Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg said on Tuesday that while self-isolating after recent travels in Europe she probably came down with COVID-19, and urged other young people to stay at home too if even just a little unwell, to help stop the coronavirus.
Swedish Thunberg said on Instagram she had now recovered from symptoms milder than her latest cold, and may not have suspected COVID-19 had it not been for her father, who had travelled with her, developing more severe symptoms.
In the caption, she also urged people that this might be time to "flatten the curve."
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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
“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,” she said.
“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.”
The founder of the Fridays for Future youth movement said she had not been tested for the virus but given the combined symptoms and circumstances it was very likely she had it. She had self isolated because she had visited countries hit by coronavirus infection.
Fridays for Future calls on politicians to listen to climate scientists and take urgent action to against global warming.
(With inputs from Reuters.)