I'm still adamant that I had it 2-3 months before it officially came to the UK. It went through my friends and family like a hot knife through butter. Anyone that had that, knew it was something very different. I was coughing for well over a month.
I agree with this, I’m sure I saw a few stories in the first half of 2019 about mysterious virus outbreaks in China which then weren’t reported on until Jan 2020 when European governments collectively crapped their pants because it was spreading everywhere. And October-November 19 everyone I work with went down with some mysterious flu which, in hindsight, had all the symptoms of COVID-19. Personally that month I was sick as a dog, coughing, sneezing, farting and had swollen glands in my neck and nether regions, felt completely knackered for a good month after but didn’t think much of it just put it down to bad regular flu. So I think it’s more than likely that it went through a good portion of the population before being officially declared, anecdotally speaking.