Kirsten Knaggs is a 25-year-old junior copywriter who lives in Hendon in Sunderland. Kirsten has caught Covid twice. The first was in September 2020 and the second in January 2022. Kirsten is double jabbed and plans to get her booster vaccination too. Here, Kirsten describes her experience with the virus and why getting vaccinated is crucial to protect both ourselves and others, as we learn to live with Covid.
“When I first had Covid in 2020, my only symptom was loss of taste and smell. While uncomfortable to live with, I was relieved I didn't feel poorly or develop any other, more serious symptoms.
“A few months later, however, I developed vertigo quite severely and my GP thinks it might be a consequence of having Covid. My vertigo can become quite bad and when an episode starts I just need to be at home sitting or lying down as I feel really dizzy and nauseous and suffer from awful migraines.
“I recently caught Covid again but this time I was poorly. My first symptom was total exhaustion. I felt like I had been hit by a bus. I developed a temperature followed by a cough and runny nose. I felt absolutely dreadful but thankfully after day four of feeling poorly I started to turn a corner. As I am double vaccinated I believe this prevented my symptoms from worsening.
“I was quite surprised to catch Covid again, especially recently. I know infections rates are high and the latest variant is much more transmissible than previous ones but in the weeks leading up to Christmas and between Christmas and New Year I was super cautious of how much social contact I had as I really wanted to spend Christmas at my parents’ house with all my family including my grandparents who are both highly vulnerable. I must have caught it from simply going from A to B.
“I remember feeling scared and pretty overwhelmed when I tested positive the second time as I was feeling really poorly. My mam and housemate reassured me though that I was going to be ok as I have done what I can to protect myself by getting vaccinated and given my age and general health I will fully recover which thankfully I did do.
“I am now feeling 100% but I still suffer from vertigo and although I did start taking medication for it, the side effects of it made me feel worse so now I just manage an episode as best as I can. Anxiety, fatigue and generally feeling burnt out can bring it on so that’s made me become even more conscious about the importance of leading a healthy, balanced life and not doing too much or taking too much on.
“I think the Covid vaccine is really important to helping us as a country get out of this pandemic. It’s definitely vital for eldery and vulnerable people but those my age or even younger should get it too. It’s the only way, in my view, to protect everyone. Not just yourself but family members, friends and colleagues. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”