HEALTH: *** Woes of a COVID-19 sufferer ***

COVID-19 has not left us. It lingers and causes far too many people great discomfort for a couple of weeks. Sadly, in the case of the aged and frail, it has proven it can be fatal.

If you have not been vaccinated, it might be worthwhile to consult with your family physician regarding the value and benefits of vaccination. Booster vaccines are now in their third phase. This is a far more serious illness than just a ‘severe flu.’


We are hearing from a number of sufferers since our first posting from a Pickering resident who recorded his COVID-19 his days of suffering.  His saga of his COVID-19 woes  is below [ ADDITIONALLY, we have listed experiences, tips and comments from other suffers at the end of this post ]:


Woes of a COVID-19 sufferer

Since the onset of the pandemic, I have followed all the precautions that the government has mandated and have received the full immunization protocol to date. At 78 years old, I wasn’t going to take any chances with this new bug. I also have no preexisting medical conditions. I was a Public Health Inspector my entire career, charged with enforcing the Communicable Disease Regulations as regulated by the Health Protection and Promotion Act. There were about 50 diseases we investigated and reported to the Medical Officer of Health. Emerging diseases such as AIDS, SARS, and EBOLA have been added to the list. The cases we followed up were mostly enteric/parasitic diseases.

Because of my role as a public health inspector, I take as many precautions as possible without resorting to life on a deserted island. Then Canada Health added COVID-19 to the list of diseases for which we need to take precautions. The report is made and 46 months later, COVID catches up to me. I haven’t been sick for more than 25 years and here I am quarantined in my home.

Friday, Oct.27
After a full day of delivering 170lbs. of apples to the food bank and doing my Royal Canadian Legion duty of offering poppies at the Mall, I returned home and so it began.
We all know that feeling when we are coming down with something. You get that weird sensation that starts in your head and you know it’s not just another symptom that will pass. A slight headache, aching eyeballs, raspy throat, sinus congestion, runny nose, and aching joints. I decided to sleep in the spare room since my wife has not been vaccinated for COVID-19. I managed to email everyone that I have been in contact with for the last 72 hours. Then I had half a cup of that classic treatment for all maladies, chicken soup. I supplemented the soup with one tablet of Tylenol extra strength. Normally, I stay up till midnight, but these oncoming symptoms forced me to bed much earlier, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 28
After a hard night of tossing and turning, I woke up to the full-blown symptoms of COVID-19, the worst of which was the feeling that my head was going to explode. I suspected COVID-19 and the rapid COVID-19. The rapid COVID-19 reagent test confirmed my suspicions. Yup, positive. Now what?

Maybe trying to read Saturday’s Toronto Star might help. I couldn’t concentrate long enough to get through the sports section. My COVID combat arsenal mandated wearing a proper mask, not a hanky, not an imitation N95 knock-off. But quarantining seemed to be the order of the day. The right bedroom was needed for this, the one with the queen bed, a color TV, and Internet WIFI connectivity as my laptop might be a means to some distraction from the developing symptoms.

I felt crappy. I thought some relief would be found with a night of sports TV. My daughter called suggesting I get a prescription for Paxlovid. The side effects made things worse. The cure was feeling worse than the malady. My daughter meant well trying to save Dad from himself. The old stalwarts of hot liquids and bed weren’t cutting it.

Another symptom reared its ugly head, or I should say, its noisy presence, a lung-deep cough that wiped me out amazingly fast. Dinner was light, with a scrambled egg and toast. Dessert, an Advil, extra strength. These measures really helped. I made it to 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 29
After tossing and turning all night, I woke to another day of suffering: pressure behind the eyes, achy joints, for some strange reason, my hips hurt, a deep cough, a runny nose, and sinus congestion. All the symptoms remind me that I am still alive and kicking. Without enough energy to answer the phone, I tried reading the paper again. Got through half the first section before succumbing to weakness and feeling crappy.

Time really drags when one is quarantined in a bedroom. TV is no salvation on Sunday unless one is a rabid football fan. I’m a fan, but not at that level of passion.

My dear wife pampered me with homemade chicken soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. The same dessert, an Advil, extra strength. Effectiveness, nil. Lights out: 9:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 30
“Hey, it’s not so bad.” Eyeball pain and pressure, gone; exploding head pain, gone. The cure taking effect but still weak. My COVID-19 partners, coughing and runny nose, are still with me.

Shaved and went to McD’s drive-thru wearing a mask for a coffee, just to reconfirm that I was still alive and human. Returned home, toasted half a bagel, and reverted to my man cave. Resorted to me rocking chair, coffee, and peanut butter-honey laced bagel at one hand, the newspaper and TV remote at the other, I watched the world destroying itself. Does life get any better? What’s that old saying? Starve a fever, feed a cold. My darling wife kicked up the menu like it might be a criminal’s last meal: chicken breasts, turnip/squash, green beans with sliced garlic, pan-fried potato chunks smothered in gravy, homemade apple pie, and custard with coconut shavings. She was feeding a man as if he were on the road to recovery.

Being able to breathe through both nostrils felt like a simple but real pleasure. Almost feeling human again. Added to my rear end being sore from sitting so long, my bones ached all over. Managed to watch the whole baseball game. Evening ritual again: an Advil, extra strength but lo and behold, lights out at 11 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 31
Symptoms relinquishing battlefield gains: a mild head cold, slight cough, milder congestion. I was feeling noticeably better. From all I have read about COVID-19, I think I have the symptom of the “fog.” It’s a funny sensation like when you get an alcohol buzz. Maybe I just need more time for the head to clear. I would say I feel about 85% operational. If there is any saving grace from having COVID, at least it spares you the dreaded vomiting and diarrhea of the flu bug. Now my sweety has COVID. She has not had any vaccine, nor has my son who is beginning to feel the early symptoms. Repeat the nightly ritual with an early-to-bed, 10 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 1
Slept fairly well finally. Though I can breathe through my nose, the nuisance cough persists accompanied by the consistent lung congestion and the continuing brain fog which feels weird. Decided to do another rapid test: still positive. I thought I could stay awake for the World Serious game. Nope. Nightly ritual again and off to Dreamland at 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 2
Slept in till 8:30 a.m. Feeling pretty good though cough, brain fog, and runny nose are still physical partners. Functioning much better but still less than 100%. Appetite seems ok. Must be getting better as I whine over Maple Loafs ice antics, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in a shoot-out to break the tie. Repeat the nightly ritual with bedtime edging later to 10:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 3
Slept in till 9:00 a.m. Feeling pretty good but for the persistent cough and runny nose. Enjoy a glass of OJ every morning, a bowl of cereal, and a banana, and head out to McD’s drive-thru for a coffee. This disease fights on relentlessly attacking any nearby potential victim. My wife contracted it from me; my son next. Neither normally gets sick, so COVID-19 proves itself to be very contagious and easily spreads. The bottom line, stay away from other people outside your immediate family.

My ears are still congested, and my head is stuffed. My wife complains of nausea and sore throat. Dinner was light, pancakes. I felt good enough to go to the garage and work on the car. The health gauge is up to 90% now. The nightly ritual is repeated, bedtime still early at 10 p.m.

Saturday, Nov .4
Hey, I almost feel human today: stuffy nose and head but otherwise feel semi-normal. Even my wifey is feeling better…but didn’t realize how congested the lungs were; coughing is loosening heavy mucus. Ugly! Then adding to the malady, the Loafs blow another game. Nightly ritual is unchanged, bedtime creeping to later at 11 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 5
I was reading a medical report on COVID and now realize that the long-term effects can be more serious than just the initial stages of the disease. It can linger on with all sorts of side effects. I did another rapid test this a.m., still positive after 9 days. The lungs are congested with a heavy coating of mucus. My head seems like it’s filled with a foreign substance that leaves me feeling out-of-sorts; my ears are blocked and my nose is runny. I am able to function but still at a reduced level rather than normal. Not sure if the time shift has helped. Tried to watch the football game that started at 8:30 p.m. but didn’t make it to halftime. Nightly dose and shut-eye at 10 p.m.

Monday. Nov. 6
Not a bad day; symptoms of a foggy head seem to linger. My wife says she is feeling better; looks like we will sleep in the same bed tonight. Caught up on office work and paid some bills. Went for my usual coffee and just puttered around the garage and house. The Loafs made a miraculous comeback and won a game. Pill and Dreamland 10 p.m. which was really 11 pm.

Tuesday, Nov. 7
Had a good night’s sleep; lots of sinus congestion, but more like a head cold now. Will do a rapid test tomorrow. The nightly ritual switched to 2 Tylenol and lights out at 10:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 8
Woke up with….no symptoms; almost normal again. Went for my usual coffee; still coughing up a lot of phlegm, Rapid antigen test at 9:30 am., woo hoo; negatory, nada; clear; back in the land of the living; must have been from watching CNN all last night and seeing the democrats whoop republican ass in Kentucky, Ohio and Virginia. Send Trump to jail, please.

Thursday, Nov. 9 – Nov. 14
Chest congestion continues; my head feels like a used football, all stuffed up, sinus’ blocked, thick mucus in the back of the throat, and ears blocked making me wonder if I should contact the doctor to see if antibiotics are recommended.

As suffered by
Paul White
President, Fairport Beach Neighbourhood Association



I got my third Covid-19 vaccination, labelled as the booster shot, about a week ago. Within a couple of days, I began feeling symptoms that I normally associate with the flu, runny nose, nasal congestion, and stuffy head. I have since learned that these are typical side effects of the booster shot. Two Tylenol tablets and an early bedtime seemed to relieve me of the symptoms. After a solid 9 hour sleep, I feel normal once again.
Richard Szpin


Paul White’s record was a good read and I appreciate his descriptive writing trying to make COVID-19 sound lighter, a fun story, a lousy illness.

Currently, I am on Day 6 and still testing positive. Most of my symptoms are quite similar to Paul’s,  though on Friday, my first day, I was ambushed by an incredibly high fever that caused me to throw up my entire day’s food and drink which in turn did quite a lot of damage to my throat. Three days of misery ensued….incredible misery, that made even swallowing my own saliva feel like I was swallowing glass. The majority of my aches and pains have settled now. However, I’m still battling the congestion and head cold symptoms while having a heavy chest coated in mucus like Paul’s.

I really hope I can get a negative result before the 11th-day mark.
Joshua R.


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