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My COVID-19 Experience - Cairns patient's virus journey

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Person in mask

COVID-19 has been spreading across the globe since late last year.

While there has been relatively few people infected with the virus in Far North Queensland, it still poses a major threat to the region.

Megan* (not her real name) was one of first people infected with coronavirus in Cairns at the end of March, just two weeks after it was first identified in the city. She has shared her story in bid to encourage others to do whatever they can to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

"I was infected with COVID-19 sometime before the 29th of March.

It could have been from something as simple as handling groceries that were not cleaned and not washing my hands.

The first symptom I developed was the loss of smell.

The only reason I noticed that, was I had a cough before all this started, and used Vicks Vapour Rub and could not smell it.

That's when everything changed for me.

In the next four days, I developed an extremely high temperature and nausea.

The fatigue and the change of taste did not hit me until I was put into Cairns Hospital for isolation, away from my family, on the sixth day.

I was in hospital for 20 days in total for observation and isolation.

In the second week of my stay, all these symptoms had vanished.

Then, on the 20th day, they were able to send me home so that I could isolate at home.

The doctors and nurses did the best they could with what information they had on the virus.

The lady I dealt with over the phone was great.

She helped me and my family with answers and clarity on the isolation orders we were going through.

My actual journey was done at home after I left the hospital, over the next six weeks.

There is where I tried all the remedies imaginable to get rid of the virus.

I tried getting out into the sunshine four times a day for 10 minutes, drinking lemon juice and warm water twice a day, and eating more fruit.

I even did more chores around the house.

Just being able to get into a normal routine and relax in my own environment was medicine as well.

But foremost was listening to my body on what it was telling me.

The day I got my first negative test was the best day of my life.

While all of my symptoms eventually disappeared, the biggest and hardest symptoms of COVID-19 were the depression, anxiety and mental state issues that I encountered going through all of this.

The actual virus symptoms were nothing compared to these three mental symptoms, and I am still affected by them to this day.

I think that people need to familiarise themselves more thoroughly with symptoms of the virus, as it affects everyone differently.

Do not become complacent with hygiene.

Everything that is in the media is important: wash your hands before eating, after going to the toilet, use sanitiser and disinfectants wherever you can.

This is something you do not want to go through or put your family or work through.

Don’t look or judge people on the fact they have or have had the virus as it is something out of their control, they are NOT lepers.

And find something in your life that can aid in your mental health through this kind of event".

Last updated: 21 July 2020