My Covid 19 experience shared

Covid 19 or Corona virus is the new C word, it is a taboo and risky subject. It is talked about everywhere on a daily basis but not many people share their personal experience at all.

Perhaps because they don’t want to scare people, perhaps they are scared of criticism, perhaps because they have not handled the virus the right way or perhaps because they just don’t have the energy from the life zapping virus. My goal here is to share my experience hoping that this might help others getting a perspective on what the virus was like for me and my family. I apologize in advance if I have handled some aspect of it poorly but here is the full 15 days, day by day of my Corona experience. I decided to do a few runs while sick for my mental health. I did not have access to a treadmill and I live in the countryside while in Belgium and was hardly seeing anyone while running. If I saw someone, I was making sure to move far away from them. I decided not to ride outdoor at all as roads are full of cyclists here. We got told to stay indoor for 14 days by the nurses at the hospital but they also said that we could go for walks and to the shops if needed but with gloves and a mask on.

DAY 0:

One of the big reasons I came to Belgium for 6 months was because I was worried about my family and I wanted to look after them if they got Covid19. My Dad is 69 and healthy but my Mum (67) is a cancer survivor with a frail health. She does not drive anymore and can hardly walk. She has pneumonia every year and needs to be hospitalized for it. She has been complaining to us for a few days of severe body aches, especially in her back. So I booked an appointment with a friend of mine who is a physio and an acupuncturist. We picked up my Mum, kept her company, shopped and cooked for her and we all went and saw him for a treatment. He was great in his treatment and tips to stay healthy. He wore a mask and gloves and made sure he disinfected the treatment room before and after we saw him. Very professional. He did not think that my Mum had Corona virus as body soreness was her only symptom. We spent the rest of the day with my Mum in her apartment in Brussels.

DAY 1:

My Mum called me telling me that she was worst today and was even starting to cough. My sister and I told her to catch a taxi to the hospital and to make sure she was wearing gloves and a mask. I was worried about her health. She went to the hospital and did the Covid 19 test. The test would not come back for 24h and she got told to go back home and rest. Back at home, we all started to feel unwell and started to cough or sneeze a little. I went for an easy run today.

DAY 2:

The test for Covid 19 came back positive for my Mum. Dirk (54) stopped working straight away. My Mum got told to stay home for 14 days, monitor her temperature daily, eat healthy, hydrate well, sleep well and take paracetamol each 4 hours + a pain killer for her back. She was doing ok for now and my Dad was going shopping for her daily as we live 30min drive (without traffic) out of Brussels.

At home, we were starting to feel unwell and little Sam (2 months old) was showing signs of temperature. Dirk, Lolo and Sam went straight to the hospital. The hospital staff were overloaded but very helpful. They explained to Dirk and my sister that they did not have enough Covid 19 test in their resources so that they were only going to test Sam. Dirk came back home alone in the middle of the night. Today on top of coughing or sneezing, we all had scratchy throats. We all felt a bit tired too.


DAY 3:

My sister Lolo (41) and Sam had to stay at the hospital for two days now to monitor their health. My Mum and Dirk were now in a bad shape and were both bed ridden. Natacha (6) and I were feeling ok. We just had a cough, no sore throat and no temperatures. Sam’s test to Covid 19 came back positive but he was doing better each day. My sister was like Natacha and I, feeling ok but not great. We asked if we should get tested and they said at the Jette Hospital that if Sam and my Mum had the virus that we had it too for sure so that there was no point at all. I felt good enough to train so I went for an easy run.


DAY 4:

My Mum and Dirk were still bed ridden. They were sore and could hardly move. My sister and Sam were doing better so I was allowed to pick them up from the hospital later that day. Natacha and I were feeling the same but we still had a tickle to the throat and blocked nose. Things were definitely evolving and not for the better. I was struggling to sleep and was struggling with the full isolation. There is so much H2O (Australian show) that a man could take. It is a siren show that Natacha would play all day. It was good to see a bit of the Gold Coast via television again but yes, there was a fight for the television and there is so much work I can do from Belgium…


DAY 5:

My Mum was still bed ridden and my Dad was great help for her. She did not lack of anything because of him. Dirk was starting to come down stairs again and did not sleep all day long. We all started to lack appetite and we all lost the sense of smell and taste. Our energy levels started to drop too and moving was becoming hard work. Is this virus ever going to get better? We were living on fruit and veggies as well as a special tea mixture made of fresh lemons, honey, ginger + thyme tea. Never drank so much tea in my life! I went for an easy run to keep sane and I felt pretty average.


DAY 6:

Still the same for my Mum and we were all in the same boat. My Dad was still healthy which was good. Natacha was doing the best of all of us and was still full of energy and was constantly on to fight me for the remote control. My energy levels were low so she won and here we went again with the three Aussie sirens show 🙂 We were all napping daily apart from Natacha.

We are lucky that Dirk’s family has a fruit and veggies business so that we were looked after with fresh produce daily and we did not have to move. We got told by the nurses at the hospital that we were still allowed to go out for a walk or go to the shops even if we all had Corona virus but with gloves and a mask of course. I think they understand the importance of mental health here as well as the importance of not spreading the virus too.


DAY 7:

No one was hungry anymore. We started to skip meals. Food was tasteless and things had no more smell. We had the same symptoms. Achy body, sore throat, blocked nose, headache, tired, fever, chills and wanting to sleep heaps. Natacha and I were the only one who had not experienced chills and temperature yet. We were all well enough to do task like cooking, cleaning, doing a bit of work on the computer and a lot of Netflix watching. I started watching Tiger King and I was hooked on that typical American show 🙂


DAY 8:

I woke up feeling sore, like I had been kicked all night. This was what my Mum had been describing all along. It is weird because for her, that was her only symptom with a bit of coughing. She had no headaches, no sore throat, no sneezing, no temperature, no loss of appetite or smell, no loss of sleep. She was also sleeping a bit more than usual. I stayed indoor all day long again and was not feeling great. I watched 3 movies on Netflix to kill time. I kept on top of good food, plenty of fluids, paracetamol each 4 hours and a nap when needed. I went for an easy jog and an indoor 30min bike ride to keep sane. I went to bed feeling cold and having chills for the first time. My head also feels like someone is playing drums on it! My temperature was 38.1 when I went to bed. I should not have trained…


DAY 9:

I woke up feeling the worst so far. Body aches, blocked nose, achy throat, coughing, green phlegm, headache, dizziness. I felt grumpy as and I was feeling cold. I took my temp again and 37.8 this time so I had a light fever again. No more exercise with a temperature. I slept for 12 hours straight which has not happened since I was a teenage boy I think 🙂 This feels like the worst flu I have ever had. Moving and walking is a struggle. I had a 2 hour nap today too and woke up feeling like I was going to kill everyone and my tee shirt was soaked in my own sweat. I was feeling sorry for myself and was being a victim for sure.


DAY 10:

I woke up feeling the same as yesterday, just horrible. My temperature is 37.6 still. Not feeling like doing anything, feeling sore and cold. My bed was completely wet from sweating all night long. I slept for 10 hours this time and I cannot even remember getting up to go to the toilet! Today was a movie day again and the usual replying to athletes’ email, text and FB messages as well as changing programs too.

I had two naps of 2 hours today and getting out of bed was close to impossible. Caffeine does not seem to do much for energy levels, headaches and mood. The virus is plain horrible and I am surprised we have not killed each other yet and that we are staying so polite to each other. It has been a real team effort. My Mum is as per usual. She is still bed ridden and super sore. She is so sore that she cannot even walk anymore. Lucky my Dad is there to look after her.


DAY 11

I woke up feeling a bit better. No more temperature of headache for the first time in 3 days. Lolo is the best and our daily breaky have been like living in a palace. Homemade French toast, crepes and waffles. This is living, if only I could taste it properly. I was trying to cook every second day to help her.

This morning I woke up at 10 am and I slept for 11 hours! I made everyone a fresh fruit salad from Dirk’s family business. Best fruits this time of the year! I had a one-hour nap and I am not feeling like a zombie when I woke up this time. I won’t go training today as I am worried that this will make me feel worst again the next day. I am staying indoors or going into the garden if I feel like going outdoor.


DAY 12:

Woke up feeling better. Good sleep and feeling hungry for the first time in ages. No naps today, a bit of work and Mission Impossible 3. You can always rely on Tom Cruise when you are bored!

No more headache or achy throat or temperature but still coughing and still having green phlegm coming out. My body is not as achy anymore either. My sense of smell is still gone and my appetite is getting better. I decided to go for a little run tonight and I actually felt good. Maybe this is the end of it. Everyone was better today, even my Mum who could actually move for the first time in ages.

We all felt good enough to do a bit of gardening in this lovely weather. Dirk is looking forward to going back to work and me to ride on the roads again but we have to wait until day 14.


DAY 13:

I woke up feeling good after an ok sleep of 8h. Just doing a bit of gardening sent me the other way again. It does not take much from going to feeling great to pretty average. Headaches are back and I am still coughing and still spitting green phlegm. I will stay indoors, watch movies and write some programs all day today. I will try not to nap so that I can have a good sleep tonight. No temperature so I could train but I won’t be training because I am a bit over this and my headache is not going away. I have only been taking Panadol since the start of Corona, maybe I need something stronger but I hate taking pain killers or anti-inflammatory. Going to bed feeling pretty down and sorry for myself tonight but it is important to think that my health is still good and that I am being well looked after by my family here. My Mum is better but she still has a sore body but at least she went for a walk today.


DAY 14:

Last day of full lockdown. I cannot wait to go for a ride outside or to go to the shops to buy food myself. I had a good sleep of 9h and woke up to fresh crepes made by chef Lolo. Appetite is back ? Very spoiled here in Belgium with gourmet foods. It has been hard to eat 3 meals per day. It has been more like two per day while sick.

Nothing exciting again today. I don’t have the energy to cook or to help Lolo in the garden so I stayed in front of the tele, wrote some programs and had a two-hour nap.

My headache is gone. The only symptoms I still have is restricted breathing, sore lungs + coughing and green phlegm. I feel like there is a cat purring in my chest. All the other symptoms are now gone. From tomorrow, I am supposed to be able to go out and I am supposed to be symptoms free and virus free. It is hard to know if I am not contagious anymore. Sam is getting tested again on Wednesday so we will know for sure then.



Corona has been hard not because I have been really sick but because it has lasted for so long and because of the full lockdown we have had to do. It has been an interesting and eye-opening learning experience. I was lucky enough to have my family and the Desaeger family there to help us. Mental health is also very important to look after so try and do things you like while at home, whatever it is. For me those little runs saved me mentally and helped me not to fall into a “feel sorry for myself” mode. I have felt really ill for 3 days only and the rest I was ok but this virus zapped me from my energy and made me feel like I did not want to eat anymore. The fact that everything was tasteless did not help. I can see how this virus can be very dangerous for unhealthy people, for the elderly, for people living on their own and for people with breathing issues. My asthma is pretty bad right now and my chest is still painful after 15 days. If you get this virus, no need to panic but make sure you surround yourself with people who can help you as at some point, you might not be able to do anything. Have someone who can shop + cook for you as well if possible. The main thing is to keep positive, sleep a lot, eat super clean, drink a lot of water and tea as well as keep taking paracetamol each 4 hours. It is easy to play the victim and feel depressed but thing is, there are always people out there who have it harder than us, even when stuck at home with Covid 19. If anyone needs a hand or tips, feel free to contact me for any questions.