It was on December 24th of all times that she felt the first symptoms, says 41-year-old Susanne K. (name changed by editorial staff) from Chemnitz. “It started with a light cough. The next day, there was severe headache and aching limbs.” She was very limp and every step was extremely strenuous. “It felt like my muscles were sore, especially in my thighs.” When there was no improvement, she took a quick test with a doctor on call on Boxing Day. Result: negative.
Washing clothes became an aha experience
However, Susanne K. still had doubts afterwards, because her condition did not improve in the next few days. “Two days later I noticed that my sense of smell and taste was gone.” After washing the laundry, she first thought that she had forgotten the detergent because the laundry no longer smelled. “My husband said the laundry smelled freshly washed, as always. Everything was clear to me.” A throat swab at the family doctor’s on December 29th brought her to know that she had Covid-19. “I don’t know where I might have been infected. I work in the home office, but my husband was working until just before Christmas.” Infection through contacts in the family can never be completely ruled out, even if they were cautious.
Risk of infection at the doctor
Susanne K. found the visit to the family doctor frightening. “Although I had pointed out my clear symptoms to the nurses, I was supposed to sit down with other patients in a small waiting room.” She preferred to wait in front of the door so as not to endanger anyone.
Hospital partially gives the all-clear
At New Year, her condition deteriorated so much that the emergency doctor had to take her to the hospital, says Susanne K. “I thought I couldn’t get enough air and was shaking all over my body. It was a real panic attack.” She was examined in the hospital. “Fortunately, the values were OK under the circumstances. The tightness in the chest is normal, the doctors said.” That could last a few weeks.
You can tell that the virus is not as harmless as many people think.
Quarantine notice only after seven days
After the positive test, it took seven days for the health department to receive the quarantine notice. But she doesn’t want to blame anyone. The employees there were certainly working to the limit, she said. “But as a precautionary measure, we had already quarantined ourselves. Fortunately, my husband only had milder symptoms and our three children were happy the whole time,” she says with a laugh. The neighbors bought food and sometimes she put a chair in front of the stove to cook because she felt weak. “Luckily we have a garden by the house, so the children could go outside.”
light at the end of the tunnel
Now, three weeks after the onset of the illness, Susanne K. can laugh again. “The quarantine is over and I’m starting to feel better too. The sense of smell slowly came back after ten days and is getting better and better.” However, she is not yet fit for work, so she is on sick leave for another week.