What does COVID do?

Published: 10-02-2022

Official guidelines don’t tell us much. We want a realistic idea of how COVID might affect our lives and when to worry.

Here’s how the disease progresses:

Inconvenient COVID

Inconvenient COVID feels like an odd cold.

Common symptoms include:

  • Loss of smell and / or taste;
  • Persistent cough;
  • Runny or blocked nose;
  • Headache;
  • Tiredness 1.

You’ll shake it off in a few weeks. Or—within a few days of feeling ill—it will get worse and become…

Ominous COVID

Ominous COVID feels like a scary flu. Additional common symptoms include:

  • Fever and / or chills;
  • Exhaustion;
  • Muscle pain;
  • Breathing difficulty 2.

You’ll be bed-ridden for a few days. (Or should be, you stubborn numpty.)

You might gasp for breath or pant after climbing the stairs. If so, start worrying.

If you struggle to finish a sentence, your oximeter readings drop below 95, or parts of you turn blue we panic and start thinking about…

Ruinous COVID

COVID starts as a respiratory disease. Ruinous COVID is an everything disease.

Your lungs may stop working and your immune system might go bonkers. Other organs may fail. All of these outcomes are life-threatening.

You will be hospitalised. If there is no medical care available your body will break in some way, leaving you disabled or dead.

Recovery, if it happens, will be measured in months or years.

I know one person who had Ruinous COVID. Over three hateful months his organs failed and he died. His death crushed people I adore.

This disease can break our family. I want us to take COVID seriously without losing our minds. That starts with calling things as they are: Inconvenient, Ominous, Ruinous.

Above is what COVID might do. Next-up: Who gets what and why?

Further Reading

Many thousands of words of relevant-but-not-relevant-enough information were cut. This started with a bazillion research notes-to-self and links, then went through a round of chunking and cutting.

If I had to do this from scratch I’d start with: