The Girls creator and star shared on Instagram that she contracted the virus in mid-March. Her “Covid Story,” as she called it, detailed her experience as someone who suffers from a host of chronic illnesses.
Dunham claimed her symptoms early in the disease included “crushing fatigue,” as well as achy joints and a high fever.
“Seeing the carelessness with which so many in the United States are treating social distancing … I feel compelled to be honest about the impact this illness has had on me, in the hopes that personal stories allow us to see the humanity in what can feel like abstract situations,” she wrote. “Suddenly my body simply … revolted. The nerves in my feet burned and muscles wouldn’t seem to do their job. My hands were numb. I couldn’t tolerate loud noises.
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“I couldn’t sleep but I couldn’t wake up. I lost my sense of taste and smell. A hacking cough, like a metronome keeping time. Inability to breathe after simple tasks like getting a glass of water. Random red rashes. A pounding headache right between my eyes. It felt like I was a complex machine that had been unplugged and then had my wires rerouted into the wrong inputs. This went on for 21 days … that blended together like a rave gone wrong.”
Dunham self-isolated and doted on attention from her doctor. After a month, she tested negative, but still has lingering symptoms of the virus, including arthritis, swollen hands and feet, and a constant migraine.
“Even as a chronically ill person, I had never felt this way,” she wrote. “To be clear, I did NOT have these particular issues before I got sick with this virus and doctors don’t yet know enough to tell me why exactly my body responded this way or what my recovery will look like.
“I know I am lucky; I have amazing friends and family, exceptional healthcare and a flexible job where I can ask for the support I need to perform. … BUT not everybody has such luck, and I am posting this because of those people. I wish I could hug them all.”
Dunham joins a list of COVID-19 Hollywood cases, including Bryan Cranston, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Idris Elba and Pink, among others.