The actor, producer, and series creator of Girls is opening up about her experience with COVID-19 after revealing that she was sick with the disease earlier this year.
The 34-year-old, who suffers from chronic illness, said she was initially “reluctant to share” her story, but felt compelled to “in the hopes that personal stories allow us to see the humanity in what can feel like abstract situations.”
Lena said she had COVID-19 in March after experiencing symptoms of “achy joints” and “crushing fatigue.”
“Then, a fever of 102. Suddenly my body simply…revolted,” she wrote. “The nerves in my feet burned and muscles wouldn’t seem to do their job. My hands were numb. I couldn’t tolerate loud noises,” she added.
In addition to not being able to sleep or fully wake up, and losing her sense of taste and smell, Lena recalled “a hacking cough” and the inability to breathe after doing simple things, such as drinking water.
“This went on for 21 days,” she wrote. “Days that blended together like a rave gone wrong.”
Lena said she was “lucky” to have a doctor who offered her “regular guidance” and “hands-on attention” so that she never had to be hospitalized, but also highlighted her privilege and noted that this isn’t often the case for many who have contracted the virus.
After self-isolating for a month, Lena said she tested negative but continues to face serious health complications. “To be clear, I did NOT have these particular issues before I got sick with this virus and doctors don’t yet know enough to tell me why exactly my body responded this way or what my recovery will look like,” she stated.
“I know I am lucky; I have amazing friends and family, exceptional healthcare, and a flexible job where I can ask for the support I need to perform. …BUT not everybody has such luck, and I am posting this because of those people. I wish I could hug them all,” she continued.
She ended her post encouraging others to take precautionary measures to protect those around them. “When you take the appropriate measures to protect yourself and your neighbors, you save them a world of pain,” she wrote.
Lena never explicitly stated that she tested positive for COVID-19. A previous version of this post misstated that detail.