Rory Lawson says he has "been through the mill" dealing with coronavirus symptoms over the past eight days.
The former Scotland captain, 39, has had a cough, fever and aches and added that he feels "lucky" not to have been hospitalised.
"I'm not someone to get ill," he told BBC Sport.
"I've never had a day off school sick. I didn't have a day out of rugby ill. It's definitely surprised me. It's been a real slap in the face."
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On Monday, the UK and Scottish governments urged people to stay home to help curb the spread of the pandemic and ease the pressure on health services.
And Lawson hopes his experience will "wake a few people up" to heed that the "younger people are not exempt from an attack from this coronavirus".
"I think I may be close to 50-ish per cent now," he said.
"I just felt totally floored, totally empty. Just when I thought I was out of of the woods with the fever symptoms, the other symptoms just kept coming.
"I've been three or four days now without being able to smell or taste anything. My cough is still sticking around stubbornly.
"I wouldn't wish this on anyone. You're helping others by not going out and keeping the distancing to the recommended level."
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Lawson says having to reschedule the remaining Six Nations matches as well as European and domestic rugby is "a really difficult scenario" but is the right thing to do.
And he added: "If we don't get things right and this virus continues to spread and snowball and get worse and worse then who knows when the seasons can pick up anyway?
"If we follow the guidelines then we can all be out the other end of this quicker than if we don't. That'll mean saving lives, that'll mean everyone can get back to normal. If that takes three months, it takes three months.
"Let's just try and do our bit to make sure that it is the minimum level that it needs to be. It's a horrible, horrible virus."