Lena Dunham Reveals Coronavirus Experience to Send a Message to ‘Careless’ Americans ‘Jogging Without Masks’


“I’ve been reluctant to share this,” wrote Lena Dunham, saying that after “seeing the carelessness with which so many in the United States are treating social distancing, jogging without masks and parties on Instagram,” she now feels compelled to share her experience. “I got sick with COVID-19 in mid-March. It started with achy joints, which I was unable to distinguish from my usual diagnosis, so I didn’t freak out. But the pain was soon joined by an impossible, crushing fatigue. Then, a fever of 102.”

“Suddenly my body simply… revolted,” added the American Horror Story actress.

“The nerves in my feet burned and muscles wouldn’t seem to do their job,” the Girls star continued. “My hands were numb. I couldn’t tolerate loud noises. I couldn’t sleep but I couldn’t wake up. I lost my sense of taste and smell.”

Dunham added that she had “a hacking cough, like a metronome keeping time.”

“Inability to breathe after simple tasks like getting a glass of water,” she added. “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.”

Dunham went on to say that after having endured a “crushing” three-week battle with the Chinese coronavirus, and even now — after being tested negative — she still suffers from migraines, as well as other “weirder symptoms.”

“This went on for 21 days, days that blended into each other like a rave gone wrong,” the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actress said. “After a month, I tested negative for COVID-19 — I couldn’t believe how intense the loneliness had been, in addition to the illness.”

“But my symptoms weren’t gone. I had swollen hands and feet, an unceasing migraine and fatigue that limited my every move. Even as a chronically ill person, I had never felt this way,” Dunham said. “And there are weirder symptoms that I’ll keep to myself. “So — hey, you, in the hat that says FREE MUSTACHE RIDES — put down your cigarette and listen to me!” wrote Dunham as she finished chronicling her experience.

“This isn’t like passing the flu to your coworker,” she concluded. “This is the biggest deal in our country, and in the world right now.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.