 2 weeks before all this started to become “big news”, my building with about 20 apartments was starting to replace all the pipes and rebuilding the bathrooms in every apartment at the same time. They installed a temporary building outside with 8 bathrooms that everyone would share for 6 weeks. (yippi!…) 2 weeks later all these reports about people getting infected is everywhere (as I’m reading them on a toilet shared with who knows how many people…) add a few days and I’m starting to feel sick.
To my knowledge, a few families got sick around the same timeframe as me and we all contacted our landlord so they had to do a complete cleanout of the bathrooms + they added another building so every apartment had their own bathroom to avoid spreading it even more. (Thank god) This was before any tests was done but the media around the virus was so big that they didn’t want to take any chances. They also doubled the amount of cleaning that is done daily so I’m really impressed. Happy to see that money isnt everything sometimes.
The sickness didn’t feel more than a really bad cold. The coughing the first days was the worst, thankfully it gave away pretty quick (2-3 days) and was pretty minor after that. The fever was coming and going under the whole week, but I remember Sunday on day 4-5 being the absolute crazy one. Was up to almost 39°c (~102°f) and probably slept for 20-24 hours that day.
Had some weird “feeling hot & cold at the same time and getting goosebumps all over my body” moments all the time. Was like a super cold wave traveled through my body from head to feet. Took me about a week to feel fine from the day I took the test, so in total around 9 days from the first symptom to 100% fine (ish) Now, 3-4 days after (still staying away from people as much as I can) the only thing is that I’m breathing a bit heavier and can get the feeling that I don’t really get enough air as normal, but nothing serious. Counting on this being gone pretty soon aswell. I will say this: if I didn’t know about COVID-19, I wouldn’t think it was anything more than the regular flu.”—Jrippan
“Today is the first day I can say I’m completely over it. For context, I’m a fairly healthy 24-year-old male, though I do have a history of chronic bronchitis and asthma. I’ve honestly never felt so energetic. It’s a shame, since I’ve been laid off indefinitely, so I’m just at home chilling with my cat (she’s psyched about the quarantine and loves cuddles) and cooking in the kitchen. Going from having difficulty breathing to being able to run on the treadmill is an incredible feeling.” — applepiepirate
“My husband is in the recovery stage now. He never got tested because he kept being told without a confirmed positive as close contact, he would have to wait. At this point, we’ve been treating it as if we all have it. He’s a male in his 30s, no terrible conditions but a history of asthma, really strong seasonal allergies and a tendency to get bronchitis. It started off last Friday with a scratchy throat. Very quickly over the weekend progressed to a fever with chills, a deep cough and shortness of breath. He was very much out of it from Sunday to about halfway to Tuesday. He developed an extremely painful ear infection on Tuesday night right as the coughing started to subside a little. His throat was very sore and I had to make a fast trip to the pharmacy yesterday for numbing spray.
March 9-13 – possible exposure, potentially multiple times in a workplace environment March 13 – scratchy throat, mild cough, said coughing “felt different”, aching joints
March 14 – headache, mild fever, worsening dry cough
March 15 to 17 – bad headache, moderate fever, deep dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, joint pain
March 17 – headache subsided, fever was milder, cough still present, shortness of breath still present, still fatigued, ear infection presented in the evening and he was feeling pretty sore when moving around
March 18 – symptoms slowly subsiding, sore throat from coughing, still fatigued, better mobility without as much pain
March 19 to present – symptoms continued to subside, some coughing, sore throat, hoarseness, still somewhat fatigued Progressively, he’s been getting better and was able to make a conference call with his work colleagues. Still a slight cough. His boss has the same symptoms and is in his 50s. They are considered essential staff.
Their company cleared their department, had the one person on-site work elsewhere and sanitized the workspace top to bottom. They are planning to rotate in weekly teams of two once the boss and my husband are off self-quarantine. We sat outside in the sun and that helped. He rested a lot and had a lot of fluids. We’ve been together two decades and I’ve never seen him that sick for that long. I deep cleaned and disinfected a lot and he mainly stayed in bed to keep his distance. I slept on the couch. Usually, his immune system kicks things square in the ass. The co-worker who was on site had a kid with influenza A a few weeks ago so they didn’t think much of it when he was in the office coughing for a week straight.” — elleahye
“25F, previously healthy and active, in western MA where we’re being walloped by it. There are a lot of people here who have it but aren’t being tested to prove it, Anyway – I felt fine for a week, beyond a little tired and extra thirsty (because of low fever). Then boom, suddenly stuffy, terrible dry cough that would never stop, felt like there was a weight on my chest that made it hard to breathe.
I called out from work for a week, and stayed home. During that entire week, I mostly slept. I was only awake maybe an hour or two each day, and I was either unconscious for the rest or don’t remember. I had a lot of canned soup on hand, so I lived off of the soups and water during those days.
The only things I really remember are eating soup, feeding the cat, and dreading the cough / wishing the fatigue would end. That lasted about 7-8 days, and then it suddenly seemed to clear up in 1 day. It was bizarre, and I felt spooked about how suddenly well and energetic I felt afterward. The only thing I’ve noticed since then is that I feel winded much more easily, and sometimes I feel like I’m not getting enough air.
It makes me frustrated since it strips away from the hiking and dancing I like to do. ETA – I managed pain / discomfort with edibles, namely infused chocolate. It was the only time I’ve ever used them and I’m grateful I was able to; none are available now (panic buyers are selling out the stores), so if I’d caught COVID19 now I’d have been extra uncomfortable and stressed.”—Little_Letters
“My whole house has it. My brother was confirmed this morning, and we’ve clearly all been exposed. Let’s see… for me it’s mostly the body aches and fatigue. Not much of a fever. I had some coughing a few days ago, but that’s subsided. A ton of phlegm actually. Which is why I’m coughing occasionally. I get this weird Peter tingle all over my body. Like, if I’m just in my underwear, it legit feels like I have something on. That comes and goes, and DayQuil has helped. Other than that it’s the occasional headache, and the most unique of all is this sinus infection I’ve been getting. Last night it hurt to breathe because my nasal passages were burning. That also comes and goes.
My brother had some bad coughing, lack of appetite and fever for a few days. He got meds while he went to the hospital to be tested. He seems on the mend, though the cough is still lingering. He’s a bit out of it, but has his energy. He’s staying in his room mostly and wears a mask when he isn’t. My parents seem to have the mildest symptoms. Achy, fatigued, but coughing lasted a few days for my mom, and went away. Father doesn’t really cough, though occasionally. No one’s breathing is short. Overall everyone is just achy and tired. Chills too. I’d predict that we’ve had this for about a week now, and the peak may have been a few days ago with us not really realizing it. We just saw everyone get sick all at once.” — 86753ohnieeaine
“Wife – Fever, headache, chills, no energy, sleeping for most of the day and night, progressed to dry persistent cough, breathlessness, trouble breathing when lying down, weight on chest like it’s compressed, trouble sleeping, bringing up green phlegm in the morning. Myself – First week, zero energy, tired, struggle to do anything, end of the first week, breathlessness, trouble breathing when lying down, weight on chest like it’s compressed. We are both still having issues, but I haven’t had anywhere near the same kind of issues my wife has (yet).” — trillospin