Tim Green describes himself as an active person. The 41-year-old Greater Victoria-area resident says under normal circumstances he would paddle twice a week, hike nearby Mt. Finlayson weekly, walk every day, and swim.
That was before he contracted COVID-19.
“Now I am unable to walk down the street, I am so winded,” he said in the email to Black Press Media from his home in Esquimalt. “I am so grateful that my lungs were healthy prior to getting sick. I can see how people with weaker lungs and hearts would not be able to cough to clear the lungs and would need intensive care.”
Overall, Green describes COVID-19 as a “horrible illness” to be avoided at all costs. “It is draining, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone,” he said. “I have extreme coughing fits every hour to clear my lungs. I have no energy. My body aches, but the chest and lower back are very sore.”
Contracting the new coronavirus has fortified his perspective. “I was following the directives from the [provincial health officer],” he said. “Even with them changing, nearly daily, my family and I were taking things seriously. I am adamant that people need to stay home. It makes me so angry seeing people test the limits of the directives. Just stay home.”
Green says he does not know the source of his illness. “I was not in contact with international travelers or anyone that I know of that was ill,” he said.
Green started to learn of his condition after he had called his nurse practitioner on March 23 and described his symptoms. “It was early, but the signs were pointing to COVID,” he said.
By March 26 the symptoms had progressed to being fully consistent with COVID-19 and Green said he was told he was a presumptive case.
“I thought I had allergies, with itchy, gritty eyes, sore throat and sinus irritation,” Green said. “It then developed where it felt like I could never clear my throat. When I called the nurse practitioner, I had a low grade fever, and my upper chest was feeling congested. It has progressed to my lower lungs. I am coughing consistently, trying to clear the chest.”
Green’s initial reaction was one of surprise, even disbelief. “And then I was thinking back to all the places I had been, and what I had done and where I could have been infected.”
Green said he did not receive any medical treatment beyond Tylenol, tea, steam and bed rest. But he received a lot of support through social media, once he shared his diagnosis. “I posted that I was diagnosed on Facebook because it wasn’t a secret to be kept.”
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