Covid-19 Symptom Diary Part two

Home  Irish Red Cross COVID19 News Covid-19 Symptom Diary

Two weeks ago, Irish Red Cross PR and Communications Advisor Lynda McCarthy became one of the growing numbers of Irish people to test positive for Covid-19. Here she documents her symptoms and eventual recovery from the virus.

This is the second part of a two-piece symptoms diary To read part one, click here.

Day Seven

I didn’t sleep at all last night. My fiancé was suffering with shortness of breath so I stayed awake, worried that it was going to get worse. I’ve never been so glad that neither of us smoke, my symptoms are unpleasant but my lungs are fine.


I haven’t lost my appetite so, to cheer myself up, I order a takeaway (and get the delivery driver to drop it a safe distance away). I’m disappointed though because it’s really bland. Oddly bland, in fact. It’s then I realise that I can’t taste anything. I test my theory by eating the strongest tasting things in the house and – nothing. My sense of smell has also completely disappeared. Google can’t tell me how long this will last.

Day Eight

I think there’s light at the end of the tunnel. My headache has almost entirely disappeared and the dizzy spells have stopped. I think I might be feeling better.

Day Nine

I feel worse. This virus is not linear, just when you think you have it beat, it comes back with a bang. I barely move from the couch all day. Eating is pointless as I can’t taste anything. I am the mayor of self-pity city.


It’s a relief when I get the phone call confirming what I already knew, that I have tested positive for Covid-19. Someone rings me back so we can go through my contact tracing – they need to know everyone I’ve interacted with since I first started showing symptoms. They’re pleased that I haven’t seen anyone other than my family in the last ten days but I’m terrified one of them will start showing symptoms and I won’t be able to go see them.

Within an hour they have called every single person on my list – it’s an exceptionally efficient system.

Day 10 – 12

I feel a little bit better every day. Being in isolation isn’t so bad when you’re not feeling sick – sitting out on the balcony feels like a treat but it will be another few days before I’m even allowed to venture to the shop. Somehow the apartments behind us have acquired a DJ system. My headache isn’t helped by them playing power ballads at ear-splitting level but they’re also playing balcony bingo and the sense of community spirit is quite cheering.

Day 13

I had been dreaming about driving somewhere remote and going for a long walk or a swim when I was allowed out of isolation but the rules about going outside have tightened overnight so it looks like I’m going to have to wait. On the upside, I can taste certain foods again and feel almost back to normal. I got the virus early but I still feel very lucky, I’m young and in good health and I know not everyone will be as fortunate.

Thank You for reading. 



* A humanitarian organisation with 80 years’ worth of experience on the frontline, Irish Red Cross volunteers have been using that experience to help the vulnerable and isolated during the Covid-19 crisis. The Irish Red Cross is assisting the HSE and the National Ambulance Service on a local and national level as they attempt to contain Coronavirus and lessen its impact on the public. They are also providing vital services delivering mediations and food to those in isolation.




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