Lesbian doctor Greta McLachlan documents coronavirus experience
As the world deals with the spread of COVID-19, a lesbian doctor and surgical trainee named Greta McLachlan in the UK is recording her coronavirus experience via videos on Twitter.
The 36-year-old McLachlan is a general surgical registrar working as the BMJ Editorial Registrar and a lecturer in anatomy for the London School of Osteopathy.
Recorded in her home in South London, McLachlan’s videos can be found on her Twitter here.
Greta McLachlan in lockdown
Speaking to Pink News, McLachlan said she and her wife was never officially tested due to the lack of available tests in the UK.
Then McLachlan got ill with a sore throat and a 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 observed her symptoms– which included a temperature, a cough, muscle ache, fatigue, and a headache– could be from coronavirus.
While the couple self-isolated– supported by friends and family dropping off essential items at their door– she decided to record her experience to allay people’s fears and communicate the importance of social distancing.
Her goal with her recordings is to “reassure and inform” people. Her one key lesson during the series of the videos? That the COVID-19 coronavirus is nothing like the flu.
Greta McLachlan on being sick
Speaking of her experience, McLachlan said in one of her videos: “It’s not awful. It’s not great. I’m lucky. I’m 36 years old and relatively fit and well, only taking medication for migraines.”
She described the symptoms as feeling different from the usual sicknesses, saying that the cough “feels like a different cough… sort of a cough that comes from the chest.”
At time, she thought she was feeling better, but the next morning, it became worse: “It sort of goes in cycles. Just absolute exhaustion. Even climbing the stairs is an effort.”
“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,” she said.
She also said 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.”
Importance of social distancing
McLachlan highlighted the importance of social distancing practices to protect communities: “You’ve got to listen to the government’s advice: stay away from pubs, clubs, theaters.”
“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,” she added.
She further said: “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.”
She also said that people– while staying away from those who are vulnerable– should check on each other while in self-isolation.
“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.