My COVID-19 Symptoms: What You NEED To Know

I am 41 years old and I tested positive today for novel Coronavirus COVID-19. I live in Yonkers, New York, just five minutes away from the epicenter of the virus in New York State: New Rochelle.

I am recording this because the best information I’ve gotten on this virus thus far, that has helped me through my experience, has come from the people who have COVID-19 and have shared their experience. I’m a filmmaker and as a filmmaker I know that some of the scariest things we put on screen are mysterious. There is a lot of mystery, uncertainty and conflicting information surrounding COVID-19 and that is scary. I’m hoping, by making this video, I can help make it seem less scary.

Sunday, March 8th. I began to have a runny nose. It was very mild and I had no other cold symptoms. It wasn’t even bad enough to confuse it with allergies. 

Wednesday, March 11th. As I went to bed, I noticed a slight tickle deep in the back of my throat. I started coughing and didn’t stop for about 10 minutes. I got a drink of water, went back to bed and joked with my wife that it was probably the Coronavirus. The cough then went away was quickly as it came on. Throughout the next 6 to 7 days, I didn’t have any symptoms aside from the slight runny nose and a faint tickle in the back of my throat.

Tuesday, March 17th. I began to experience diarrhea and the dry cough came back.

The next day, those symptoms continued; however, I also began to experience a tightness in my chest. While it wasn’t overwhelming, it felt like there was a rope tied around my chest that was slowly becoming more and more taut. But, again, not overwhelmingly so. 

Friday, March 20th. As these symptoms persisted, I was able to be tested for the virus, since my symptoms were lining up with some of the symptoms that had been reported in the news. I have to note, though, I did NOT have a fever. There are a lot of hospitals that will refuse to give you a test unless you have a fever, since the common wisdom is: if you don’t have a fever, you don’t have COVID-19. Well, I am proof that that is incorrect. I didn’t have a fever throughout this entire process. There were two days that I had an elevated temperature, but never a fever. Fever can, indeed, be a symptom; however, it doesn’t need to be.

That night, I began to notice what seemed like random muscle twitching in my back, shoulders, thighs and calves. It was as though the virus was poking around, searching or places to settle, searching for the vulnerable spots.

The next day, Saturday, March 20th, is when the real fun began. I woke up with some of the worst body aches I’ve ever experienced. My joints—knees, elbows, wrists—felt like someone had taken a hammer to them. I couldn’t move them without experiencing sharp, acute pain. My muscles were stinging and my lower back was the target of terrible pain. 

It was difficult to get out of bed that weekend. The aches continued and I started to notice mucus being created in my airway, right at the top of the lungs. The dry cough became wet, as my body tried to bring up that mucus.

The aches lasted 3 days and then subsided. Right now I am experiencing the same level of congestion in my upper chest area. But, all in all, I feel like I’m getting better. I am also experiencing decreases in my senses of taste and smell, so those reports are correct.

My best advice: Don’t assume everyone else has the virus—assume YOU have this virus, whether you have symptoms or not. Adopting that perspective is the safest way to proceed. If you have some of these symptoms and can get a test, that’s great; however, many of you will not be able to get a test. If that’s the case, use the symptoms I’ve outlined from my experience as a roadmap to diagnosing yourself. The good news is our bodies are built to fight viruses like this. The trick is noticing when your body was started fight it, so that you can help your body in the fight.

What are your thoughts?