I recently tested positive for covid and tried to keep a detailed log of the tests, results, and symptoms I had so I could see if I learned anything from it.
Here is the data. I mark day 0 as the first day of a positive test. When I say “Rapid” here I mean Antigen/at-home test.
|Day #||Test Type||Result||Symptoms|
|0||PCR||Positive||Minor sore throat|
|2||Rapid||Positive||Minor stuffy nose|
|3||Rapid||Positive||Minor stuffy nose|
|4||Rapid||Positive||Minor stuffy nose|
Overall I had almost no symptoms, the stuffy nose I had was very minor and only at small points during the day. I would say I was generally asymptomatic. For me, it was fewer symptoms than a normal cold, flu, or allergies.
The day 0 data is a bit confusing, where I had two negative tests and 1 positive test in the same day.
The tests line up very similarly to the graph here, from this thread.
A is the PCR+, Antigen -.
B is PCR+, Antigen+.
C is PCR+, Antigen-.
Day 0 on my table corresponds to A where I had PCR+, Antigen-.
Day 1-7 correspond to B where I had Antigen+.
So this is very similar; where the chart has a 5 day B section, I had 7 days.
I think there is a lot of nuance to the uses and purposes of a PCR vs. Antigen test, and that the general public health communications on them have been unclear. Also the availability of tests is an issue. The whole thing is generally a mess– but my experience of covid was less than a minor cold.