Post Covid in Young People

We have all heard of COVID-19 but so much is still unknown about the long-term effects COVID-19 is having on many individuals. People think that the main symptoms are tiredness, coughing or shortness of breath but in many people, it can be a variety of symptoms and can come many weeks after you first test positive. 

Here is Emme's Story

My big brother caught COVID-19 the first day back at school in August 2021, he was really unwell, because he was positive we all had to be tested, the next day the results came back and my little brother was positive but the rest of us negative, my little brother was absolutely fine he claimed he had the "good COVID-19" (if there is such a thing). Three days later I developed a bad cough and a high temp and tested positive, my Dad caught it two days after me and my Mum tested positive 11 days after my big brother. We really like to share in our family.

After a few days, I felt back to normal and after my isolation, I went back to school. I felt tired but it was just after the holidays and thought nothing of it. I also had random pains on and off whether it be my stomach, knee, ankle or head and I became so forgetful.

"I should have been having the time of my life"

Fast forward to October and I was in London to see Hamilton the musical. I should have been having the time of my life but I was miserable, every time I ate my stomach ached and I felt sick, I couldn’t walk about as I was so tired and my knee and ankle were throbbing. On the day we were due to fly home I asked to go to the airport four hours before we needed to as I was just exhausted.

The day after we got home my Mum called the doctors and explained everything that was going on and I had blood tests done, we were told to call in a week to get the results, the GP called back two days later as my bloods were so bad and said: "no wonder I felt as bad as I did". I was started on so many tablets it was crazy. By this point I could barely eat a thing as my stomach was so painful, I lost 8kg in a few weeks, I could no longer attend school as I was so tired and weak and just felt really low and sad that it was only me that was feeling like this when my whole family had COVID-19. When I next saw my GP we asked what could be causing all this and she shrugged her shoulders and said "COVID".

"I used to be really active and fit"

After Christmas, I started back at school but only doing two classes a day and building it up each week but sometimes I couldn’t manage at all. Even now, nearly a year later I am very restricted in what I can do, if I stay up later than 9pm I know the next day I won’t be able to do anything, I used to be really active and fit and now even a small walk tires me out and I now need to wear a knee brace. I am still on iron tablets and folic acid and medication for my stomach, on a few occasions I have tried to come off these but symptoms get worse again.

My GP has been great but at every appointment, they say we just don’t know enough about the long term effects of COVID-19. I really don’t know how long this will be with me, life for me now is the new norm… it's about knowing my limits, planning ahead and listening to my body.

Support and Help

If anyone relates to Emme's story, reach out and talk to a trusted adult, your GP or check out the Long Covid Kids website whether they have information on the many symptoms of Long Covid and getting back to a new norm.

You can also take a look at Young Scot's AyeFeel pages, for mental health and wellbeing information and support services.

Young Scot supports young people to share their own voices, views and opinions and works with partner organisations and professionals who are experts in different topics. The views expressed in this blog are those of the young people, organisations and/or individuals who have taken part in the blog, not necessarily the views of Young Scot.