Yesterday, we kicked off the Surviving Covid-19 series by hearing some of David and Jacqui’s story of facing this coronavirus.

Today we continue with some reflections, this time from Sue Diepeveen who i met a couple of years ago while performing with my Improv troupe, Improguise as she runs the delightful little theatre known as the Drama Factory in Somerset West. What strikes me with each new story i hear from someone who has or had this coronavirus, is just how different each one is to each other:

I had no symptoms and was tested before I could go and work on a beautiful job on set, imagine my horror when about to go into a workshop full of young teens the feeling as the sms came through Covid 19 has been detected… there was ice in my veins and I retreated from the workshop with haste trying to swallow the fear.  Not the fear that I was sick, after all, I felt fine, but how many people had I been in contact with?  I hurried home trying to form coherent thoughts, I had no symptoms, the pathlab called me, following up on the sms, giving me some advice which I can’t for the life of me remember.

The day before, my husband had come home with a raging headache, was that a symptom? I called a friend in the Covid ward and she sent me literature, but it was confusing, symptoms 3- 5 days… so was it 3 or was it 5… it would make a significant difference.  The overwhelming panic!!!

How many people had I infected unknowingly, who had I hugged, even with my mask on? After all,  I am a germ freak who is Gaston about sanitising and mask wearing. I knew that I would be fine, stats were on my side, but what about those I had been in contact with?  Would they be so lucky?

I called everyone I could think of… I extended my 3-5 days just in case I was Asymptomatic (I do not believe that this exists as much as we think  – people just don’t recognise the symptoms).   The call that was the hardest was to two friends who had been staying with me at my home when I was most infectious. They were negative and I felt sure that I had not actually infected anyone else… but I can never be sure!

Sue Diepeveen coronavirus

I was lucky but the strain on the companies that had employed me was great and I still feel bad about that.  The physical aspects that were the hardest were the severe headaches, and the fatigue.  I listened to the Covid ward doctor friend and took it extremely easy (my husband was pretty much bedridden for five days straight). I monitored my oxygen levels constantly but the tightness came and the fact that only clavicular breathing was the order of the day – anything deeper produced a weird cough reflex.

Things which were hard to cope with

– other people’s fear

– other people’s questions

– the feeling of extreme fatigue

– the fear of having signed some else’s death sentence

– not being able to breathe deeply for a good long while

Other things that come to mind:

– having a little respite from worrying about contracting it

– the joy of being able to take a deep breath during a long walk!!!

– I was so lucky but it was super kak!!

– The horrid feeling that others are not so lucky!!!

– People not taking it seriously!!

Thanks Sue, for giving us a glimpse of how this coronavirus has been for you.

For the next story in this series, that of K whose husband is a doctor, click here. 

To return to the start of the series and share this with your friends and on your social medias head over here.