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It has been a full year since my first Covid-19 Diary entry, and so much has happened; many of you followed closely as I shared my story, and I am grateful. So what has happened in the last year?


Johannesburg, South Africa (23 June 2021) – A year ago, I woke up with full-body pain to answer a call from my panicked domestic helper who had developed symptoms of Covid-19, I kept a diary of everything that happened after the call. Even sitting here typing this a year later, I can recall how calm I felt getting the call.

We all dread the moment we might get the call regarding a potential COVID-19 exposure. As the virus is ramping up its presence in South Africa for the third time, it is only natural that more people are being exposed.

I am one year Covid recovered, and this is what has happened in that year.

A Recap

So if you missed the in-depth diary, stop here and go read all the entries from last year. You will find them all linked below by day. If you recall the diary, let’s take a brief look back at how life unfolded after receiving the phone call a year ago.

My partner and I went to get tested, and as Covid-19 had just started taking a hold on South Africa for the first time, our results took two days to come back. Mine was positive, and my partner’s test was negative. Throughout the 14 day isolation, my partner never displayed any symptoms other than a sore throat for one day shortly after our results came back. Angie* our domestic helper’s results also came back positive.

I weathered the next 14 days of isolation with mostly a positive outlook and mild symptoms, but if you recall, there were a few bad days where headaches and nausea were crippling. All in all, my symptoms were mild, and I never experienced breathing problems.

I happily stepped out of my home the day our isolation ended, feeling like the world could throw anything at me, and it did!

The Long Haul

I shared my final diary entry on the 13th of July 2020, and life went back to normal or kind of normal.

Unfortunately, I faced many long-term complications that, to this day, have not quite gone away. To start, I had a few months of blood clotting incidents that landed me in hospital for blood testing, ultrasounds and the likes. At first, it was written off as unrelated, but my doctor had a few cases similar to mine, and together with her network of GPs, I learned that I was, in fact, having problems related to my Covid-19 diagnosis. Thankfully, this seems to have gone away over time.

Another one of the issues I developed afterwards was breathing problems. Not getting to the top of stairs or doing a simple walk around the shops without being short of breath became an issue. This was concerning as I had not had any chest issues during my initial experience. It took around 8 months and working on my lung fitness to get back to normal.

Brain fog and fatigue also followed me for many months and hit in dilapidating waves. The last and most exhausting was this past January where for three weeks, I stayed in bed because I was too tired to do much of anything. I had to balance my workdays with mental breaks and frequent naps to be able to get work done. It was a great effort to be present, but the fog eventually faded, and it seems to have stayed away now.

My longest symptoms have been anxiety and memory loss. Those are still with me to date! The memory loss is incredibly frustrating as I forget simple conversations within a few hours. I cannot recall what I did in my day, so my phone is my newest ally; I keep notes and constantly ask people to remind me of things as I will forget them.

I always apologise to people for not remembering things because it makes me look like I don’t care. When really, my brain just isn’t saving things that are important to me.

My helper Angie had a few weeks of feeling tired but bounced back to her usual self quickly. She has maintained that she feels great and has not experienced any long-Covid symptoms.

Anxiety and Fear

Another problem that developed from my Covid experience was crippling anxiety. So much so that I ended up seeking professional help from a psychologist that specialised in anxiety treatment.

After the novelty of being able to leave home without fear of getting sick again wore off, I ended up spending weeks on end at home, turning down every invitation to spend time with friends and family. The new variants also brought on serious fear of getting sick again. I never want to have Covid-19 again; it was no picnic and has scarred me enough to be extra careful.

I will share that I have since managed my anxiety and that seeking help from a professional was life-changing! I still get nervous about the virus and what may happen, but I was taught to manage that fear in healthy ways.

If you are also having mental health issues after your Covid-19 experience, seek help. I feel strongly that all my other long-haul symptoms got better after my treatment for anxiety was underway. If anything, you will at least cope a little better with what may still be coming.

2020 was my struggle year; 2021 has been my triumph year. It has still been hard, but I know I can take on so much more and still survive it. You can too!

The Vaccine

In my Diary day 4 and 5, I wrote how some of my family members celebrated that I wouldn’t need a vaccine because I had caught and survived the virus. To everyone’s utter disappointment, though, I said I would still get the vaccine if I were allowed.

I have registered and eagerly await my SMS to confirm I can get the jab. My anxiety and fear of getting the virus again may have mellowed out a bit, but I am still very keen to avoid the virus, and if the vaccine can help, I am all in!

If you would like to keep up with what is happening in South Africa related to Covid-19 numbers and vaccinations, you can find out more via our new Vaccine SA portal right here on Good Things Guy.

If you missed the previous diary entries, you can find them below.

Day 1Day 2 | Day 3  | Day 4 & 5 | Day 6 to 11 | RecoveryA Year Later

Sources: GTG
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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