Dana Mladin


You said you didn’t know anyone who had COVID? Well, now you know me…

I got it too. Or, to be more correct: how on earth did I get it when I was the most attentive one in my group of friends or the one at work?!?

Me, who has been wearing a mask on my face even before the planet heard about Sars-Cov-2! Beautifully colored masks, brought by me personally from China to make me look great when I had a cold…

So, the pandemics caught me “well-educated” from this point of view. My bag and my car are full of gloves, visors and disinfectant since March, not to mention masks, dozens of masks of all kinds. And yet… where did I get it??? This is the question that leads me towards despair and that determines me to make all sorts of schemes, analyzes and investigations on the calendar.

Now really… I did not get it during this entire year when we crossed country with my team, filming a lot of people; I didn’t get it in September, when I traveled to Paris; I didn’t get it in November, when I was in Istanbul, and I’m got it now, for the Holidays, probably in the most trivial and commonplace way! F*&@k!!!

It all started with the cold in my block of flats! With no heat in the heaters, I woke up one morning feeling cold. And with all the symptoms of a cold: chills, a headache and some sneezing, from time to time. Shit, look at me getting a cold in my own house, I thought to myself and I made a tea with Fervex.

The next day I felt exactly like a person with a cold. I was moving so very slowly… I admit, I didn’t think about COVID at all. However, I listened to the advice of my friends and I went to do an emergency COVID test.

My God, I felt like something fell on my head when I received the email from the clinic. “POSITIVE” – was written in big letters on it! I read about 5 times in the hope that maybe I did not understand it well…

Suddenly it all came to my mind: my program, my fears about my family, whom I had seen some days ago (wearing a mask, it is true), the Holidays, meeting my friends for Christmas, my work and so on.

I began to send messages, I started looking for the people with whom I had been in the same room the period before and I became very preoccupied about the exact moment I had let my guard down.

Do you know how this COVID caught me? Just like the paparazzi caught me topless J. Yes, yes, you could die of laughter and nothing less! I, the one who never goes to the beach without a bra, took my bra off in Greece for it to dry quickly so that I could catch the ferry from the island and bang… that was when the paparazzi caught me.

I think that this was what happened now: this COVID saw me walking around, and not just a few times for that matter, but that I was always wearing a mask and said to itself: “She will take it off at some point”. And it got me at the very moment when I took it off.

Now I have the unfortunate combination: I am alone, I live in a studio, so being in isolation is absolute horror!


I feel like I have fell down from the moon. I don’t even know what to do. Where do I announce that I got the virus? Should I call somewhere? I’ve heard so much about DSP (The Public Health Directorate) and now I don’t know what to do…

I guess that, having the test at a clinic, those people will clearly report it. So I see to my business.

My state is still one that I easily associate with one of my very ugly colds. My head hurts, I feel weak.

I drink tea with Fervex and that’s how the first day of isolation passes.


From day two, I lost taste and smell. I had no idea. I was asked by my friends and then I went to smell my perfume. Well, I cannot feel it anymore, I thought, because I’m used to it. But then I opened a bottle of sanitary alcohol. And… nothing.

Then I tested the stinky sausages in the fridge, which I had just bought to fry. Nothing, no smell! Even if I had 100 dirty socks, it would all be in vain…

God, it’s horrible not to be able to smell anything! And I’m not even starting to talk about not being able to taste anything!

For you to better understand, every day I feel like I eat cardboard, plastic, brick, sponge, cotton, wool, sand – depending on the texture of the food. And colored water that is called “soup” could very well be windshield fluid, I would have no idea…

I try “by the power of my mind” to associate what I eat with the taste that I remember, but this does not help a bit… In vain I bought and received tasty food, from steaks and stuffed cabbages, to pasta and sweets.

I also try some chocolate – nothing more than a stone that I can break between my teeth.

Not to mention that I do not know if food is spoiled or not… If I can still eat some cream or a baloney forgotten in my refrigerator.

My general state? It is that of a vegetable, a mollusk, a pile of dung, call it whatever you want. And I don’t feel like doing anything, I don’t have the strength to do anything and I can’t even concentrate on writing or reading.

Now, I understand what other COVID infected people ahead of me used to say: that you’re tired around the clock. Without doing anything. In fact, just because you’re tired all the time, you can’t do anything…

It’s a fatigue I don’t think I’ve ever felt. And I have it every day, no matter how much I sleep!

And there’s something else: my shirt hurts me!!! Yes, yes, this is the best description: with every move I make, the T-shirt I wear around the house seems to scratch my back, as if someone is whipping me on the back!

And my eyes… it is as if I had huge stone over my eyelids – they hurt with each and every blink or each gaze.

The temperature? A 37.8 on the first day and around the same value the following days.

And I have a headache.

I also have a cough, but I rarely cough, thank God! And my speech is not very clear. Luckily I communicate more on whatsapp.

Even from the beginning I went for a lung CT. They say, I’m okay. I don’t even know if I should have done it now or later.

I’m getting an antiviral. They gave it to me in a shock-dosage, as if I am to kill myself…

Finally, they called me from the DSP. The day after the test. They check all my data, telling me, in case I did not understand, that my test came out positive; and they ask me if I am isolated at home.

The next day they call me again, this time for epidemiological investigation. Specifically, I am asked if I saw anyone less than 1.5 meters away without a mask, starting 3 days before the test.

I explain to the kind gentleman at the end of the line that I started my own investigation, because I would very much like to know where in God’s name I got it from.

I made my “8-day list” – where I was and in what context I took off my mask and for how long. The options are just a few. Unless the spread of COVID has become so aggressive that I took from a product bought in the store. Or maybe some handsome man gave me a long gaze, as they said that it is also transmitted through the eyes J.

I sleep in the afternoon, which for me clearly means I am ill (I haven’t slept in the afternoon since childhood…)

I order my pulse oximeter. I had no idea what that was. Several people tell me about it and I think it can’t hurt. I put my finger in it every day, several times a day even, to see the oxygen saturation. However, maybe it’s not good to have too many appliances in the house. If I see 96 on the display, it immediately scares me.

That is why I watch no news. I’m just like before I go abroad, when I can’t watch the news with the crashed planes…

My phones ring every day. I haven’t told many, precisely because I don’t know how to deal with a big wave of curiosities, worries, opinions that are one more well-intentioned than the other, but which sometimes panic me.


6 days have passed.

Every morning I go to the strongest perfume I have in the house – I still don’t feel the smell. And I feel no taste. Shit, and I have received from my friends all kinds of food that looks so well!

Sweatshirts, pajamas and sweatshirts and pajamas again. This is the ritual that shows me how the days pass. How many are left? Too many, in this kind of terror, fearing complications and the well-being of your family… I have to admit, I had some bad moments. Because I never considered myself invincible.

I lay down. It’s incredible that I can’t do anything. Because I have no strength. I can’t even make an intellectual effort. I just stay here and watch Christmas movies, those in which everything is wonderful, nothing bad happens, no one screams, and the main characters kiss at the end J.

And sometimes it’s hard for me even to respond to messages! Anyway, the answer to those who check me up is the same: “I’m still a vegetable”…

I get food, a Christmas tree, medicine, household things.

If you can order food or medicine, if your friends are ready to help you with all kinds of packages, well, tell me what can a COVID infected person do when the trash can is full??? Too full! (I think it stinks too, but I don’t realize…)

I kept it in for a couple days, then I decided to put on two masks, I put on the gloves and at night, like thieves, I went out on the hallway, to the garbage collector, to empty the bin. God, you could think I’m a murderer, that’s how I feel!


8 days have passed.

You can’t imagine my joy when I discover that I feel a little smell! It comes back! I take the first delicious food I find, to feel how it is! My senses are not yet 100% back. But it’s okay.

One good thing, one bad thing: I’m coughing now. The cough that accompanied me from the first day, but without bothering me too much, got worse in the number 7 evening. I sometimes have some very bad crises.

But I no longer have the temperature.

And I still watch Christmas movies J.


Oh, Christmas is really coming! I don’t know where you’ll spend it and with whom, but I’m sure I’ll do it at home, just by myself. According to the law.

If Santa wasn’t equipped with a professional jumpsuit and a very good mask, I can’t let him come to visit me…

To get into the holiday spirit, I put some gloves on my hands and start packing the gifts I bought about 3 months ago. I’m thinking of sending them, for the world to enjoy them. But who will want them, if they are afraid???

Is there, just as there is a New Year’s Eve for waiters, is there a Christmas for the COVID infected?… There should be a day in January when all those who do not have a happy holiday now, can have it after their recovery? Tell me if you find out about it.

Until then, I’ll stay at home and count the… masks. Since I ordered hundreds… With Grinch, with Santa Claus, with snowmen, flakes, reindeer. Well, would it be possible for me not to have seasonal masks? It’s just that I can’t use them for anything now J.


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