Catching Covid-19: getting cozy in quarantine

November 11, 2020

Collage by Sadie Souter with images from Pixabay

Emma de Duve applies positivity, calm and focus during testing times

Coronavirus is still firmly at the forefront of everyone’s minds, with government figures showing more than 1.1 million confirmed cases so far, and more than 49,000 deaths in the UK.

However, it’s only now having tested positive for Covid-19, that the physical effects have directly touched my life.

I’m at the beginning of my third year of uni, studying journalism at Nottingham Trent. I returned to Nottingham in September to move into a new place. Although these uncertain times continued, I was excited to see friends and hoping to get back to some normality. But student life wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up early after being out the previous night with some friends. I didn’t feel particularly different from usual, so it was very weird having breakfast and realising that I couldn’t taste or smell anything.

I got a bit anxious and tried sniffing garlic, paprika, fabric conditioner, a scented candle, but couldn’t smell a thing. I made hot chocolate, one of my favourites, but it was just hot and watery.

Even though I knew my housemates would be compassionate, I was apprehensive about breaking the news that most likely I had coronavirus. Whether I had it or not I knew that until I had the test results we’d have to isolate.

I felt anxious at the thought of a ten day isolation period, not being able to go outside of my four walls

I ordered a home test kit.

The kit came the next day and I can’t say the testing process was pleasant. I struggle to see my tonsils at the best of times, let alone finding them to take a swab. Poking a giant cotton bud up my nostrils was very uncomfortable too, but I managed that better.

It was then a long and unsettling five days before I got the result…which was positive!

I felt anxious at the thought of a ten day isolation period, not being able to escape my four walls. I didn’t know how I would cope.

Fortunately, I discovered that some of what I’d learned and practiced during the first lockdown was useful. Although it was tough not being able to go outside to see a big expanse of sky, I was now more resourceful and resilient.

I knew how important creating structure to my day was: getting dressed in the morning and eating properly, to at least try to keep some form of normality. Also, to bring a bit of calm and serenity, I would look out of my window, focus on the clouds and daydream for a while.

My taste and smell started to come back within a few days. I’m not sure if it has returned fully but I’m able to taste most things, which is good. It’s made me appreciate the tastes that I love!

During quarantine I got cosy under my duvet and enjoyed escaping into TV shows I’d missed

The other symptoms that I experienced were a sore throat and bad headache. Luckily within three or four days, they both subsided. I now just get the occasional headache, which I’m not 100% certain is corona related.

I do feel very lucky that I haven’t been affected too badly by the virus. Since the onset of my symptoms, I haven’t been stuck in bed with a temperature feeling absolutely awful. I think I had it mildly, other people I know were much more poorly, with high temperatures and lasting fatigue.

During quarantine I got cosy under my duvet and enjoyed escaping into TV shows I’d missed. I got stuck into tidying my room. I also had plenty of studying to do, which gave me a useful focus to my days locked in.

When I got out of isolation it felt fantastic to be able to leave the house and be outside – just to get some fresh air and not be locked behind closed doors!

Overall two weeks stuck inside, whilst challenging, highlighted that I can find purpose within a restricted life. Also, my housemates didn’t annoy me as much as I thought they might (😂 only joking if you’re reading this!)

It’s not so easy to stay positive during cold, dark days. I’m now going to have to dig deep and keep busy to get through national lockdown number 2 – so it goes on!

Emma studied History, Religious Studies and Drama at Woodhouse College. She is a big football fan and has recently completed a journalism degree at Nottingham Trent University. Emma has recently become an active advocate of decluttering.

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