When a Fish Hoek mother experienced joint pain, a low-grade temperature and chills she thought it was just the flu or a head cold but to her surprise she tested positive for Covid-19.
Susan Cameron, 51, said the symptoms started on Monday May 4 and as the day progressed she knew something was wrong.
“My entire body was aching, I had joint pain, chills and a low-grade temperature and my skin was sore. I was just not feeling 100 percent,” she said.
Ms Cameron thought some fresh air would do her good and the following day she took her two children, Lexi, 12, and Luca, 9, out for a walk for the first time since lockdown had been imposed on Friday March 27.
They walked about 3km, and on their return home, she was out of breath and felt “shattered”.
But still she thought it was just the flu and continued her day as normal. She helped Lexi with homeschooling, but she could feel that her body was “giving in”.
“My entire body was aching,” she said.
That evening, her husband, Gary, completed an online survey for Covid-19, and Ms Cameron decided to make contact with her medical aid.
She was advised to have a screening done via telephone with her doctor who immediately instructed her to go to the Discovery medical aid testing centre, PathCare, at Kingsbury Hospital.
She sat there with about 10 other people who were also waiting to be tested.
“What struck me is that none of them looked particularly sick,” she said.
When her number was called she was taken to a small room where a nose swab was taken. The entire process took about 15 minutes.
“It was very quick but also very invasive to say the least. A cotton bud is stuck up high in your nose up the nasal passage. It is not a nice feeling at all,” she said.
Three day later, on Sunday May 10, her doctor confirmed that she had tested positive for Covid-19.
She said she had no idea where she could have contracted the virus.
“I had been doing essential shopping for my family, my mom and my in-laws, so it could be any one of the shops I visited,” she said.
By then her son, Luca, had also shown similar symptoms.
He had a high temperature, sore body and throat. Ms Cameron discussed the matter with her doctor and they concluded that there was a 99% chance that Luca had also contracted the virus so they decided to self quarantine as a family.
Ms Cameron said she never thought anyone in her immediate family would test positive for Covid-19.
“Maybe down the line as the world returned to normality but definitely not during lockdown,” she said.
She said she and Luca had almost fully recovered.
“Luca bounced back very quickly around day three. We used over-the-counter medicine such as Med-Lemon, Adco-dol and cough medicine.
“We were advised to start taking 1000ml Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and Zinc daily,” she said.
However, she said she had no idea how her husband and Lexi would react once they started showing symptoms.
Luca said he was not too scared as he did not know how bad it would get.
“I thought the symptoms were going to get worse, but instead they eased after a few days.
“But please stick to the lockdown rules as the virus varies from person to person,” he said
Ms Cameron said they were lucky with the symptoms they experienced. She had no underlying conditions.
“Every person will react differently to the virus and will have different symptoms and the severity thereof,” she said.
And she warns: This is not the normal flu.
“People are dying of it, and I am thankful that neither Luca nor I had to be admitted to hospital,” she said.
Western Cape Department of Health spokeswoman Natalie Watlington, said all provincial government health facilities offered Covid-19 testing if a person met the criteria for testing after being screened. False Bay Hospital is the designated facility in the far south.
To be screened for Covid-19, you can:
* Use the self-assessment tool on the provincial Health Department website
* Call the provincial hotline at 021 928 4102 to be screened and determine if you meet the criteria for testing.
* Phone your nearest health facility, which will screen you and then advise you on the next steps should you meet the criteria for testing.