Well, it had to happen – Man Flu! After months of shielding, isolation and generally being careful, Morgan had to go back to school. Sure enough, within a week he had a bit of a cold so had a day off sick.
For some reason, despite being generally fit and healthy I always seem susceptible to such infections, So, true to form within a day or two I also had a cold. Being a manly kind of person this escalated into full blown man-flu. The really sore throat and headache soon became snotty and I had all over body aches. We checked my temperature as I felt pretty hot and shivery all at the same time but it seemed OK. Morgan had recovered but I was feeling pretty bad. To make matters worse, as is usually the case when I get a cold, my pericarditis flared up as well.
Loss of Fitness
First thing to suffer was of course my ‘recreational’ activities. I was still able to work, but I missed a couple of nice windsurf sessions and I stopped all swimming, biking, kayaking and running. Things had been going quite well with my ‘training’ until this point. I hadn’t really been training as such. Instead I’d been following more of a ‘get out there and enjoy it’ kind of plan. Thanks to the Coronavirus lockdown there were no races planned. There was nothing to aim for. Therefore the main emphasis was on doing what felt good on the day and suited the conditions. I had however been fairly consistent throughout the year and the fitness chart on the various training tracking apps had showed this.
However, as can be seen on the fitness tracker from Strava above, a week of inactivity soon put pay to that as fitness levels plummeted. The ‘fitness’ level is the dark line, that had been rising fairly steadily and had peaked at around 125 but has now dropped down to 101 and continues to fall. A few days would have been OK and could just have been considered a period of rest and recovery but I’ve been out of sorts for getting on for a week now. I’m not feeling like getting back into any training at the moment either.
There was of course always the niggling thought that it could be Coronavirus. That is after all the thing on everyone’s minds these days. The symptoms were however just those of a normal cold as there wasn’t really a cough or even that much of a temperature.
It still made us think though. If I could catch a cold so easily despite the the fact that we hadn’t been anywhere for months and had been really careful, then catching coronavirus would be just as easy. It had clearly come via the school and that’s expected at this time of year. Coughs and colds are always rife a couple of weeks after the summer break.
The worrying thing is that children generally have very mild symptoms of Coronavirus or are completely asymptomatic. That means that even if they have it they are unlikely to know. They will therefore continue going to school where they will pass it on to their friends. From there it’ll be taken home and will spread into the community. If we can catch a common cold so easily despite staying at home we have no chance of avoiding coronavirus which is even more ‘invisible’ within school age children.
Things took a little turn over the weekend when my sense of taste and smell changed somewhat. I didn’t lose my sense of taste or my sense of smell completely. However, anything that contained vinegar had a really weird smell / taste. It was more of a sensation somewhere between my throat and nose than an actual taste or smell so its difficult to describe. But something had definitely changed.
Even this could of course be attributed to just being a little bunged up with a cold. However, on Saturday I started to cough a little and then by Sunday the cough was getting worse. Anna was beginning to have a cold as well.
Being an inquisitive sort I tested my Oxygen saturation levels as well. I don’t have a funky watch that will do this (yet). I buy a little finger tip SPO2 monitor before my trip up Kilimanjaro so that I could see what happened to my oxygen saturation levels at altitude. It’s probably more accurate than a wrist mounted sensor anyway.
It made sense to see how I was faring with mild Coronavirus symptoms. I was of course at sea level.
Normal levels at sea level should be close to 100%. A quick test of mine and it was around 96%, although having not tested it before the Coronavirus symptoms that doesn’t really tell me much as that could I guess be normal for me. It did drop to 94% once or twice which is a bit low. To put it into perspective though my oxygen saturation levels on Kilimanjaro whilst at around 4500m were down to 80% – I forgot to test them whilst on the summit at 5895m.
The strange tastes and the coughing although both fairly mild did mean that I now had some of the signs of Coronavirus. So, we decided it was time to order a test. We applied for a postal test on Sunday evening and the package arrived on Monday.
I performed the test as instructed and popped it back in the post. By Tuesday morning my swabs were back in Glasgow ready to be tested.
We then had to isolate until the test results came back. That means Morgan was off school and we couldn’t leave the house. If they are negative then we could go back to work and school (once I’m feeling better that is). If they were positive then I’d have to continue to isolate, as would Anna and Morgan. If the test came back as ‘unclear’, ‘void’, ‘borderline’ or ‘inconclusive’ then we would have to continue to isolate and get another test.
Despite my symptoms we were still expecting a negative result, but I guess you never know.
The result was sent to me via text message and email by 5pm on Tuesday. That’s a pretty quick turn-around and I’m pleased to say it was negative. I’m still feeling fairly ill but I’ve been working from home Monday and Tuesday anyway – despite not actually working on a Monday or Tuesday so we’ll have to see how I feel tomorrow.