How are we all doing at Surviving Covid?

2020 will be remembered as the year of the Pandemic where we all became all too familiar with the terms ‘coronavirus’ and more particularly ‘Covid-19’!

But why is this disease which many have compared to the flu and which only has about a 2 percent fatality rate worth giving so much attention to? Is it not possible that we have fallen for conspiracy theories based on government control that many are suggesting? After all, it would seem that most people who get sick with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without needing special treatment. So really, why the big deal?

Why the big deal?

Well, for starters when something like 83,4 million cases have been reported, that tiny little percentage starts to sound something like 1,82 million deaths worldwide and if you start factoring in the families and friends and communities connected to that number and realising that those are actual people and not just numbers on a page, then hopefully it starts to get a lot more real.

But, when you start speaking to people who have had covid and when you start reading up on conditions like long-haul covid, you start to realise that we need to be taking this a lot more seriously.

Some stories from the article on long-haul covid sound like this:

Lawrence has lung damage and undifferentiated connective tissue disease, which is an autoimmune disease that she’s still learning about. Both issues stem from COVID-19.

“It felt like this disease had planted a web of unhealthiness, and every time I went to a doctor it was another little sticky tendril wrapped around a leg,” Lawrence said. “Now my body feels kind of bound up.”

Aiello, after learning to walk again and being discharged back to his home, is still in physical therapy five times a week. Surgery on his throat has left his voice quiet and wheezing. Nerve damage to his hands means he can’t make a fist. His heart races. His left shoulder aches.

“It’s all part of COVID,” Aiello said.

Flaherty’s back lights up with burning pain, and she uses an inhaler to calm her lungs and medication to calm her stomach. Huber’s aorta is dilated, her lungs are scarred and her blood pressure spikes at random times.

Let’s listen to those who have walked/are walking this journey

When you know people who have died from covid and people who are still months later struggling from chronic fatigue, then the people who are denying the seriousness of the pandemic and those who selfishly flaunt the rules and restrictions for their own gain make you really angry [and confused – how are people still not getting this?]. When you have a friend who has lost 9 people to the disease and another friend who lost her mom and her gran in the same short period, then it really starts to hit home.

So i invited some people who have had covid to share their stories with us – glimpses into how the disease was for them and how life has been since then. There is no carbon copy one-size-fits-all story of how the disease operates and there is still so much we don’t know, but hopefully, by listening to people sharing their experiences we will start to empathise a little more and be more insistent on doing whatever we can to stop the spread of this awful debilitating disease.

First up is David O’Sullivan who shares the story of his and his wife Jacqui’s experience of covid.

Then there is theatre owner, actress and director, Sue Diepeveen

The story of K [anonymous], whose husband works in a hospital

Next up is the story of Jane and Thomas who had “a mild dose of covid” which is still more than scary enough to consider

Eve is a teacher who got covid possibly from a colleague or maybe a pupil and gives us some insight into that space

This story by my friend Nicola Date is a must-read – TWICE facing Covid-19 and stiill recovering from it

Please feel free to share these stories of people who are surviving covid – some with names, some anonymous – over the next few days as i post them on my blog. And please do whatever you can to stay safe and protect those around you. This too will pass. But until it does, we have to be vigilant and responsive. And responsible.