March 17, 2020

“I could Only Take Half Breaths” – One of the First Wuhan Coronavirus Patients Narrates Ordeal


Trustworthy and indepth news stories are more important now than ever.
Support our newsroom by MAKING A CONTRIBUTION HERE
Connor Reed spoke to Sky News

Connor Reed was working in China late last year when he caught the virus that would come to be known as COVID-19. The 25-year-old from Llandudno in North Wales (Britain), was working at a school in the Chinese city of Wuhan when he began to feel “a bit sniffly”.

It was 25 November, 2019, when he first felt unwell. He narrated his ordeal to Sky News: “I was feeling like I just had a normal cold and the problem with this virus is it progresses in stages. It started with a cold.”

It’s possible that Connor’s cold was unconnected with the virus and he just happened to catch it several days before he was struck by coronavirus. For a while he continued to work and was feeling relatively normal, but just as the cold was tailing-off, in early December, he was struck by flu.

“One of my Irish friends mentioned that hot whisky and honey really helps with symptoms. So, that’s what I tried and honestly, it did help. It really did. But in no way am I condoning that whisky and honey will cure the virus. I mean, it definitely doesn’t.”

At this point, in early December, Connor decided he wasn’t going to go back to work for a while. He had a fever and he didn’t want to pass the illness onto his colleagues. Despite living in what was the epicentre of the virus, as yet, the local authorities were unaware that Wuhan in China was incubating a nasty new disease that would spread across the globe.

“I was feeling achy,” says Connor “I just wanted to curl up into a ball and I had ear problems and sinus problems where it felt like there was a balloon being blown up in my face. And that was probably the worst symptom. It really bothered me.

“I also had a raking cough. It was terrible. And it was happening so much, I lost my voice. Sometimes, I couldn’t make any sound at all. Sometimes, I sounded like a frog.”

For most people who catch the virus, it won’t get any worse than this, it may not even get that bad, but for Connor the scariest part was still to come. He actually felt like he was recovering from the flu and was feeling optimistic about going back to work when one morning he woke up struggling to breathe.

“It scared me because breathing is a necessity of life, like if you have the flu, you really feel like you’re going to die, but you’re really not. But when your lungs get affected, that’s where it scared me. And I couldn’t take a full breath. And the breaths I did take, it sounded like I was breathing through a bag. It was very crackly, and I could only take half breaths. If I walked to the kitchen, for instance, I’d be breathing really shallow and really fast.”

On 5 December he had a day of blood tests, x-rays and breathing tests. The next day, two weeks after he’d first caught the cold, the results came back that he had pneumonia.

He said: “At no point was I thinking that I’m going to die. I mean, it wasn’t that serious. I’m a young person. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. It really didn’t affect me as bad as if I was elderly or I had pre-existing health problems.”

Connor recovered from his illness and a few weeks later doctors realised he had suffered from the virus that was now spreading across the province, which would become known as COVID-19.

Connor recalls getting an alert on his phone at 3am announcing the quarantine for the city. “Luckily, I was awake to read that text message. So, I bolted out of the house and went to the 24-hour supermarket downstairs. I knew that it was going to be bad and I knew that shops were going be sold out.”

He stocked up. But weeks later the city continues to maintain strict rules. Connor said: “As more and more new cases came, and it started spreading, the government sanctioned harsher penalties and a lot harsher quarantine. For instance, at the moment, one person is allowed to leave their house every three days, and that’s just to purchase necessities.”

He said when going out there is “no atmosphere”, and very few people on the streets. “If you go to a shop, there are some shops that are open that have blocked the door off. You tell them what you want. They put it into a bag and then they pass the bag to you on a long stick just to avoid personal contact.”

Connor said the national government had dealt with the crisis well and learned lessons from previous outbreaks such as SARS. He believes the numbers for infected people that the authorities are releasing are accurate.

He added: “There are not many Western countries that can build a hospital in 10 days. China is one of the most efficient countries at getting stuff done. In regard to this outbreak, they’ve got it done. They had to. They had to take the drastic measures, that many other countries wouldn’t have taken.”

EDITOR: As of Tuesday evening, confirmed COVID-19 cases have reached 8 in Rwanda since first was diagnosed on Saturday

We can't do quality journalism without your support

Perhaps it goes without saying — but producing quality journalism isn't cheap. At a time when newsroom resources and revenue are declining, The Chronicles remains committed to "Serving Your Right To Know The Truth". Stand with us as we document Rwanda's remarkable journey for you and the future generation. Do you value our journalism? We can't do it without you. Show us with your support by CONTRIBUTING HERE.
Email your news TIPS to info@chronicles.rw or WhatsApp +250788351327.
You can also find us on Signal

590 Comments

  1. Very great post. I just stumbled upon your
    weblog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing in your rss feed and
    I am hoping you write again very soon!

  2. An intriguing discussion is worth comment. There’s no doubt that that you
    need to write more about this subject, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people do not discuss
    these issues. To the next! All the best!!

  3. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the
    video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste
    your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  4. Good day very nice site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Superb
    .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also?
    I’m glad to find numerous useful info here in the publish, we want
    work out extra strategies on this regard, thanks for sharing.

    . . . . .

  5. I get pleasure from, result in I found just what I used to be having a look for.

    You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice
    day. Bye

  6. Fine way of telling, and pleasant paragraph to obtain facts on the topic of my presentation subject, which i
    am going to deliver in university.

  7. excellent submit, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector do not understand this.
    You must continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  8. Tremendous issues here. I am very happy to peer your post.
    Thank you so much and I’m taking a look ahead to contact you.

    Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  9. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get bought an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following.
    unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this
    hike.

  10. Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?

    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Cheers

  11. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your
    site. You have some really good articles and I think
    I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the
    load off, I’d love to write some content for your blog in exchange
    for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail
    if interested. Cheers!

  12. Hi there, constantly i used to check website posts here in the early hours in the break of day, because i love to find out more
    and more.

  13. With havin so much written content do you
    ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My
    website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but
    it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my
    agreement. Do you know any methods to help protect against content from being ripped off?

    I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  14. After going over a few of the articles on your web site, I honestly appreciate your technique of blogging.
    I saved it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future.

    Please check out my web site too and let me know your opinion.

  15. Hey there, I think your site might be having
    browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog in Opera, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, awesome blog!

  16. Hello there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you
    using for this website? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and
    I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be fantastic
    if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  17. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping
    it up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know
    any solutions to help stop content from being stolen?
    I’d really appreciate it.

  18. Unquestionably imagine that which you stated. Your favourite reason appeared to be
    on the web the easiest factor to take into accout of. I say
    to you, I certainly get annoyed at the same time as other people
    think about issues that they just don’t recognize about.
    You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and also outlined out the whole thing without having
    side effect , people can take a signal. Will likely be again to get more.
    Thank you

  19. Hi! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new apple iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all
    your posts! Carry on the excellent work!

  20. When I initially commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox
    and now every time a comment is added I receive four emails with
    the exact same comment. There has to be an easy method you are able to remove me from that service?
    Thanks a lot!

  21. The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn’t fail me as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, however I genuinely believed you would have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you could possibly fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.

  22. I do consider all of the concepts you’ve
    offered for your post. They are really convincing and
    will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too quick for newbies.
    Could you please lengthen them a little from subsequent time?
    Thank you for the post.

  23. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the internet the easiest thing to be aware of.

    I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries that they just
    don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well
    as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal.

    Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  24. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am having problems with your RSS. I don’t know why I can’t join it. Is there anyone else getting identical RSS issues? Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  25. Right here is the right website for anyone who hopes to find out about this topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject that has been discussed for decades. Excellent stuff, just great!

  26. I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this site. I am hoping to view the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal site now 😉

  27. I absolutely love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you build this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my very own website and would like to find out where you got this from or what the theme is named. Appreciate it!

  28. After looking over a handful of the blog posts on your website, I honestly appreciate your way of writing a blog. I book-marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my web site too and let me know how you feel.

  29. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who has been doing a little research on this. And he in fact bought me lunch because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this issue here on your site.