A veteran GP yesterday told how she beat coronavirus — by dosing herself with paracetamol, lemonade and chicken soup.
Dr Clare Gerada, 60, ex-head of the Royal College of GPs, was bedridden for days after returning from a New York conference with the virus.
She had a fever, shivers, sore throat, dizziness, achy joints, a pounding headache and chest pains caused by constant coughing.
But Clare has now recovered — and said the vast majority of others who get the virus will also survive, even if they are old and have underlying conditions.
She said: “I was so sapped of energy. I couldn’t have found the energy to pick up a £50 note if it was on the floor in front of me.
“The illness was draining and knocked me for six but I never felt my life was at risk.
“My body was doing what it could to fight the infection.
“I can understand why people are worried but the vast, majority will survive, like I have. It is not necessarily a death sentence.”
‘I DIDN’T NEED HEROIC MEDICINES’
Clare said her husband Sir Simon Wessely, ex-president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, protected himself from the virus while she was ill by wrapping a Chelsea football scarf around his face.
Writing for GP magazine Pulse, she said: “The only souvenir I thought I’d brought back from my recent trip to a conference in New York was a fridge magnet of the Statue of Liberty.
“Barely two days later, I realised I’d brought a lot more.
“Tucked somewhere in my body was developing Covid-19, which began to show itself a few days after arriving back in the UK.
“The symptoms merged in with jet lag — tiredness, headache and feeling ‘out of it’.
“The dry cough I put down to the long flight home and the effects of rebreathing cabin air.
“But what I couldn’t dismiss was the temperature which was now above 102F. My coronavirus experience had started.”
Clare said that for the next five days she stayed in bed — only getting up to use the toilet.
At the end of that period, the symptoms disappeared, leaving only an “off metallic taste” in her mouth and intense tiredness.
She added: “I lived through this nasty illness, wishing it away but never feeling it would finish me off.
“I didn’t need any heroic medicines or interventions.
“Despite now being on the ‘other side’ of youth, I have no underlying health conditions and two paracetamol three times a day and lemonade was all I needed.
“I had God’s penicillin, chicken soup, which seemed to have a miraculous effect of bringing back my appetite.
“My husband practised social distancing. We communicated via mobile phone and he wore the only protection he had for his face — a Chelsea football scarf.”
Clare said the coronavirus was the worst illness she has had.
But she added: “I have little to compare this with other than childbirth — which isn’t an illness.
“I’m rarely unwell – have had the flu once, dental pain, and fractures over the years, but nothing more.