Birmingham, UK


Saturday 27th June, I woke up around 4 am freezing cold and covered in sweat. Accompanying this new body temperature was the worst headache I've probably ever had in my life. It started in my temples, ran throughout my skull, and even down my neck. It's got me I thought, it's finally got me. Convinced I was now a victim of the dreaded Covid19 I wrapped myself up tight and tried to get back to sleep despite the pounding in my head.

The contents of a UK coronavirus testing kit - including instructions, a swab, a small vial, and easy seal plastic bags
The contents of a UK coronavirus test kit

The next morning my condition hadn't much improved. Although I was no longer drenched in my own sweat, a headache was still very much present, and on leaving my bed I discovered a new symptom - breathlessness. Panic set in as I started to realise how many objects and surfaces in my house I would have previously touched with my infected hands. Now protecting my parents was my main concern. Terrified I warned them against coming near me.

For the rest of the day, I kept myself locked in my room feeling like death and only leaving to go to the kitchen or the bathroom, making sure I thoroughly cleaned anything I touched. I ordered a coronavirus testing kit that afternoon and hoped it would come quickly.

Ordering the Covid19 testing kit was easy. On the government website, you are given the option to order a home testing kit or book a slot at a designated test site. Although going to a site to be tested would have been the quicker option, it would have meant spending time in the car with one of my parents which I wasn't prepared to do - after all, being so cautious over the last few months was purely to protect them and I wasn't going to throw that away by potentially infecting them myself!

The test was finally delivered on Monday night, too late to take that day and so I was to have another night worrying that I had contracted Coronavirus. The next afternoon, following the instructions more carefully than any other similar test I'd taken in the past, I completed the Covid19 test. 

The test itself wasn't as bad as I was made to believe. In the days running up to my coronavirus test arriving I'd been warned by several people that it was horrible as you have to stick the swab so far up your nose it hurts. Whilst you do have to insert the testing swab into your nose quite far, and I'll admit it wasn't comfortable, it didn't hurt. For me, the worst part was swabbing my tonsils which set off my gag reflex instantly. The test was uncomfortable, but not unbearable.

My used swab inside the vial which was sent back to test if I had coronavirus
The swab I used to test if I had contracted Covid19

Just a day later I had my coronavirus test results back by text message. Considering the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic (or lack of) I was extremely surprised to have my covid19 test results back just 24 hours after they had been put in the post. 

The results were negative. 

I'll admit I was slightly disappointed by this. I'd hoped that it would be confirmed that I had a mild case of the virus, and because of that, my parents had likely gained antibodies. Whilst I didn't want to be ill, I just wanted to know that my parents might have built up some kind of resistance to the coronavirus that is striking down people left right and centre. But I didn't have it, and as far as we are aware, none of us has antibodies.

In the days since my coronavirus test came back negative, I continue to feel not quite right. A sore throat, breathlessness, and occasional headaches, these symptoms have never really gone away. 

So what is causing all this? It could well be my ever-worsening anxiety.

I've known since the start of lockdown that anxiety can give you a sore throat, or enhance the feelings of a sore throat. It's also very common knowledge that anxiety can affect your breathing. So it's likely that my continued breathlessness is a side effect of the almost never-ending worry I've faced every day since coronavirus was found in the UK.

But what about my other symptoms? Google 'Can anxiety mimic coronavirus symptoms' and you're greeted with a few articles that agree it can. Even the cold sweat I experienced on the first night can be explained by assuming that I was having an extreme anxiety attack, which I haven't experienced in a good while now. 

So whilst I imagine there is a small chance my coronavirus test was inaccurate (there is roughly a 70% chance coronavirus test results are wrong), it's most likely that the frightening presence of a deadly virus has triggered my anxiety to levels I haven't seen for a while. It's also likely that I have a common cold as I've also developed a sneeze. Fab.

The sealed coronavirus testing kit real to be sent back to the lab
My used coronavirus test kit wrapped up ready to be sent back to the lab

Having these symptoms isn't fun, but at least I can now sleep somewhat soundly knowing that the reason behind them isn't going to kill myself or my parents. I thought I was riddled with Coronavirus, but I just have bad anxiety.

I'd love to know if any of you have had similar experiences? Has your anxiety been running wild these last few months?

Thanks for reading!

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Looking for more content?
Here some more posts relating to mental health.

The leaflet that comes with a covid-19 home testing kit


  1. I have browsed most of your posts. This post is probably where I got the most useful information for my research. Thanks for posting, maybe we can see more on this. Are you aware of any other websites on this subject. coronavirus screening test

  2. One contributing cause for the staggering numbers of anxiety sufferers within our communities is due to a specific change in our society. cbd deals


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