My first COVID infection

My partner tested positive first, on Friday the 11th. Omicron is considered now to be one of the most infectious diseases in recorded history, but even so in a fully-vaccinated household we’ve heard plenty of examples of it not spreading completely. She sequestered herself in the spare bedroom and we opened all the windows and were generally paranoid.

Had I not actually caught it, that probably would have made for a perfectly miserable at-least-a-week-stuck-in-a-single room, but it was a moot point, because on Sunday morning (13 November) I tested positive with a throat/tonsil swabbed rapid antigen test. Our in-apartment isolation from each other ended.

Two things of note: (a) I was still completely asymptomatic, and (b) a nasal swab (the suggested technique) still showed negative, even though the throat swab was positive. That probably means we detected my infection absurdly early in the process. In fact, it wouldn’t be for two more days that I’d have symptoms strong enough that I wouldn’t just think they were my usual spring-time allergies.

The first RAT pictured is a nasal swab, the second RAT was a nasal, throat, and tonsil swab. If I hadn’t done the throat swab I may not have known I was infected for another two days.

My illness has been extremely mild, my symptoms have been:

  • allergy-like runny nose.
  • tired, and dizzy
  • mild fever (measured 38.2 at the highest) for a couple hours on a couple days
  • in the long-tail of the second week, I’ve had a nasty phlegmy cough

I’m one of the few people younger than 50 who were actually able to score a second booster shot (in late July), so that probably has helped with the mildness of the symptoms.

But what’s freaked me out a little bit is that I’m still testing positive on a RAT a full two weeks later. As I write this, on day 14 since my first positive test, for the first time the “positive” line is faint, but it’s still a clear and obvious positive.

My partner’s illness seems to have been significantly shorter and sharper. She had extremely painful achy joints and some miserable fever as well as all my symptoms, but she was testing completely clear after day eight.

I’m going into my third (and hopefully last) week of almost complete isolation. I’ve only left the house once to go for a solo walk along the beach, and had to nap afterwards for an hour. I want to be extremely careful about resting, which anecdotally seems to be a key factor in trying to avoid long covid.

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