What it’s REALLY like to catch coronavirus: First British victim, 25, describes how ‘worst disease he ever had’ left him sweating, shivering, and struggling to breathe as his eyes burned and bones ached

What it’s REALLY like to catch coronavirus: First British victim, 25, describes how ‘worst disease he ever had’ left him sweating, shivering, and struggling to breathe as his eyes burned and bones ached. By Connor Reed.

Connor Reed, a 25-year-old expat from Llandudno in North Wales, has worked in a school in Wuhan, China, for almost a year. In November he became the first British man to catch the coronavirus. …

Day 5: I’m over my cold. It really wasn’t anything.

Day 7: I spoke too soon. I feel dreadful. This is no longer just a cold. I ache all over, my head is thumping, my eyes are burning, my throat is constricted. The cold has travelled down to my chest and I have a hacking cough. …

Day 10: I’m still running a temperature. I’ve finished the quarter-bottle of whisky, and I don’t feel well enough to go out and get any more. …

Day 11: Suddenly, I’m feeling better, physically at least. The flu has lifted.  …

Day 12: I’ve had a relapse. Just as I thought the flu was getting better, it has come back with a vengeance. My breathing is laboured. Just getting up and going to the bathroom leaves me panting and exhausted. I’m sweating, burning up, dizzy and shivering. The television is on but I can’t make sense of it. This is a nightmare.

By the afternoon, I feel like I am suffocating. I have never been this ill in my life. I can’t take more than sips of air and, when I breathe out, my lungs sound like a paper bag being crumpled up. This isn’t right. … I’m ill, but I don’t think I’m dying — am I? …

Day 13: I arrived back at my apartment late yesterday evening. The doctor prescribed antibiotics for the pneumonia but I’m reluctant to take them — I’m worried that my body will become resistant to the drugs and, if I ever get really ill and need them, they won’t work. I prefer to beat this with traditional remedies if I can.

It helps, simply knowing that this is pneumonia. I’m only 25 and generally healthy: I tell myself there’s no reason for alarm. I have some Tiger Balm. It’s like Vick’s vapour rub on steroids. I pour some into a bowl of hot water and sit with a towel over my head, inhaling the fumes. I’m going ‘old school’. And I’ve still got the antibiotics in reserve if I need them. …

Day 19: I am well enough to stagger out of doors to get more Tiger Balm. My nose has cleared enough to smell what my neighbours are cooking, and I think I might have an appetite for the first time in nearly two weeks. …

Day 22: I was hoping to be back at work today but no such luck. The pneumonia has gone — but now I ache as if I’ve been run over by a steamroller. My sinuses are agony, and my eardrums feel ready to pop.

Day 24: Hallelujah! I think I’m better. Who knew flu could be as horrible as that, though?

h/t Joanne Nova