Malaeka developed Covid symptoms in January 2022 but before that, she was very active: swimming, cycling, running, and playing football. Malaeka found returning to school difficult and is scared of getting Covid again. She was interviewed in June 2022.

Malaeka first realised she developed Covid symptoms in January (2022) when she had a bad headache, felt tired, and had a cough that lasted a long time. Malaeka found it hard to sleep because her runny nose, headaches, and stomach aches woke her up in the night a lot.

Before having Long Covid, Malaeka was very active. She swam, cycled, walked, ran, and played football, but found it hard to do those activities when she developed Long Covid and her energy levels dropped. Malaeka found that she had to “do everything really slow” when she first had Long Covid and felt that walking to school every day was especially hard.

Despite her teachers being understanding of her condition, Malaeka has found going to school difficult. Subjects like PE, where Malaeka was used to running around, have become harder and Malaeka feels really tired afterwards. She also found homework and after-school revision sessions difficult, as Malaeka would get headaches and feel light-headed. Malaeka finds school more stressful now because of her Long Covid symptoms.

Malaeka first heard the term “Long Covid” from her doctor, who has recommended Malaeka get blood tests to see the causes of her symptoms. Malaeka felt that her doctor has helped her to recover, and he has prescribed her paracetamol for her headaches. Malaeka also takes vitamins to support her health.

The hardest part of having Long Covid for Malaeka was not being able to do the things she could before, like sports, and she felt that her headaches and light-headedness were the worst symptoms in her day-to-day life.

Malaeka became scared when she first got Covid but felt that she’s less scared now unless someone is coughing or sneezing a lot. Malaeka is very worried about getting Covid again at some point.

Malaeka and Zohaib, who are brother and sister, were both dealing with Long Covid symptoms, and missed going on cycle rides with the family.

Age at interview 13

Malaeka slept badly because headaches, stomach ache, and a runny nose disrupted her at night.

Age at interview 13

Malaeka said that running around during PE was “not good” because it made her feel “really tired.”

Age at interview 13