After writing yesterday that I had two out of the three symptoms of Covid-19, I’d be interested to be tested:
Millions of 15-minute home coronavirus tests are set to be available on the high street or for Amazon delivery to people self-isolating,
One symptom I’ve got is shortness of breath. I’m not short of breath all the time. I just get short of breath after doing something physical, performing physical work, like standing up or walking around. When I perform physical work, I have to burn glucose from my bloodstream with haemoglobin-packaged oxygen from my bloodstream, to generate some amount of energy to power muscles. This will create a deficit of oxygen in my bloodstream, and if this falls too low I’ll start panting for breath (which is also physical work, and may explain why I sometimes pant for a long time).
And this is what happens. It looks like I have oxygen-deficient blood. Why? Probably because I’ve got some viral infection, and cells in my body are performing physical work making viruses (that’s how viruses reproduce). And that’s why I start panting when I do something like stand up or walk around.
And I almost certainly have at least one viral infection: the one that is giving me a runny nose every single day. It started out as a stream, but now it’s a slight trickle, which suggests that my immune system is slowly getting the better of it. It seems to be restricted to my nose. If it had spread elsewhere, and lots of my cells were busy making virus, and converting energy into heat, I’d probably be running a temperature. But I have no fever.
The other possibility is that, after 50 years of smoking, my lungs are shot, and do a bad job of putting oxygen in my bloodstream. But this seems unlikely, because all this started on one single day – 17 January -, and I was perfectly OK the day before.
So I think I’ve got a mild viral infection which is keeping cells of mine working, and drawing down my blood oxygen levels, causing me to pant for breath whenever I perform any muscular physical work. It’s also why I’m lethargic, and sleep a lot.
I think any viral or bacterial infection probably has the same effects.
It doesn’t prevent me from writing my blog, because there isn’t much physical work entailed by tapping keys on a keyboard. But it is preventing me from working on my Glaciation model, because I need good concentration to write computer code, and that concentration will entail physical work by my brain. Thinking entails physical work, and thinking hard entails hard physical work (although not as hard as any sort of manual labour).
I can also use my current delicate state to get a measure of how much physical work I’m doing, simply by seeing how much I puff and blow after doing something. And I can devise new ways of doing things that entail performing less physical work.
If the above analysis is right, I contracted some bug on 17 January 2020, and have yet to throw it off, although I seem to be gradually doing so. But apparently immune systems work better in higher ambient temperatures, which is why most viral infections occur in winter. So if the UK warms up a bit now that it’s springtime, I might expect to see myself recovering, and stop getting short of breath, and feeling tired all the time.
And it’s a nice sunny day today. And it’s very quiet. There’s hardly any traffic. It looks like the lockdown is happening, at least in this particular neck of the woods.