Esther X

Esther tested positive for Covid in January 2021. She unclear when she caught the virus, believing she either caught it attending her grandfather’s funeral or when her family gathered to support her grandmother during that difficult time. Esther was ill for weeks after testing positive and now suffers from Long Covid symptoms. Esther was interviewed in October 2021.

Esther first heard about Covid on the news. She knew as the virus spread through Europe it was a matter of time before it reached the UK. Esther eventually caught Covid in January 2021. She believes she caught the virus after attending her grandfather’s funeral, although, she is not certain, as she may have caught it during the time her family gathered to support her grandmother after her grandfather’s death. Esther recalled how following the funeral her family group chat was flooded with messages from family members stating that they had also tested positive.

Both Esther and her partner tested positive for the virus. While her partner had relatively mild symptoms and quickly recovered, Esther was unwell for weeks. She recalls it taking three weeks until she was able to eat again and that symptoms persisted four to five weeks after she had tested positive. Esther’s main symptoms included extreme fatigue and a high fever, the latter causing her to seek medical advice through NHS 111. It was the initial fatigue that led to Esther taking a test. She told her partner “Oh my God, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.” Having heard this phrase used by others with Covid, her partner encouraged her to get tested.

At the time of the interview, Esther felt she had not regained her previous energy levels. She was previously a very active person but found herself becoming breathless and felt her fitness had gone. It was on the news that Esther first heard about the term ‘Long Covid’. However, it wasn’t until a later conversation with her partner that Esther started to consider that she herself had Long Covid. She visited her GP, who diagnosed her with Long Covid, prescribed an inhaler for her breathlessness, and ordered her a chest scan. Esther expressed that she would be upset if she caught Covid again as she worried it would make her Long Covid symptoms worse.