As confusion and uncertainty spreads throughout the world around the COVID-19 coronavirus, one survivor recounts what it’s like to get it. During a video interview with Channel 4 News, Connor Reed breaks down the different stages of having COVID-19.
Reed is a 25-year-old British man who currently works and lives in Wuhan, China. He started feeling the coronavirus symptoms at the end of November.
Reed said, “This particular virus, it happens in different stages. You get better before you get worse. So in my case, the first step was I had the cold. Just a common cold, my nose was stuffy, I had ear problems, sinus problems, that sort of thing. But then you get better before you get worse, so I was getting better, and that’s when I got hit with the flu.”
He told Channel 4 News that he’s had the flu around six times, and this particular time was the worst he’s felt. He said, “It really was quite bad. It wasn’t life threatening but I did feel terrible.” He said that he was stuck in bed, he had a headache and felt generally unwell.
Reed Started Feeling Better, But Then Got Pneumonia
Reed continued to share his story, “I was getting better from the flu and that’s when I got hit with pneumonia.” Reed, who has never had pneumonia before, described what it’s like to have it. It was at that point of contracting pneumonia that he went to the hospital.
Getting pneumonia for Reed happened quickly. During an interview with The Guardian, he said that he went to bed feeling better from the flu and woke up “not being able to breathe.”
He said during the Channel 4 interview, “It feels like you only have 20 percent of your lungs working. You can’t take a full breath like you need to. If you stand and walk into the kitchen, you’re out of breath because you just can’t get that breath. It also sounds like you’re breathing through a bag; your breath is very crackly and croaky.”
It was a scary situation for Reed as he doesn’t drink often, he doesn’t smoke and he’s young.
Reed Speaks About What it’s Like Living on Lockdown in Wuhan, Gives Advice Not to Panic
Wuhan has been on a government-ordered lockdown since January 22 to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Reed was then asked how long he had been in the room that he was interviewing in, and he revealed that he has been in that room for over 40 days in isolation. On what it’s like to be on lockdown, he mentioned that with technology nowadays, he can communicate with the outside world, so he hasn’t found it that lonely. However, the lack of interpersonal connection is what’s taking a toll on Reed.
When asked about what his mental health has been like living in isolation in the locked-down city of Wuhan, Reed said, “We are all in the same boat, there’s nothing we can do about it so there’s no point of us being down or unhappy. It is what it is, it will be gone soon, we’ll get over it.”
Reed offered some advice for other people if they have to go into lockdown. He said, “My advice would be to have a lot things to keep you entertained, take up a hobby, learn a language. I would also advise that people don’t panic. Panic doesn’t help anybody. If there is an isolation crisis where everyone has to be isolated, they shouldn’t think about themselves but think about other people. If you are infected, don’t go out, don’t infect other people. Stay at home, not because it’s uncomfortable but to protect the people around you.”
Since isolation, Reed has stayed busy painting, reading, learning Russian, working out and expanding his cooking skills.