Michigan’s Favorite COVID-19 Variant: How Omicron Symptoms Affected Me
As the Omicron variant sweeps across the state of Michigan, it's safe to assume we all know at least one person who has come down with the latest, more contagious variant of COVID-19. If you genuinely don't and you're reading this, now you do.
Michigan's Most Dominant Strain of COVID-19: Omicron
On Tuesday, January 11th, MLive cited a virtual press conference with Michigan's chief medical executive, Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, in reporting that omicron appears to be the "predominate variant" in the state and "likely accounts for about 90% of cases in some regions..."
Of course, the only way to determine what variant a person has is through "limited genomic sequaning", as reported by MLive, but through that testing, Michigan was reporting approximately 600 cases of COVID-19 confirmed to be omicron as of January 11th, 2021.
CLICK HERE for more specifics on the presence of omicron in Michigan as reported by MLive.
What Are the Main Symptoms of the Omicron Variant?
We have heard that omicron is the more contagious variant out there but it is also being reported as the more "mild" one as well.
According to MLive, omicron has been typically presenting itself with "milder, cold-like symptoms.
They say those symptoms mainly include: cough, fatigue, congestion, runny nose, sore or scratchy throat, headache and muscle aches. Another symptom many who are suspected to have the omicron variant also have reported, per MLive, having bursts of "night sweats."
In another article by MLive, they also report symptoms of the omicron variant appear quicker after exposure than with previous variants.
"But in the case of omicron, the incubation period is much shorter- just three days, according to studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," MLive reports. "People are generally contagious one to two days before symptoms appear and two-to-three days after they appear."
Here's What I, a 25-Year-Old Woman, Experienced With Omicron
Let me just start this off by saying, I am vaccinated, though I have not had my booster. I say this because I do believe the vaccine has been helpful in evading COVID-19 this long, despite multiple exposures over the course of the pandemic.
That being said, I knew the risks of traveling with an increasingly-contagious variant going around and did so anyways. I in no way blame anyone or am looking for sympathy but just would like to share my experience in case it can help someone else.
I returned from my Florida vacation on Wednesday, January 5th and returned to work the following day. I did have a bit of a runny nose and cold-like symptoms but chalked it up to my body adjusting from 80-degree weather to Michigan's frigid winter temps.
Friday morning I was extra tired, assumed it was still my body adjusting to being back to "normal" routines as well as a lack of coffee and sleep. However, fatigue, paired with my cold symptoms also coincided with chills that lasted all day...the kind that usually come with a fever.
I took my temperature at the office, no fever, but still headed home a little early. Once home, I took my temperature again to find out I had a 100-degree fever.
We had some at-home testing kits and figured it was better safe than sorry and tested myself "just to rule anything out." Well, it ruled out the possibility of my ailments being anything other than COVID-19.
As I settled in, notified the people who needed to know and hunkered down to quarantine, it was all downhill from there. I then got body aches, my skin felt hot and became extremely sensitive, and I slept on and off the rest of the day/night.
The next morning, I went to an urgent care as that was the only place I could get in for a rapid test administered by a professional. I took my temperature, my fever had broken, but the congestion, the headache and the fatigue were still present. I got my "official" positive result and went home to quarantine, rest and ingest more fluids and vitamins than ever.
I was told to quarantine for five days from my first noticeable onset of symptoms and after those five days I could return to work and the rest of the world as long as my fever had been gone for 24 hours or more. My fever never came back and each day I woke up, I was getting less and less congested and my headache was lessening as well.
Luckily, I had a pretty mild, easy-going time with it and I am grateful that if I was bound to get COVID-19 eventually, I got the variant that is a bit easier to handle.
Random Symptoms I Noticed During My Omicron Quarantine
For the most part, I had your textbook omicron symptoms. While I did not get the genomic testing to confirm it, the doctor at urgent care told me that's what it sounded like as he had seen many cases of it so far.
While I did not lose my taste or smell, I did completely lose my appetite. It was one of those things where I was hungry but could not think of anything that sounded good. Texture was a main factor in what I chose to eat as well.
The skin sensitivity was also something that would come and go. One minute the sweatshirt I was wearing was fine, the next it made my skin crawl and I would have to change. Another time, the way my nails brushed my leg as I was changing my pants left my skin burning.
Another symptom I experienced and have heard from other people who had COVID the same time I did was a certain level of insomnia.
Every night I would fall asleep on the couch around 9:30 or 10 PM, then wake up at exactly some time between 1 and 1:05 AM. I would then move to the bed only to not be able to fall asleep for another two-to-three hours. This happened four nights in a row and was very strange.
All in all, even with the random affects aside, my case was extremely mild compared to what it has been for others. I am thankful to have had an easier time with it and am able to get back to work and back into the world. However, it was still yet another reminder that this is NOT over and we need to be taking the proper precautions.
The biggest struggle I had was not with my symptoms or handling the virus myself, it was the pit in my stomach thinking of the people I exposed like my boyfriend's father, my three-year-old nephew, my seven-month-old niece, my coworkers, etc.
At the end of the day, with this highly contagious variant out there, it is more likely than ever that if you too have evaded COVID-19 this long, you can't run forever. The best things we can do is minimize the impact and think of others.