I caught Covid early on in 2020 and the virus ran its course with all the predictable symptoms. I recovered quickly, but over the following months my body showed signs of crumbling under an invisible strain. The first sign of trouble came in the early summer, when a thick brain fog set into my mind. I stopped being able to hear the voice in my head, and would often glance at my hands and feel terrified, because they couldn’t possibly be my own. I drifted into a state of detached unfeeling, trapped in a small recess of my mind.
It wasn’t until November that my body too gave way to illness. I have come to loathe the term Chronic Fatigue, one of the main symptoms of long Covid, as the name implies that the condition feels anything like normal tiredness. We've all experienced exhaustion in one form or another, but this was something incomparable.
In those early days, making even the smallest of movements would reduce me to tears. My nausea was constant and all-encompassing – I stopped being able to stomach solid food, lost weight, and watched the skin on my face turn to a sickly green. I spent all of last winter under the covers of my parent’s spare bed, getting up once a day to wash, and then slipping back into bed to wish the day away.