Greta Thunberg Says It Is ‘Extremely Likely’ That She Has Contracted Coronavirus
Greta Thunberg believes she might have contracted the coronavirus. The teenage climate activist said that she felt the symptoms of the illness, but was unable to get tested in her home country of Sweden because her symptoms were not severe enough. In a post on Instagram, Thunberg wrote that she has “basically recovered” from the illness, but that she has spent the last few weeks in self-quarantine from her mother and sister after her family traveled to Brussels.
Thunberg said that both she and her 50-year-old father began feeling ill following their return from the trip. In the post, she said that she felt fatigued, had a sore throat and a cough, and shivers. She said her dad experienced those same symptoms, but that they were more severe and he also had a fever.
At the time when Thunberg was sick, Swedes could not be tested unless they were in emergency care. Because the 17-year-old’s symptoms weren’t considered severe, she was told to stay home and isolate herself.
Thunberg also said that she didn’t feel very ill and wouldn’t have suspected that she had contracted the virus if someone else in her family had not been sick at the same time. The activist said that young people especially may be less likely to notice the symptoms, and are therefore at a higher risk of spreading the illness because they don’t realize they are sick.
The climate activist concluded her message by offering a call to action for her followers. She said that those who are not in a high-risk group have a responsibility to stay inside and flatten the curve. She told her followers to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus and remember those who are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill as they make the sacrifice.
Thunberg’s announcement that she suspects she contracted the illness is just the latest in a wave of celebrities and public figures who have tested positive for COVID-19. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul announced over the weekend that he was the first member of the Senate to be diagnosed with the disease, and Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Idris Elba and a slew of other celebrities have also received positive test results.
Europe has been one of the regions hardest hit by the virus, although Sweden still has far fewer cases than countries like Italy, Spain, and France. On Tuesday afternoon, The New York Times reported that almost 70,000 people in Europe have tested positive for coronavirus.