How long does it take to recover from COVID? Every person is different. Where do you stand?
The exact nature of the average COVID-19 recovery period is hotly-contested. Is a negative test the first sign of victory? When does COVID end and long COVID begin?
How long will you be sick if you get COVID-19? The good news is that Omicron and its daughter sublineages are much less deadly than the original novel coronavirus, which means a shorter recovery period than what many would estimate on their own. Here’s what you can expect if you’ve been exposed.
How Long Is COVID Recovery?
For many, COVID-19 symptoms will subside completely around two weeks after exposure at most—mild cases of COVID may recover sooner, sometimes within a single week.
Being sick is difficult, and you’ll probably want to take it easy. If you’ve ever had the common cold or a stomach bug, the same best practices for a speedy recovery apply equally to COVID:
- Self-isolation should begin as soon as you receive a positive test result
- Rest as much as possible, and ensure that you’re sleeping well at night
- Keep fluids by your side and stay hydrated at all times
- Change your sheets and house clothes often, washing everything on the highest-possible sanitation cycle
- When you’re feeling up to it, eat light, nourishing meals and snacks—rich smoothies, hearty soups, anything you’re able to keep down
These COVID-19 recovery tips all guarantee your body everything it needs to fight off COVID once and for all.
Does it take longer to recover from COVID than from something like the cold or flu? Perhaps, especially when things like long COVID are taken into account.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Long COVID?
Because the coronavirus is highly developed from an evolutionary standpoint, even dismembered viral units will still sometimes remain viable enough to infect healthy cells. From what experts can tell, this results in an ongoing, never-ending tug-of-war between these residual units, the new cells they’re successfully able to infect, and your body’s own antibodies.
There is no cure for long COVID, and much of it remains a mystery—all that we know is that it tends to last anywhere from four weeks to a few months after the initial infection.
Other Factors To Consider
The severity of your COVID infection will invariably impact the time it takes for you to get back on your feet. Any pre-existing conditions that put you in a compromised position against the virus are also likely to extend your stretch of illness.
Because COVID-19 is so unique in its evolutionary trajectory, it also poses a significant risk of re-exposure and re-infection, unlike other illnesses like the chickenpox, which hasn’t changed much since becoming a part of human society.
To compare, chickenpox as a viral race gains about one new mutation every 200 to 400 years. Omicron, on the other hand, had already developed 32 new mutations after deviating from the original Delta variant fork. The process took less than one year before it emerged as dominant.
What We Know About COVID-19 Recovery Periods
Terrifying? Sort of, but we’re in a much better place than we were when COVID began splitting off into subvariants.
As always, the best way to prevent a potential exposure is to simply stay home when you’re presented with an opportunity to contract the virus. For this reason, we recommend that any immunocompromised individuals exercise caution and test with a virtual proctor if the need arises.