Vegan climate activist Greta Thunberg is likely recovering from COVID-19 in isolation, according to a post published by the 17-year-old on Instagram today. Swedish-born Thunberg has self-isolated for the past two weeks in a borrowed apartment away from her family after returning from a trip around Central Europe—where cases of the virus, particularly in Germany and Italy, are currently on the rise.

 
 
 
 
 
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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

“Around ten days ago, I started feeling some symptoms, exactly the same time as my father—who traveled with me from Brussels,” Thunberg explained. “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 [is] 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.” 

Thunberg believes that she has recovered but pointed out that the danger of COVID-19 is that she did not feel very ill. “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,” Thunberg said. While initially the virus was thought to only endanger the lives of older people and those with underlying conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses that compromise the immune system, younger people around the world are now experiencing more severe COVID-19 outcomes and Thunberg urges them to prevent the spread of the disease by taking necessary precautions. “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,” Thunberg said. “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.”

Last year, Thunberg skipped school in her native Sweden to hold a one-person protest to bring awareness about the climate crisis. Since then, the activist—who ditched air transport and animal products to do her part in mitigating the climate crisis—has inspired millions of young people around the world with her moving speeches to take climate action with her “Fridays For Future” protests. Thunberg has moved the protests, using #ClimateStrikeOnline, into the digital sphere indefinitely in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

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