A Week In The Life…

An Artist's Impression of the Coronavirus particle.

We were both feeling dandy and fine,
and had just spent a weekend benign,
When for work, just routine,
Took a test to prove clean,
When she spotted that dreaded pink line.

Just over a week ago, Monday 4 April, Mrs Bump tested positive for COVID. Mrs B is 61, triple-vaccinated, and is an otherwise-perfectly-healthy nurse.

I realise that this isn’t uncommon these days. Please, if you have firsthand experience of COVID, save your time and skip.

Until last week, I hadn’t experienced COVID in the same household. Many of my charity clients would say the same, so they’d probably be interested in my experience. Some of you might, too. I kept a little journal.


Mrs B tested positive. She was surprised, so clearly was feeling okay before. But it also spurred comments like, “That’s funny. I didn’t feel quite right yesterday” .

I tested, too. Negative.

Through the day, Mrs B started to feel “rough” and went to bed. Sore throat, mainly, but also tummy ache.

We looked up a few things. First, the virus has been in the body 4-5 days before it shows on a lateral flow test, so she was likely infected around the previous Wednesday. Ish. Second, about 5% of cases report tummy ache.

She was running a slight temperature, maybe 0.5C or 1F.

We knew this would mean she was stuck at home for the week so discussed what we would need to do. We booked a grocery delivery slot for the weekend.

During the day, I perceived that my throat was sore, and became convinced I would test positive the next day.

I ordered another box of tests. The UK government announced that “free” testing would stop at the end of March, but… go figure! They arrived next day.

https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests takes you to the government’s site. You may still be lucky.


We both felt better. She had no tummy ache, though spent the day largely in bed, watching tv. She could taste her coffee, and smell my breakfast (croissants) baking. I started to notice Mrs B developing a cough. Dry cough, at first, exactly like a cold.

Me – negative.


Mrs B still coughing, but now coughing things up, too. Felt rough so again watched tv in bed. Retained smell/taste/appetite. Both she and my friend (who had it just a few weeks ago) complained of “can’t be arsedness”. Lethargy.

She was well enough to attend her weekly choir practice, via Zoom.

I felt a slight sore throat and a slight runny nose. It wouldn’t even have kept me off work in “normal” times. I tested negative.


Morning comments from Mrs B include, “There’s nothing dry about this”, accompanied by lots of sniffing. “This feels like the worst cold I ever had.”

I noted that she compared her symptoms to those of a cold. Which backs up what we hear on the media.

Despite her comment, she was smelling, tasting, pottering around the kitchen, making coffee.

This could be the turning point, however, as that afternoon she said, “I’m still not right, but feel better than I was yesterday”, and had a normal temperature. Lethargic, still.

Curious, she tested. Still positive.

Me – negative. I’m testing first thing every day during this.


Mrs B – throat not sore any more, “still full of snot”, head okay. Overall, felt better than yesterday, again. All the symptoms she mentioned were those of a cold. I still heard her coughing, but not as much.

Another comment was “I feel well enough to go and do things, except I haven’t got the energy”.

Me – negative.


Mrs B – “I’m feeling okay but I’m still full of snot” (morning). But also told me about how bad she felt, so it is still up and down. Strange – the yoyo disease. Mostly spent the day watching tv in bed. Also noticed sense of smell had gone! I was surprised to hear her talking again about symptoms which had passed a few days ago.

She thinks she has spotted a cycle: feeling okay – going downhill – taking a nap – feeling okay etc. Sounds energy-related.

Me – Negative.


Mrs B still positive (tested). Seems better but still complaining of taste and smell. She is getting the basic sweet/bitter but not the nuances of flavour. So I asked why she ate the last ice cream.

Me – Negative.


Mrs B is feeling better, but still tested positive.

Her work (NHS) say two negative tests. That looks like it will be slightly longer than a week in her case. She has assumed a daily interval between the tests. I think that lateral flow tests are sufficiently inaccurate that the second test is used to verify the result of the first, not to check that she is still negative, so she might as well take them ten minutes apart.

Another doctor at Mrs B’s surgery tested positive on the same day that she did. They are still positive, too.

We booked another grocery slot, just in case. We can always cancel.

Me – negative.


Mrs B – positive. Bored. Smell returning.

Me – negative.


Mrs B – positive. Border.

Me – negative. Did I make my fatal mistake today? I allowed Mrs B to drive me to the local shop, 1m away, to buy the ice cream she was craving. Both masked, with open windows, but in the same car.


Mrs B – NEGATIVE. Shestill feels quite fatigued and I suspect it’ll take a week or two to get her mojo back. Thank goodness we have the long weekend ahead.

Me – negative, of course. I need to keep testing up to about next Wednesday, just to satisfy myself that she did not pass anything on in the final stages.


  1. Your right, it sounds just like they say on the reports. When vaccinated it is more like a cold. Hoping both
    of you get in tip-top shape again. Ice cream cures a lot of things!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here in Australia they recommend a PCR test, as RAT often produce false positives because you’re still shedding the virus. We have to quarantine for 7 days and can leave home if we have no significant symptons

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s still something best avoided I think but it’ll get us all at some point; it’s not goint to go away. The only thing is, each variant will water it down some more. Pretty soon we won’t know whether we have covid or a cold.

      Liked by 1 person

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