What You Need To Know About The Timeline of Covid Symptoms And Recovery And When To Expect To Get Your Taste And Smell Back
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There’s no doubt that the coronavirus has and continues to affect millions of people in this world. And we currently live in a new norm of wearing masks (almost) everywhere we go, social-distancing, being on quarantine, and keeping up with the latest COVID-19 news.
Among the millions of people affected, it’s unfortunate to hear about or see the number of people’s lives that have been taken by COVID-19. And also, somewhat comforting to hear about the millions of other people who had a full recovery after being infected.
I wanted to dedicate this post to hopefully answer some questions: what is the coronavirus, what’s the difference between the COVID-19 and the flu, can my dogs get the coronavirus, what happens if I give my baby the coronavirus, and more.
I tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, November 13, 2020. And was placed on quarantine with my husband and daughter for 10 days. This post will include the timeline of COVID symptoms I experienced.
- 1 What is the coronavirus?
- 2 Can I give my baby COVID-19?
- 3 What were your early COVID symptoms?
- 3.1 What’s the COVID test like?
- 3.2 Will your taste and smell come back?
- 3.3 Timeline Of COVID Symptoms
- 4 Reminders and Tips for Recovery
The coronavirus is a virus that affects the upper respiratory system (nose and sinuses). And are actually pretty common and are not dangerous. Coronavirus symptoms are mild to moderate, like a common cold.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a disease caused by a coronavirus called, SARS-Cov-2. This type of coronavirus affects the upper or lower respiratory system. Unlike the other coronaviruses, COVID-19 can cause a more severe illness and even death. Especially for people with underlying medical conditions and those who are immunocompromised.
According to WebMD, SARS-CoV-2 is one of seven types of coronavirus.
Are there more than one strand of SARS-CoV-2?
Yes, there are currently two strands, L and S. Every virus mutates since it’s part of the virus life cycle. And this is typical as it infects more and more people. Viruses basically get “smarter“.
What is the difference between the flu and COVID-19?
More detailed information can be found on the CDC website.
There’s only been a few cases where a few pets have tested positive for COVID-19. None have died, some showed no symptoms, and others had mild symptoms, according to CDC.
All 3 of my dogs did not show any signs of being sick. They ate like normal, peed, pooped, and slept like usual.
There’s no evidence that pets such as cats and dogs play a role in spreading COVID-19 to people. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is mainly spread from person to person through respiratory droplets (coughing, sneezing), according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Can I give my baby COVID-19?
Yes. It’s definitely possible for people of any age to be infected with the virus. In the John Hopkins Medicine article, “Coronavirus in Babies and Kids: Symptoms and Prevention“, COVID-19 symptoms are generally milder in children than they are in adults.
Transmitting the coronavirus to my daughter was something I was worried about when I tested positive for COVID-19. But the doctor reassured us that babies and children who’ve been infected had mild or no symptoms compared to adults.
Our baby was showing signs of a cold prior to the start of my timeline of covid symptoms. Her symptoms included:
- Runny nose
- Fussier than normal
- Sweating more
- Sleeping more
What were your early COVID symptoms?
The week before I tested positive for COVID-19, I had the following symptoms:
- Fatigue (tired)
- Feeling like I was about to come down with something
The first thing that came to mind was, “hmm maybe I’m pregnant”. Because I felt like I was about to have a cold prior to my first positive pregnancy test (along with fatigue). Therefore, I took a pregnancy test, and it came back negative ruling that out.
After ruling pregnancy out, I thought maybe it was allergies or a seasonal cold. Missouri recently got a cold front and had a fluctuation in the weather. So I just thought that was the reason why I was having those symptoms (since that is typically what happens to me during each change in weather).
And it made sense that I would be getting sick since my daughter was showing symptoms of a cold. Plus, it’s that time of the year.
What’s the COVID test like?
The nurse inserted a 6-inch swab up both of my nostrils. It looked like a very long Q-tip. And basically “tickled” my brain. It wasn’t at all painful but was slightly uncomfortable.
Will your taste and smell come back?
Losing your taste and smell is a “cardinal” sign of COVID-19. Many people might not experience all of the other symptoms of COVID but they will lose their taste and smell. This is what brings them to the clinic to get tested.
“About a quarter of recovered COVID-19 patients say they regained their senses of taste and smell within two weeks of other symptoms disappearing”, Anuja Vaidya from Becker’s Hospital Review.
Mine is still not 100% back after almost 4 weeks (will continue to update).
Am I immune after having COVID-19?
According to WebMD, most people who’ve recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies against the virus but there’s no evidence that this will protect them if they’re exposed to it again.
Timeline Of COVID Symptoms
After having the symptoms above for a week, I started feeling “sick-sick” on Wednesday, November 11 when my throat started feeling scratchy. But no fever.
I woke up with an itchy throat indicating I definitely caught something. I’ve always been the one to get sore throats easily (for as long as I can remember).
But I wasn’t thinking, “Oh crap, I have COVID”. When the temperature drops and the seasons change, my body normally responds this way. Who would’ve thought all of this was about to be part of my timeline of covid symptoms.
I woke up with a stomach ache (kind of unusual but we had Mexican food the night before. And you know where that ends up the next morning). Yup, you guessed it. I had diarrhea that morning.
I continued on my day like normal and went to Wal-Mart because it was grocery day. As I was walking around the store I felt super dizzy. The only time I didn’t feel dizzy was when I was laying down. And I just progressively started feeling worse throughout the day.
I had some dry coughing (no mucus or anything productive). I also felt stuffy, experienced muscle aches, my throat hurt more, and I became even more tired than I was last week.
That night, I told my husband I probably have COVID and plan on getting tested in the morning if I feel worse.
Friday 11/13 (The day I tested positive for COVID-19)
I woke up with a headache. THIS WAS A RED FLAG FOR ME. I haven’t woken up with a headache since I found out I was pregnant. And never before that!
But oddly, my throat felt better. And I started experiencing different symptoms like chest pain. It felt like someone was sitting on top of my chest which made me easily winded.
My lungs hurt with each breath. And I continued to get dizzy whenever I’d stand up.
I just knew this wasn’t a typical cold like I originally thought. So I started googling, “timeline of covid symptoms, chest pain COVID symptoms“.
And without a surprise, a lot of my symptoms were on the list of COVID symptoms. On top of that, my husband wasn’t feeling all that great either.
My husband, our daughter, and I went to urgent care. My husband and I got tested but my daughter did not. The nurse checked my temperature and it was 99.3 (unlike many people who tested positive for COVID had a fever of 100.5 or higher). Since my results came back positive, it was “assumed” that my daughter was positive.
However, my husband’s results came back negative. We’re thinking it came back negative because his viral load wasn’t enough to test positive that day.
Days later, he started experiencing muscle aches, headaches, fatigue, and loss of taste and smell.
They released us with a notice saying we need to be quarantined and to stay inside and recover. Since it’s a virus, you don’t get antibiotics.
I woke up with my brain feeling like it was on fire (a very odd feeling, nothing I’ve ever felt). My throat felt better during the day. But I was still having chest pain and was becoming difficult to breathe.
I still felt like complete butt. And that night I started losing my taste.
This morning, I woke up and couldn’t smell a thing. It was so weird. I normally smell my daughter’s scent, our morning bedroom scent, and my dogs’ fur when they lick me good morning. I couldn’t smell anything.
Not only did I lose my smell but also all of my taste. I would eat something and couldn’t taste the flavor of anything I put in my mouth. However, I was able to taste the sweetness, spiciness, and temperature of the food I was eating.
Losing my taste and smell was honestly the worst symptoms for me. Eating wasn’t enjoyable, I had no appetite, I didn’t get to cook the meals I normally enjoyed eating, and it was more of a hassle to eat. I only ate because I was hungry. Needless to say, I lost close to 10 pounds.
During the day I was still congested, had an occasional dry cough, and still winded when I’d exert too much energy.
Since we have 3 dogs, we vacuum every other day (sometimes every day), and we continued this during our recovery. But after I would vacuum, I felt like I just ran a 5k. My lungs were burning and it was just difficult to breathe.
5 miserable days later, my taste FINALLY slowly started coming back (just barely but was so relieved). Like I was able to depict the different flavors but not all the way. It was almost “muted” if that even makes any sense.
But, I still couldn’t smell a thing. I opened a jar of pickles and couldn’t smell it. I tried to sniff my daughter’s poopy diaper and couldn’t smell it.
At this point, I felt like I got through the worst of the COVID symptoms.
Saturday 11/21-Saturday 11/28
My taste came back just a little more than it did the first time but not completely. And my sense of smell came back just a tad bit.
Sunday 11/29 -Friday 12/11
My ability to taste is still muted and it’s not where it was before I completely lost both my taste and smell. Although I can taste flavors a little better lately, my smell is still behind.
My taste and smell aren’t as intense as it was.
Tastebuds are back a little more. But I still can’t smell everything entirely unless I practically put my nose on something to smell.
Update May 15, 2021
My taste and smell fully came back the beginning of February 2021. And I have not gotten sick from COVID again.
Reminders and Tips for Recovery
- You might be one of the lucky ones that are asymptomatic. However, this means you could spread it easier not knowing that you’ve been infected (wear your masks).
- The “cardinal” symptoms of COVID-19 are losing your taste and smell. You may not show any other symptoms but the loss of taste and smell.
- If you feel sick or experience any symptoms, get tested so you can stay home and recover.
- The timeline of covid symptoms that I experienced or your neighbor won’t be identical to your experience.
Some things that helped us get through our recovery was:
- Shaved ginger root and fresh lemon tea
- Lots of water (hydration is key)
- Cold medicine like DayQuil and NyQuil
- Sleep, sleep, sleep
1. Wear a mask.
Because it’s spread via respiratory droplets when coughing, sneezing, etc.
2. Wash your hands.
Immediately after you come home.
3. Keep a safe distance.
Safe distance is about 6-feet or 2 arms’ length.
Although our taste and smell are not 100% back, we’ve fully recovered within the two-week frame. Our daughter recovered from it before we did. And our 3 dogs did not show any signs or symptoms of illness. I hope my family’s timeline of covid symptoms was insightful and useful. Thanks for reading!