I got COVID-19 in February when the Omicron wave hit Malaysia. I was fully vaccinated with Sinovac in June 2021 and got my booster shot (Pfizer) in December 2021, but, as we know, being vaccinated doesn’t mean you won’t get infected by the virus; however, it helps you build up your immunity to the virus, so your body will fight it off more easily if it affects you.
It took me about a week to know that I was actually positive with COVID-19. At first, my throat started to feel weirdly dry. No fever or other symptoms. I only had a weirdly dry throat. 3 days later, I woke up with a severe headache. Later that day, I found out that multiple people at work tested positive for COVID-19. I did the RTK test after hearing the news and felt relieved when my result turned out negative. I awoke the next day with another severe headache, but this time it was accompanied by flu, a sore throat, cough, chills, a terrible body ache, and a fever. I had a night sweat the night before too, but since my result was negative on Friday, I assumed it was a normal fever. By evening, my body started shivering, and my temperature went up to 38.7 degrees. I decided to take another test, and the result turned out to be positive.
Fully vaccinated individuals who tested positive for Covid-19 in Malaysia will have to undergo a 7-day isolation period, regardless of the coronavirus variant they were infected with. I freaked out at first because I had an asthma history and nobody was able to look after me at home. I live alone, and I’m scared that something might happen to me in the middle of the night, but at the same time, I also felt relieved because I don’t have to lock myself in my room. I can walk freely to the kitchen or to the living room because nobody at home can be exposed to the virus.
So, what did I do?
The next morning, after my positive COVID-19 test result, I went to the Covid Assessment Center (CAC) for a check-up, but the nurse there told me that if I was having mild symptoms, I didn’t have to come to the CAC. I only need to update my COVID-19 test result and my health conditions in Mysejahtera. They are monitoring COVID-19 patients through the apps. For 7 days, I need to answer questions in Mysejahtera about my health conditions twice daily (before 12 pm and 6 pm). The first thing I did when I tested positive was sanitizing my home. My body felt terrible for the first 3 days but slowly recovered starting on the 4th. I took medications for the flu, cough, and sore throat. I also consumed vitamin C supplements. Other than the mild symptoms I mentioned above, I also had chest pain when I sneezed and slightly lost my sense of taste.
Post-COVID-19 (After 7 days of Home Isolation)
- I had recurrent fevers. It lasted for a couple of days, got better, and then the fever came back. This happened until week 3. The last fever I had was my highest temperature: 39.8 degrees.
- Easily feel tired. I can’t walk much or do any heavy activities due to shortness of breath. I can’t talk much either. This happened until week 4.
- Very sensitive to sounds. All sounds were too loud for me, including someone’s voice. This happened until week 4.
- Insomnia. I had a hard time sleeping at night for more than a month.
- The dry cough took a very long time to heal.
- Muscle and joint pain. This happened for 2 weeks.
- On week three, the sense of taste returns to normal.
- Extreme fatigue for 3 weeks.
- Dizziness. My head kept spinning until week 3.
- Changes in menstrual cycle patterns. When I tested positive for COVID-19, I was on the 2nd day of my period. My period stopped completely on the 3rd day and came back after 2 days. Now, my cycles have changed, and often late.
- Difficulty remembering things. I often forget things, but what’s happening now is way worse. Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost some of my memories. I have a hard time remembering words too. It takes me time to create sentences in my head because, most of the time, I don’t remember words to use. When people talk to me, I have a hard time concentrating. It’s annoying. I’m still dealing with this to this day.
My advice to those who tested positive for COVID-19
The most important thing is: Do not panic. It can cause you anxiety and can worsen the situation. Take a deep breath and update your COVID-19 test result in Mysejahtera. Follow all the instructions there. If you have mild symptoms like me, you can start your home isolation right away. Only if you have chest pain or any other symptoms that concern you, please go to the Covid Assessment Centre (CAC) nearby for a check-up. Take Vitamin C and medications that might help your body (for flu, cough, etc). Do not go out during the home isolation period. Be mindful for your sake and that of others. Lastly, stay positive. The symptoms won’t go away fast but eventually, they will. Let your body take time to recover.
My health conditions now
Other than feeling like I’ve lost some of my memories, I’m doing great. I am already back to my running and workout routine without any breathing problems. A few days ago, I read that people infected with COVID-19 in the past are no longer protected against reinfection for several months anymore. So I’m being very careful now. Although we are already in the endemic phase in Malaysia, the virus is still here. Most of us who are young and healthy have a chance to survive but do not forget that COVID-19 can be deadly for some people. Let’s always adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOP) and be mindful of our health and safety.