Greta Thunberg Thinks She Had Coronavirus But Couldn’t Get Tested

Greta Thunberg has accrued a large following for her climate crisis activism. Time Magazine named her Person of the Year for 2019. Now Thunberg is using her platform to address the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). She shared her recent struggles and advice for others in an Instagram post on March 24.

Greta Thunberg thinks she has coronavirus but cannot get tested

Thunberg told her followers that she has been self-isolating for two weeks. She traveled around Central Europe with her father and they stayed away from her mother and sister when they returned. She started feeling sick 10 days ago.

“I started feeling some symptoms, exactly the same time as my father – who traveled with me from Brussels,” Thunberg wrote. “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 her home of Sweden, she cannot get a COVID-19 test, much like in many countries around the world.

Greta Thunberg | Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

“In Sweden you can not test yourself for COVID-19 unless you’re in need of emergent medical treatment,” Thunberg wrote. “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.”

Greta Thunberg warns you don’t need to feel that sick to have coronavirus

Thunberg says she’s feeling better now, but she wants everyone to understand something about coronavirus symptoms. They can feel mild compared to other illnesses, so don’t ignore them.

“Now I’ve basically recovered, but – AND THIS IS THE BOTTOM LINE: I almost didn’t feel ill,” Thunberg wrote. “My last cold was much worse than this! Had it not been for someone else having the virus simultaneously I might not even have suspected anything. Then I would just have thought I was feeling unusually tired with a bit of a cough.”

Thunberg took preventative action so she would not spread anything to her loved ones or the public. If she had coronavirus, she kept it contain. If she didn’t, no harm done.

Coronavirus may have reached Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg | Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

“This it what makes it so much more dangerous,” Thunberg warned. “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.”

Join her in self-isolation

Many celebrities are joining state and city governments in recommending staying home to flatten the curve on the spread of coronavirus. Not everyone is listening, as college students continued to celebrate spring break and celebrities like Evangeline Lilly rejected self-isolation. Thunberg is used to supporting scientists in light of skepticism from others, including celebrities.

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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

A post shared by Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg) on

“Please keep that in mind, follow the advice from experts and your local authorities and #StayAtHome to slow the spread of the virus,” Thunberg concluded. “And remember to always take care of each other and help those in need. #COVID #flattenthecurve