Health and Wellness

Lesbian doctor with coronavirus documents her illness on video

Greta McLachlan
Greta McLachlanPhoto: Twitter screenshot/Greta McLachlan

Lesbian surgical trainee Greta McLachlan is documenting her experience with coronavirus in a series of videos on Twitter. (The videos can be found below.)

Over the past few days, 36-year-old McLachlan has taken viewers through her symptoms, as well as the ups and downs of the virus.

Related: Take a moment to recognize these LGBTQ nurses fighting coronavirus worldwide

The illness began small, with just a sore throat and small cough.

“In the first two days, it was just, ‘Could it be or could it not?’ And then my mind progressed to a point where I was fairly confident I had the coronavirus,” she told Pink News.

While she and her wife have not officially been tested due to a lack of available tests in the U.K., McLachlan said that her symptoms — a temperature, a cough, muscle aches, fatigue, and a headache — are almost certainly from coronavirus. They have self-isolated and are relying on friends and family to drop essential items at their door.

McLachlan’s goal for the videos is to calm people’s fears while at the same time communicating the importance of  staying away from vulnerable people.

“It’s not awful. It’s not great,” she said in one of her videos. “I’m lucky. I’m 36 years old and relatively fit and well, only taking medication for migraines. I’ve actually had worse migraines and to be honest I’ve actually had worse hangovers than this, and the joy is that I have my wife to keep me company.”

“We’re lucky, … and [the] most important thing that we’re doing is self-isolating and keeping an eye on our symptoms, and I’ve told my parents who are at the age of 70 to stay well away.”

At one point, McLachlan posted a video that she was feeling better. She seemed confident she was on the mend, but the following morning, she said she was wrong. It had gotten worse again.

“It sort of goes in cycles,” she said. “Just absolute exhaustion. Even climbing the stairs is an effort.”

She also described the cough as feeling different than a normal cold. “I didn’t get the snotty nose and the pain in my sinuses, and when you get the [COVID-19] cough, to me it feels like a different cough… sort of a cough that comes from the chest.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

But again, McLachlan said that it is everyone’s job to protect their communities by maintaining social distancing practices.

“You’ve got to listen to the government’s advice: stay away from pubs, clubs, theaters. Things have evolved over the past four or five days. You can’t force anyone to do anything, but you’ve got to think about the vulnerable. We’ve just got to look after each other and be sensible.

“I know that’s difficult if you are younger and you are at uni or are working in pubs and bars, it’s going to be a really tricky time. But this is unprecedented. And we’ve got to protect the NHS, protect healthcare workers and protect those who are more likely to suffer.”

She also reminded people to check in on those who are self-isolating to see if they need anything dropped off, as well as to please stay away from vulnerable people while at the same time making sure they have what they need.

“Even if you’re not of a religious persuasion, one way of [reaching out] is to get in touch with local places of worship, because they’ll know who their vulnerable parishioners are,” she said. “I think that goes a long way.”

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