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Effects of COVID19 on a cyclist

As some of you whom follow SWICK's social media should know- one of our riders, Robbie, contracted COVID19 / COVID-19 during Oct-Dec 2020.

We requested Robbie kept a diary of what he experienced as we feel its important for everyone to realise the effect this virus had on a very healthy & physically fit cyclist. The below details an extract of the diary over the course of 10 days. Its written in Robbie's own words. Its also worth noting- despite 'recovering', Robbie is still experiencing 'after effects' weeks and weeks after.

Photo 1: Pre-COVID times... Robbie fit and healthy, race ready!

Handing over to Robbie: "My experience with COVID-19 was evil. To actually experience it was quite scary after reading news reports and hearing stories on the news, it makes the whole situation worse because you start to think the worst. My partner would spend most of the nights waking up to check on me and my breathing as it was particularly concerning due to me being asthmatic. Luckily, although I wouldn't say I've made a full recovery yet, I'm definitely doing a lot better. Please take it seriously. COVID-19 is not a joke. Many people have experienced it a lot worse than me and I can only imagine how bad it was for them, take extra care during your day-to-day activities, stick to the rules and stay safe."

Photo 2: Robbie post COVID recovery!

Day 1

So, on Saturday 5th December everything was perfectly fine up until 7 in the morning, when literally out of the blue I had a really bad sick feeling from really deep down in my stomach and a massive headache to go with it. After finishing my coffee, I got into bed and conked out for a few hours. When I woke up, I then threw up and felt really exhausted. I started uncontrollably shaking, my head was burning up, I felt freezing cold, my chest was tight and I was having difficulty breathing. I'm also someone who suffers from asthma and was having to rely on my pump to try and clear my chest. It was at this point, I suspected that I had COVID-19. At 6:30 pm I managed to get through to the NHS COVID-19 helpline who was really helpful and understanding, after explaining my symptoms I was booked in the following morning for my test.

Day 2

After a restless night of being sick and burning up with a temperature of 38.9, I had developed a headache that felt like my eyes were being pushed into the back of my head, I could barely stand and felt really dizzy. I finally sort of got ready to head off to my test. I got to the test site at 9:30am where I was escorted into my spot and handed my self-test kit. After 5 minutes of reading, I'm then sticking a massive cotton bud in my mouth that I had to rub all over my tonsils while trying not to gag, then sticking it up my nose. 15 minutes later it’s done. The rest of my day was spent trying to keep my temperature down with paracetamol and trying not to be sick. By this point I had completely lost my appetite. I tried eating soup, that was unsuccessful. At 10:30pm my results were emailed to me; I just remember reading the word ‘positive’.


Yet again another bad night with hardly any sleep. I was struggling to stay awake during the day, I still hadn’t eaten anything and was still suffering with all the same symptoms, except this time I had also developed a dry throat. I was having to keep my blue asthma pump close by at all times as I felt this was the only thing that sort of helped my breathing for a while.

Day 4

I actually woke up feeling better this day, still with the same symptoms only milder. I sort of managed to get a better night sleep and managed to eat some toast and scrambled egg. For my dry throat, ice poles became my best friend. Later on in the day I started to feel rough again, back to not eating anything, barely being able to stand, all of my symptoms just started to worsen again.

Day 5

My night was spent constantly waking up in pain. I had developed pains in my legs, my back, pretty much all over. It hurt to lay down, it hurt to sit down, I couldn’t stand up without feeling dizzy, I couldn’t eat and I started to lose my taste and smell. To top off an unsuccessful day I had now developed a slight cough!! The only good thing was my ice poles.

Day 6, 7 and 8

These few days were spent the same, constant pains in my back and legs making it uncomfortable to sit down. I managed to force myself to eat. The best bit was my temperature was back to normal, I had stopped being sick, I had also stopped feeling stone cold, my headache was wearing off and I was eating child-sized portion meals.

Day 9

I woke up feeling sort of normal, I actually had a slight appetite and I even ventured outside to the garden for a bit of exercise and fresh air, that lasted all of 5 minutes. Although I felt a lot better than I had been feeling, I would get tired very quickly. I was also disappointed I couldn’t taste my coffee.

Day 10

My last day in isolation. My symptoms had pretty much cleared up. My appetite was slowly returning to normal and was managing to get a bit more done during the day, although I still found myself getting tired quickly. The tiredness actually continued for a few days, which was a struggle as I had to return to work the day after my isolation finished. For someone that struggled after being in the garden for 5 minutes, you can only imagine how an 8-hour shift at work went.

Final points from us at SWICK:

  • Huge THANK YOU to the NHS Staff and all Key Workers working hard to keep everyone as safe as possible during the COVID19 / COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Another THANK YOU to Robbie's partner, Charlee, for looking after Robbie and helping with the diary.

  • Everyone else PLEASE take COVID19 seriously, its not a joke.

  • Stay safe so you can ride another day!

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