I’ve had Covid

By ‘For Men To Talk’ founder Luke Newman

Covid sucks! There I’ve said it. For the last 18 months, the world has been completely changed for every single person on this great big onion (thank you Marvin Kaye!).

Over that time, I have tried to keep to the restrictions that the government have implemented. I’ve kept my distance from people, I’ve worn masks in supermarkets and worked from home, when allowed.

However, somehow in October 2021, my throat was sore and I felt run down. I took a lateral flow test. It was positive. I wasn’t surprised, my wife had tested positive a few days before and even keeping a distance away from her, I still caught it.

Almost immediately, even at 7.30am after a good night sleep, I was shattered. I wanted to sleep. But instead of going to bed, even at the age of 40, I wanted to go back to my youth, so I brought a single duvet downstairs and started watching junk TV. It’s just amazing how I went back thirty years in a split second.

Heartbreakingly, when I do feel ill, all I want is my Mum. I wished the football duvet, which is my sons, had changed back to my Postman Pat one and at lunch time, I wanted Heinz Tomato Soup with breaded soldiers with a lemonade flavoured soda stream drink. After 16 years since she passed, I still miss her everyday. If possible, even more so when I’m feeling poorly.

Finally at 3pm, my eyes simply couldn’t stay open anymore and I took myself off to bed. I didn’t wake up until 8am the following morning. I hadn’t done that in years.

It felt like heavy flu, something I’ve had before. I was still tired with a headache and sore throat. I could deal with that. But the lack of taste and smell was new, something that I’ve never experienced previously. I didn’t like it. I couldn’t smell any cooking or taste my favourite Pepsi Max. I couldn’t even smell my shower gel or deodorant. It took days for my smell and taste to return.

I thought that isolation for 10 days would be hard. But due to the lockdowns we have had, I didn’t miss going out of the house at all. The only guilt I had was not being able to take my children to school, or football practice or even attend the ‘For Men To Talk’ physical meeting. I never want to let anyone down.

But for all my complaints, I find myself very fortunate that my symptoms weren’t worse. I didn’t have a high fever or consistent cough. But more than that, I wasn’t hospitalised to be looked after by our amazing NHS doctors and nurses or even lose my life, something that thousands and thousands of people in the UK have. 

I’m thankful that I have been double vaccinated. For any criticism that the UK government has received during the coronavirus pandemic, the vaccine programme has been a remarkable success. If I, like the millions of people that haven’t had a vaccine as yet, caught covid without the vaccine, my illness could have been a lot worse and I could have been one of those horrible statistics. 

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