Did anyone recently get sick before the pandemic became official?

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Original poster
Oct 27, 2009
7,568
8,897
As the title says ....

I had a weird sickness mid Feb.

Had a fever, felt very cold and sweaty, no stuffy nose or sinus issues, felt extremely fatigue, had a very slight cough but no shortness of breath. I never felt that way before. Never had a fever without some other prominent symptoms, and never felt as cold from a fever before. I was basically bed ridden for three days.

Maybe it's possible I had Corona, maybe not?
 
  • Like
Reactions: AVBeatMan

3SQ Machine

macrumors regular
Dec 8, 2019
122
47
Same here. My theory--based on ZERO facts since we have no test kits in this country--is that the pandemic started back then. It was a WEIRD viral infection like I never felt before--symptoms like yours but also a strange nausea that nothing would relieve.

It's unknowable unless we now-healthy people (I hope) get tested for the coronavirus antibodies in our system. With the shortages of everything (uh, ever heard of "disaster planning," federal government?) I doubt I'll ever know the truth.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jbachandouris

hawkeye_a

macrumors 65816
Jun 27, 2016
1,466
3,842
Similar symptoms in mid Feb. Assumed it was the flu; body & head ache, fever, fatigue. Was fine after 3 days.
 
Last edited:

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,247
755
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
Yeah, all of my family got sick in February. I only had dizziness/nausea that first day, but was coughing like crazy for like a week and had a hard time eating for the first few days. My mom was the one who went to the doctor because it was affecting her respiratory - It was actually when we were talking about all this yesterday that she noted that they were already wearing masks in the office then.
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,411
10,481
I suspect with modern travel and how infectious this is, there were unknown cases in the US and Europe months ago. I'd be interested to know just how many people carry an antibody to it because they were exposed to it at sometime in the last 5-6 months.
 

Steve686

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2007
3,369
1,336
US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
I used to get bronchitis every year in February like clockwork. Haven't had it really in a several years now.

February me and about 75% of my coworkers(say 75 of 100) came down with what everyone thought was a nasty flu. Put one guy, age 49, in hospital.

It hit everyone in the course of 2-3 weeks and put me out of work for a couple of days before I got over a fever, cough with mucus, and just feeling like someone kicked me in the head. Thought about visiting ER once or twice, but like I stated, I got bronchitis in the past and attributed this to that.

I just happened to start taking antibiotics on the first day of the symptoms. The antibiotics were for an unrelated cut infection I got from a coral reef while scuba diving. This didn't seem to help against the "flu" that I had picked up.

It hit me hard for about 3-5 days a day or so after I was first symptomatic. Then it gradually left me about 10-13 days later, completely.

My sister is a nurse at the local hospital where she lives. She told me the ER nurses at her hospital had admitted dozens of patients with flu like symptoms and respiratory distress. The ER nurses administered flu tests and guess what. The majority of the tests came back negative for flu. So they are all pretty sure they dealt with COVID-19 and that was back in late January.

Obviously, there were not many, if any, doctors or health professionals really looking for COVID-19 back then since the CDC initially said something along the lines of "don't worry, nothing to see here".

Ya. COVID-19 has been here a lot longer than anyone realizes. Sad part is now we have the test kits and health professionals are actively looking for it while the world gets shutdown on something we could have slowed or stopped several months ago had we just known what to look for and what to do.
 

AppleLuvver

macrumors member
Oct 3, 2012
83
44
U.S.
My husband had a similar experience in early February. He had a low grade fever and chills with a cough for about 2 days then was fine. It was very strange. He recovered so quickly and no one else in the family got it so we just chalked it go to some random bug.
 

JayMysterio

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2010
974
16,794
Rock Ridge, California
I was sick early Feb for a week, worried I'd have to go to the doctor. More heavily leaning towards chest congestion. Did the usual flu things of staying in bed, flu medicines, hydrating, etc. Thing is for my case, I already self isolate so to speak.
 

556fmjoe

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
1,747
1,135
This is extremely weird to see others with the same thing. Sometime around Feb 16th I had a very sore throat, a slight cough, and a fever but was totally fine after 2-3 days. No real sinus congestion, which I usually get with a cold. I've never recovered from anything that quickly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jbachandouris

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,465
3,194
Well, yes - I had something that sounds awfully like it around January 1st - (in the UK) - basically cold/flu symptoms minus the runny nose, which seemed a bit unusual.

Trouble is, anecdotal evidence and confirmation bias is very, very dangerous - COVID-19 is not the only bug with flu/cold-like symptoms circulating in the winter, and there's plenty of variations in the symptoms you get from "regular" bugs.

You have to weigh up the possibilities that:
(a) all the experts are wrong and COVID-19 was circulating freely months before it was supposed to be,​
versus:
(b) you caught a random cold/flu bug at the height of cold/flu bug season, maybe different to the last one you had, and it stuck in your mind because of the coronavirus stories (which absolutely have been circulating for months).​

Now, (a) can't be completely ruled out, and would be really, really good news since a huge number unreported non-critical infections that happened months ago would mean that the bug was far less serious than current thinking suggests. Unfortunately until and unless someone finds some proper, non-anecdotal evidence for (a), (b) is by far the simplest explanation. The only way of confirming stories like this is properly-conducted research on a truly random sample.

That's not saying "stupid person thinks they've had coronavirus" or even suggesting people are lying - nobody - smart or stupid - can make valid conclusions from anecdotal evidence, especially their own experience.

There's no point playing "coulda, woulda, shoulda" about things that happened in January - at the moment the total number of infections (and when they occurred) is a big unknown so the only option is to assume a worst-case scenario and take action to try and stop the number of serious cases swamping the hospital system (which is the focus of the report that led to the current US/UK restrictions). When there are fast, reliable antibody tests (real soon now - didn't exist in January) maybe there will eventually be some solid data on the actual infection rate (which is why the WHO keeps saying "test, test, test")

The two things that can end the current restrictions are either a vaccine or better data.
 
Last edited:

Fernandez21

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2010
4,603
2,857
Yeah, there was a bug/flu going around in early feb, me, my wife, my daughter, and father all had it and it was the strongest flu we’ve ever had. Knocked us all out of commission for about a week or so. My son was fine though, never showed any symptoms other than a slight sore throat.

We are in Florida.
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,411
10,481
Ya. COVID-19 has been here a lot longer than anyone realizes. Sad part is now we have the test kits and health professionals are actively looking for it while the world gets shutdown on something we could have slowed or stopped several months ago had we just known what to look for and what to do.
Yeah. While China has identified patient zero, I suspect there was an earlier patient zero. For all I know I had it at one time but didn't feel anything. Kids were sick, but when are kids never sick? We knew people and family who got what seemed to be a really bad cold that shut them down for a few days but thought nothing of it.

I very sincerely doubt with the amount of foreign foot traffic that places like LA, Vegas, Dallas, Miami, NYC, etc. get that our first case appeared in January. I don't know if you've ever been to Vegas or general casinos in big cities, but they get a huge amount of foreign gamblers, often wealthy far easterners. To say this virus landed on our shores in mid January is complete and utter ******** by the CDC.

Without mass testing the populace for anti-bodies, we have no idea. I did, however, hear from a few doctor friends who work emergency medicine they got a weird influx of patients this year that had signs of cardiac arrest or cardiac infarction but weren't either of those, or that did suffer a minor cardiac event linked to how ill they were.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: jbachandouris

smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,630
2,294
Silicon Valley
While China has identified patient zero, I suspect there was an earlier patient zero.
Who was patient zero? The earliest one I read about was one they traced back to Nov 17th, but that person wasn't the true patient zero.

In any case, the CDC has already admitted that we likely had Covid-19 deaths before any monitoring was started and the deaths were just assumed to be influenza deaths. That also happened in China. They had an undercount of deaths because so many were initially categorized as being due to other causes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zenithal

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,411
10,481
Who was patient zero? The earliest one I read about was one they traced back to Nov 17th, but that person wasn't the true patient zero.

In any case, the CDC has already admitted that we likely had Covid-19 deaths before any monitoring was started and the deaths were just assumed to be influenza deaths. That also happened in China. They had an undercount of deaths because so many were initially categorized as being due to other causes.
Yes, that would be who I was referring to. A 78-year-old pensioner, though I believe you're right as later reports cast doubt even by China's authorities as it didn't make sense to them. I do remember people getting quite sick here in late October. That is not normal. I've lived in this state for decades on and off. People get sick as we get closed to Christmas, not when it's still fall and the weather is a balmy 74*F. As you point out, if authorities don't know what they're dealing with, they'll use cause of death for whatever ailment best fits them.

The CDC could always request the deceased to be dug up and their tissue be sampled for RNA fragments of a dead virus but that's not kosher.

There's been 100-200 cases last I checked here with a few deaths. People with underlying conditions. However, as we've seen with Italy and China, even those with underlying conditions somehow made it out alive, including two people north of 100. Bit of a head scratcher.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jbachandouris

smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,630
2,294
Silicon Valley
Yes, that would be who I was referring to. A 78-year-old pensioner, though I believe you're right as later reports cast doubt even by China's authorities as it didn't make sense to them.
The South China Morning Post reported the first known case to be a 55 year old woman who was seen on November 17th. The wording in this particular article is a little hazy, but they wrote about this subject before and in previous tellings they seemed to be saying that China didn't think this was the true patient zero.

I do remember people getting quite sick here in late October.
Where are you?

However, as we've seen with Italy and China, even those with underlying conditions somehow made it out alive, including two people north of 100. Bit of a head scratcher.
That's the problem with dealing with a new virus. We have no idea what it can do and how we can protect ourselves. Likely a lot of what we know now will end up being either wrong or not as clinically significant as originally believed. Some people are exhaling because they don't see their condition listed in the list of high-risk conditions. I don't think any of us should get a false sense of security. We just know that it seems to like to knock off people with existing conditions and while it has its preferences, it doesn't appear to be terribly choosy and is sometimes fickle in who it attacks hardest.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zenithal

Steve686

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2007
3,369
1,336
US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
Yeah. While China has identified patient zero, I suspect there was an earlier patient zero. For all I know I had it at one time but didn't feel anything. Kids were sick, but when are kids never sick? We knew people and family who got what seemed to be a really bad cold that shut them down for a few days but thought nothing of it.

I very sincerely doubt with the amount of foreign foot traffic that places like LA, Vegas, Dallas, Miami, NYC, etc. get that our first case appeared in January. I don't know if you've ever been to Vegas or general casinos in big cities, but they get a huge amount of foreign gamblers, often wealthy far easterners. To say this virus landed on our shores in mid January is complete and utter ******** by the CDC.

Without mass testing the populace for anti-bodies, we have no idea. I did, however, hear from a few doctor friends who work emergency medicine they got a weird influx of patients this year that had signs of cardiac arrest or cardiac infarction but weren't either of those, or that did suffer a minor cardiac event linked to how ill they were.
Right on all points.

I think I had it back in late January. Thought it was my yearly bronchitis, but I didn't have the persistent chronic cough and also had a good fever and just felt like absolute **** for a few days. Took about a couple of weeks to disappear. Figured it was flu.

Also a good amount of coworkers contracted something very similar. Kicked everyone's butt pretty good with one guy hospitalized, age 48. Most of my coworkers are aged 22-45. Everyone eventually recovered within a span of a month as we were all infected within a week of each other.

Lastly my sister is a nurse and said the ER nurses she works with had numerous admissions with flu like symptoms and respiratory distress. When they administered flu tests, almost all patients' results were negative. This started around late December and early January in Ohio. Most of the nurses and several doctors at this hospital believe they encountered COVID-19.

I never get the yearly flu shot. Not a big fan of introducing something into my body that is basically a rotational cocktail to battle 3 main strains of influenza.

As far as casinos, yes, I do visit at least once a week, usually more. 90% blackjack and 10% poker.

Our employer's patient zero, the person we noticed had the symptoms first, plays a lot of poker himself.

The casinos, even the Seminole Tribe which is a sovereign nation, finally completed closures last week after resisting as long as they could. Oddly, horse racing continues without spectators.

Yes, Asians are notorious gamblers and spend a lot of time in casinos. I'm also part Asian so it's basically in my blood. :)
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,411
10,481
The South China Morning Post reported the first known case to be a 55 year old woman who was seen on November 17th. The wording in this particular article is a little hazy, but they wrote about this subject before and in previous tellings they seemed to be saying that China didn't think this was the true patient zero.
Keyword here is "known." For all we know a good amount of Americans are actively carrying it, and a good amount have antibodies. We'll know in the coming weeks. As you said in the tail end of your post, who this affects and in what manner varies wildly. Think I read about a very healthy 13 yo girl having to be put on a ventilator.
Where are you?
South west, 20-40 min from the coastline.
Yes, Asians are notorious gamblers and spend a lot of time in casinos. I'm also part Asian so it's basically in my blood. :)
Yeah. I didn't want to say anything to sound racist. I've got a decent amount of very wealthy Chinese clients who are from mainland or HK, and along with that many foreign clients from across the globe, including Saudis. We were conducting face to face meetings up until the end of January when I and the other owners suspended all talks for our employees' health at both locations. I do recall one of our employees getting knocked on their ass, figuratively, back in late October for about a month with a cold that wouldn't go away. They were "suspended" from work with full pay and benefits. A few of my Asian clients went to Vegas for weeks at a time but as I said, I didn't feel sick this past winter. I may have gotten it already and it did nothing. Who knows.

This year I avoided touching my face, used hand sanitizer often and did nasal lavages 2-3x daily to avoid getting sick. I know better than to assume I never got infected by a virus.
 
Last edited:

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,465
3,194
However, as we've seen with Italy and China, even those with underlying conditions somehow made it out alive, including two people north of 100. Bit of a head scratcher.
Nothing surprising there - current estimates of the fatality rate in the most vulnerable groups are "only" ~15% so the majority of 80+ year olds are expected to recover... and the age effect is likely correlation rather than (direct) causation - it is underlying health problems (which are far more common in older people) that are the killer.

https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus#what-do-we-know-about-the-risk-of-dying-from-covid-19 seems like a data-rich and level-headed source.

General point:

Now, you wouldn't wish a 15% chance of death on anybody but, folks, this ain't ebola or the Andromeda strain. The issue - and the justification for the precautions - is the potential for completely overwhelming the hospitals so that people who need treatment (for anything) don't get it, in which case the death rate for everything goes up.

Even "plain old flu" pushes many health services to their limit at peak season - so even if the "its no worse than regular flu" claim were true it would be no cause for complacency. The reality is we've been walking around with fingers crossed that we don't get a nastier-than-average strain of seasonal flu... I think it is true that, if the annual flu death toll were treated as headline news the way COVID has, we'd see a not dissimilar panic and call for action, which is something to think about going forward but doesn't make the current issues go away.
 

yaxomoxay

macrumors 601
Mar 3, 2010
4,088
26,369
Texas
I posted this on the informational thread a few days ago:

I have the feeling that my family went through Coronavirus... back in late December.
My mother in law visited us for Christmas, so she flew all the way from Italy/Germany (Lufthansa). After a week, she fell sick with fever, coughing, etc; we thought it was the flu and it went so bad that she decided to visit an urgent care. She tested negative, and she was let go with a generic "respiratory infection" diagnosis. Thankfully, she recovered, but a week after that my wife got sick. High fever, coughing, sneezing, etc; again, back to the doctor, tested for the flu: negative but "clearly a respiratory infection". Then in early January my youngest kid got the very same thing. Again, same story; negative for the flu. In late January very early February it became my oldest son's turn. Same story. Then I got sick, luckily I felt like crap for only a day.
 

Healer Flame

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2019
1,077
660
15 Oct 2019 , Italian newspaper predicted a nasty flu that was circuling bad and will affect 6 million people which turn out to be Covic19


So Yeah, Covic 19 was circulating freely before it became a pendemic but the newspaper assumed it was a nasty flu.
 

Similar threads

Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.