Greta Thunberg, the 17-year-old Swedish climate activist and student strike initiator, has explained in a recent Instagram post that she and her father may have contracted coronavirus and experienced the subsequent COVID-19 illness. A frequent traveller for her activist work, Thunberg states that since returning from her trip around Central Europe she’d been self isolating for the past two weeks in an apartment away from her mother and sister—a proactive move we should all be mirroring.
Unlike many of the celebrities who’ve been tested and returned positive results for coronavirus, Greta waited until she had “basically recovered” to speak about her experience. “I was feeling tired, had shivers, a sore throat and coughed,” she explains, noting that her father who travelled with her from Brussels experienced the same symptoms though more intensely.
What Thunberg stresses to her followers though, is that her symptoms were so mild, she “almost didn’t feel ill,” adding that, “My last cold was much worse than this! Had it not been for someone else having the virus simultaneously I might not even have suspected anything. Then I would just have thought I was feeling unusually tired with a bit of a cough.”
An eco-angel, Greta Thunberg’s story is such an important reminder why young (and hopefully healthyish) people need to take social distancing seriously: “We who don’t belong to a risk group have an enormous responsibility, our actions can be the difference between life and death for many others.”
According to data from the University of Sydney, every single person’s actions and commitment to social distancing matter in controlling the spread of the coronavirus. The ABC reported that “coronavirus will continue to spread virtually unchecked unless at least eight in 10 Australians stay home as much as possible. If that slips even slightly — to seven in 10 people — the fight to “flatten the curve” will be lost.”
While our government may have rolled out lockdowns in literally the most confusing way possible—Julian broke down what the coronavirus lockdowns mean for you if you’re not sure—it doesn’t mean that we can’t do as much as we can on our own volition to help our communities. We’re a generation of activists and advocates, and we’re on a mission, after all.
You can read her whole message in her post below.
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The last two weeks I’ve stayed inside. When I returned from my trip around Central Europe I isolated myself (in a borrowed apartment away from my mother and sister) since the number of cases of COVID-19 (in Germany for instance) were similar to Italy in the beginning. Around ten days ago I started feeling some symptoms, exactly the same time as my father – who traveled with me from Brussels. I was feeling tired, had shivers, a sore throat and coughed. My dad experienced the same symptoms, but much more intense and with a fever. In Sweden you can not test yourself for COVID-19 unless you’re in need of emergent medical treatment. Everyone feeling ill are told to stay at home and isolate themselves. I have therefore not been tested for COVID-19, but it’s extremely likely that I’ve had it, given the combined symptoms and circumstances. Now I’ve basically recovered, but – AND THIS IS THE BOTTOM LINE: I almost didn’t feel ill. My last cold was much worse than this! Had it not been for someone else having the virus simultainously I might not even have suspected anything. Then I would just have thought I was feeling unusually tired with a bit of a cough. And this it what makes it so much more dangerous. Many (especially young people) might not notice any symptoms at all, or very mild symptoms. Then they don’t know they have the virus and can pass it on to people in risk groups. We who don’t belong to a risk group have an enormous responsibility, our actions can be the difference between life and death for many others. Please keep that in mind, follow the advice from experts and your local authorities and #StayAtHome to slow the spread of the virus. And remember to always take care of each other and help those in need. #COVID #flattenthecurve