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My Corona journey

This blog is about my Corona infection experience. This is my personal view. So of course, not everyone may agree and that is absolutely fine. I suppose everyone makes different experiences. Some might be better some not so much. I started writing this blog when I was sure that I had corona. It was not intended to be a long post, but pages were filled quickly. Thus, I decided to split it up and publish it as a sort of diary. This is first of all for myself. Writing is therapeutic and going through my experience helps me dealing with it. But why sharing? This leads to point two and three. Second, I felt left alone during this time. Thus, maybe this is some help for others. Reading that someone else felt the same, could be comforting for someone. Third, I think some things could be managed better and I am documenting it so that maybe things improve. I am not thinking that we will get another pandemic, but Corona will become endemic and how we treat patients will be decisive. Thus, I hope that providing the patient view may help to improve how the patient is treated in the future. Not only from a patient side I think things could have been handled better in my case, but I also think that on a personal level, things could have been managed better.

Part 1 – how it all began

In late winter 2022 I started going to the office more regularly. I tried going to the office three times per week. The advice to work from home was still in place. Though I had moved during the pandemic and the isolation reached a degree that was no longer healthy for me. I lived almost one year in this country but hardly knew anyone. I have hardly been to the office, had no idea where I could find what. After one year I was still in the stage of a beginner when it comes to being acquainted with my workspace and knowing colleagues. And frankly I could not really build a relationship with most colleagues. Meeting online is not the same as meeting face to face. It is just not a perfect substitute. I think online meetings can help maintaining already established relationships, but it cannot really create the same bond without a preceding offline relationship. Again, this is my personal view.

I also went climbing regularly and I was so happy to finally make friends there. Once I left the house making friends was easy and I finally felt like rooting a little bit at this place that I have lived at for almost a year. The other day someone told me living at a place is not about the place, it is about the people and the connections one makes. I could not agree more. People ask: "how do you like it here?” I never know what to respond and I always explain that I do not know since I have lived in isolation. I do not know if Dutch people are nice or not, I don’t know them. All I got to know was bureaucracy and to be honest that was not a good experience.

It must happen at some point. I had Corona-self tests at home. I ordered some last year and still had them, as I was not going places, so why should I test anyway? Beginning of this year I ordered new ones, as I thought now that I regularly leave the house I should test regularly, so I will need more tests soon. I have to say that I felt tired and weak for some time because I have started biking much more. I have an e-bike, which makes my life much easier. Still, it means about 1,5 hours of biking three times a week. Additionally, I have a sports program, yoga, and climbing. That meant on some days I was moving for about 4 hours or more (e.g., 2 hours biking, 2 hours climbing). That may sound insane, but I had such a regime in earlier times as well. I am just no longer used to it. So, I wanted to push through to get myself used to it again.

On Friday I had to bring my car to the check up to prepare for the change of the number plate. I left my car at the garage and used public transport to get back home. I was really wondering why I still have a car. I had only used it to travel to Austria (where I come from). I am a bit sensitive to the mask. Whenever I wear it a bit longer, I get issues with my throat. I wear an FFP2 mask which makes it harder to breath (this is how I experience it). Thus, when I got a scratchy throat at the end of the day and when I was tired, I had explanations ready. I got my car back, went to the grocery store and after some bargaining with my tired self, I went to the boulder gym. I was happy I went there because it was awesome. It was another example of what happens when I just push myself a bit more.

The next day I felt a bit tired, my throat was still scratchy. After an intense training session, I sometimes feel a hangover. So, nothing strange there. To be sure I made a Corona-self test. It was negative. Thus, I went on with my plans for the day. I had to get to the city center to buy cardboard and a waterproof pen to craft a number plate (this is how you do it here when you get a new number plate, don’t ask).

After my trip to the city center, I felt bad. I started to get the chills, joint pain, muscle ache, headache. I was confused, the test was negative, so it must be something else. The day went on like this, the night was similarly awful. I could not sleep well, because my body felt so strange and because of the aches, pains, and the chills. The next morning, I made another test, it was negative again. I could not explain what was going on. I was glad I canceled climbing on time, because I would not have been able to leave the house. The day went on like the day before. Apart from my headache my head was fine. It did not feel like a cold. It reminded me of when I had malaria. That was somewhat similar. That night, at some point I woke up, sweating like crazy. At least the next day I felt better. I thought, I must have sweat it out of my body. I thought, just for fun, let me use one of the newer tests. This time it was positive.

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