Sunday 12 February 2023

It was such an unusual cold

I spent most of this week in our Glastonbury office.  This was my first visit since the first week of December 2019, back in pre-Pandemic times.  Ironically, it had many echos of the first:  on both occasions, i met up with the same colleagues, but, this time, I was travelling alone, whereas on the previous trip, I’d brought “The Stray Australian” with me, a colleague from Sydney.  We stayed in the same hotel, as did the Regional Finance Business Partner, who I had dinner with on both Tuesday evenings.  Last time,  on the Wednesday afternoon, I developed a tickle in my throat so wandered over to the nearest supermarket after dinner, to buy some whisky to kill the cough.  This time, ditto.  Last time, I drove back to London on the Thursday afternoon, feeling more and more ill, dropped the Stray Australian back at the office, then went home to bed.  This time, I drove home on Friday, my tonsils making their presence felt..

Last time, by the Saturday, I had a sore throat.  It didn’t help that that was the day of my choir’s carol concert but I soldiered through, my voice cracking on some of the high notes.  I also soldiered through at work. I had a lot to learn from the Stray Australian before he went home on the Thursday, so couldn’t stay home.  Then while I was feeling like death warmed up on the Monday, I got asked to take on a role in our Huntingdon office: someone had resigned, timing it with holidays to give less than 2 weeks’ notice.  (Seriously, I was sitting in the office contemplating asking to go home to bed, when I got called into a meeting room.) 

Symptoms appeared in stages.   I developed a drippy, runny nose; watery, like a dripping tap.  The scratchy, swollen throat went on and on.  My larynx was on fire for days.   A week later, I could have drawn the cartilages within it, it was that sore.  Christmas came and went, and we spent the week of New Year in Normandy.  I was cooking dinner on the Tuesday (New Year’s Eve) when I realised that everything was tasteless.  On the Thursday, I woke up in the middle of the night, feeling crackles in my chest.  A couple of slow, deep breaths and they went, not to return. That was the last symptom, to appear.   It took a couple of weeks for my sense of taste to return - now I have to salt everything, (where I never did before) - and it took months for my vocal cords to recover.  

 I am 100% certain, now that it was Covid.  We know now that the first official variant ulcerated the vocal cords of those who were intubated, hence the damage to my own vocal cords, and all the other symptoms tally.  I know who I caught it from: a colleague in a meeting on the Friday before I went to Glastonbury.   It swept through her office and through ours, before Christmas 2019.  When Covid began getting publicity, we sat there ticking off the symptoms.   Of course, there was no testing then, so it can’t be proved now..  (By the time I did have antibody testing, I’d been vaccinated twice, and tested positive once, via a PCR test in October 2020.)

This time around, well, yesterday’s lateral flow test was negative for Covid.  The tickly cough has declined a lot and my nose is snotty, not dripping water.  I think we’re safe to say that it isn’t Covid this time, but I doubt I’ll be at rehearsal tomorrow evening.  I’ll take another test on Tuesday, before I go to the office.

 My name is Pam and I had Covid before it was famous.