Nurse who caught Covid twice details how Omicron and old strain symptoms differ

Sarah Crocker, a 25-year-old nurse from Adelaide, first contracted Covid-19 on a flight from London to Australia in March 2020 and is now suffering from her second bout of the virus

Ms Crocker said her first encounter with Covid was marked by “a lot of breathlessness and real tiredness”. (

Image: Sarah Crocker)

A nurse who fights Covid shares for the second time her insights into how her suspected omicron symptoms differ from the illness she suffered with the original strain of the virus.

Sarah Crocker, a 25-year-old Australian nurse from Adelaide, first fell ill with Covid-19 in March 2020 on her flight from London, her former home, to Australia.

Coming home before the government began imposing quarantine requirements for hotels, the 25-year-old isolated her mother’s home for 17 days until she began recording negative tests.

Ms Crocker fell ill from her second Covid bout last week after one of her housemates tested positive.

The housemate had returned a negative rapid test last Monday but developed symptoms on Tuesday, Ms Crocker said Yahoo News.

She said: “She did another one on Tuesday morning before I had to go to work and it was positive.”

The nurse said she alerted her work and began isolation before later contracting the virus — believed to be the Omicron variant — herself.

Recalling her first Covid infection in 2020, Ms Crocker said the illness was marked by “a lot of breathlessness and real tiredness”.

Ms Crocker developed Covid long after she was first infected
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Image:

Sarah Crocker)

“Sometimes I didn’t even get up to shower,” she says.

Ms Crocker, an avid runner who was training for a half marathon when she fell ill early in the pandemic, failed to shake off the virus, instead developing Long Covid.

“It took me a long time to walk again – even walking up the stairs and hills was really hard,” she said.

“It’s much better now, but I’m still a day tired. It used to be every four or five weeks, but now every few months.”

Ms Crocker said her symptoms from the first infection were different compared to her second.

She said she was still “quite tired” but was suffering from cold-like issues including constipation, a sore throat and a cough.

“There was no cough last time,” she said.

“I don’t know if Omicron is less aggressive or if we have the vaccines now.

“I’ve been vaccinated three times and this time I’m doing much better. The vaccine has done its job in terms of reducing serious disease.”

Ms Crocker will remain in isolation with her two housemates until next week.

She said the trio are lucky to have each other for company while they watch Netflix and “sleep the days away”.

“I’m sure it could get a bit boring the last few days but it could get a lot worse, we could be sicker and live in worse living conditions – we’re very lucky.”

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