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Lena Dunham poses for photographers

Lena Dunham Details Her COVID-19 Struggle: 'I Had Never Felt This Way'

Gettyimages | Samir Hussein
By Chris Barilla

Lena Dunham revealed to fans on Friday that she contracted COVID-19 back in March, and although she has since tested negative is still exhibiting symptoms of the virus.

The 'Girls' creator is one of 4.6 million and counting Americans to catch the novel virus, and has now detailed her harrowing struggle with the illness that she says took over her pituitary gland, swollen her hands and feet, and exacerbated​ many other elements of the already immunocompromised personality's system during her incubation period.

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Lena Dunham poses for a selfie
Lena Dunham / Instagram

Dunham said that her reluctance to share her diagnosis despite contracting the virus so early on was due to the amount of voices that were already out there on the subject. She decided to change her stance once she realized how many Americans were conciously foregoing the neccesarily social distancing and masking measures in place.

"But seeing the carelessness with which so many in the United States are treating social distancing, people jogging without masks and parties on Instagram. I feel compelled to be honest about the impact this illness has had on me, in the hopes that personal stories allow us to see the humanity in what can feel like abstract situations," she wrote.

Giphy | Girls on HBO

"I couldn’t sleep but I couldn’t wake up. I lost my sense of taste and smell. A hacking cough, like a metronome keeping time. Inability to breathe after simple tasks like getting a glass of water. 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. This went on for 21 days … that blended together like a rave gone wrong," Dunham detailed her symptoms as such, showing how harrowing contracting the virus was on her already-immunocompromised system.

Lena Dunham poses for a photo
Lena Dunham / Instagram

Her lingering symptoms months later have caused her to want to recount her story more​ so than before to make people aware that the virus is nothing to take lightly.

"Even as a chronically ill person, I had never felt this way," she shared. "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."


At the end, Dunham thanked those who helped her through the difficult period in her life and still today as she attempts to overcome the ripple effects of having COVID in her system.

"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 shared.

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