Long covid and its challenging perils

I’ve followed a few groups on social media related to #COVID-19. There are many posts frpm people writing about the symptoms they are experiencing. There are so many wonder if the specific symptoms themselves are the issue. It appears to me that the virus will attack anything that is vulnerable in our body and when it does, it can be very fast and aggressive.

As this virus is still relatively new and unknown at this time, understandably the medical profession are cautious about any advice they give out. It terms of so called Long Covid symptoms, I see some people state that they are ignored or not believed when they reports symptoms. Personally, the symptom that affects me the most is constant fatigue. It’s knocked confidence and motivation. It brings on that (dare I mention the taboo subject) of depression. Lots of supportive advice from folk is about taking care of self and not rushing recovery. There is only so much “rest” I can manage. The idleness brings on guilt and too much time to ruminate.

The only activity I have managed to keep up recently has been meditation. It took me a while to get started with this recently, however, it is up and running. It’s a good way of connecting with people, especially whilst there is a lockdown (which has been severe where I am from south east England).

In terms of recovery from illness, I feel the best approach has two elements: –

Pharmalogical – Seeing a doctor and being prescribed medication.

Psychosocial – Connecting with others in a positive way, be that in groups, counselling, coaching etc.

What do others think?

Stigma and Prejudice

#COVID-19

Taking a walk down into the village today, I was struck by reactions of people toward me from some.

I am currently in recovery from Covid-19 virus. It was a harrowing experience having spent a week in hospital. I’m not back to work yet and taking advice to take things carefully. After my stint in hospital and 14 days isolation, I was approached by film camera in the street. This resulted in a 2 second appearance on a local magazine programme “The One Show” where I was asked about my opinion of covid marshalls. I mentioned that my opinion of them had changed as a result of contracting the virus.

Today, I passed many people that I know, some by sight and some on a closer level. Very often in the past, people would call a wave to me, some of who I didn’t recognise but the reason for that is because I play in a local band. I became very aware today that some (not all) people gave me a sideways look. Is that some sort of co-incidence that perhaps they now know that I had Covid? Some people have been vocal in critisism of me for catching the virus. I now know in great detail how it is to be marginalized and judged by people who are unfortunately ill informed about Covid-19.

Frankly, I could have caught the virus at any time from anywhere. I know of people that have been hyper careful, and still caught it. There is now more and more evidence to prove that there is a hidden percentage of people carrying the virus without any symptoms. This virus only attacks those with a vulnerability and in many cases that vulnerability is hidden and unknown. I have seen testimony from people that are now stigmatised for having caught the virus in much the same way some people display prejudice toward those who have had other diseases such as AIDS and hepititus. The prejudice that is toward the homeless, drug users, the poor, LGBT+, the disabled, refugees. The racism which has reared its ugly head in recent years not only in the UK but globally. You can call me flaky if you wish, my attitude has always been “there but for the grace og God go I” in terms of how it may feel to be judged in such a way. Well, now I am beginning to see what it is like to be treated that way, very much in a hidden and subliminal way. COVID-19 cares not who you are, where you are from, what your opinions are, whether you are good, bad or indifferent. It is attacking the whole of the human race and is a common enemy that we must all battle.

Please please please people, educate yourselves and be open minded about this. Anyone can fall victim to COVID-19 no matter how careful you are. Please try not to judge others. Allow them the space to learn for themselves. Put aside partisan political views and consider humanity, kindness and empathy which is a very beautiful thing when it is shown, as I experienced from Nurses in hospital.

Please comment upon this with constructive critisizm if you diagree with me. I promise you that my intentions are honourable.

Much love to all. Marty

The issue of new covid-19 vaccines

I’ve noticed a lot of people taking an interest in the issue of upcoming vaccines and the continued for and against arguments. I’m also concerned about the somewhat accusatory label of “antivaxer”. I believe both sides of the argument have some value. This is not about who is right and who is wrong. Within reason, I believe in the right of people to make up their own mind, even considering that controversy that causes.

setting personal boundaries in a pandemic

I have personally made up my own mind about accepting the vaccine. I will get it (this bearing in mind I previously had some reluctance in having flu vaccine and simply stuck my head in the sand about any decisions about this). My decision (and I make no apology for it) has come about as my own experience of catching the virus and the resulting trauma that I am currently working on dealing with. I recognise that my decision has some influence in terms of emotion versus logic, but so be it. That aside, this issue is about us assessing personal risk and risk to others based on our own experience and, I hope, being suitably informed. I accept that there is a risk in taking the vaccine. I understand the skepticism which I have duly considered and assessed for myself. Part of this was reading an article  recently that details an insight into vaccine development. For me, the risk of catching COVID-19 far outweighs the risks of side effects from a vaccine. This is especially important now knowing that I have an underlying heart condition atrial fibrillation.

Whatever decisions make, I’ll state here and now that I will respect that decision and hope that it has been made duly and effectively informed. We all have different boundaries around keeping ourselves safe. Sometimes we make mistakes despite best intentions. I realise that some people that know me have come to conclusions how they think I may have caught COVID-19 and may be critical and judgemental about that. Frankly, that is no help whatsoever. Believe me, I battle daily with guilt about what I may or may not have done, but the is simply no way of proving how I caught the virus. There is evidence now that from mass testing in Liverpool that far more people are carrying the virus without the knowledge and asymptomatic. I believe that is the clear danger of it that it hides, waiting for a vulnerable victim to attack. When it attacks, it hits hard and fast, particularly the more vulnerable we are. Many of us have vulnerabilities that we are not aware of. That was true of me. I didn’t know I had atrial fibrillation. 

Whilst we are in the midst of this pandemic, and particularly to those is significantly high risk areas, I urge you all to stay safe and take extra care.

setting personal boundaries in a pandemic

When I was first notified that I had tested positive for Covid-19 and subsequently advised people, one of the reactions i received was along the lines of “Oh right, you probably caught in when……..” Frankly, this felt judgemental and was not helpful, particularly as I went downhill and became more and more ill. Believe me, I felt guilty anyway which fuelled my fear. I accept that the person concerned did not intend to cause me further worry and was likely trying to help, whilst unconsciously trying to resolve their understandable fear. Frankly, there is no possible way to prove how I caught the virus. I believe that I took all reasonable precautions. Part of that was listening to advice of experts and forming my own personal risk assessment. I also believe that we all set our own personal risk assessments based upon our own experience and beliefs. To be fair and within reason, I feel it is our right to do so. There is a challenge for us to accept that other have different opinions. My hope is that we make decisions that are fully considered and informed. We can’t make others change their mind. To do so uses up unnecessary energy and could also be seen as oppression or even abuse. 

We have all heard incidents of conflict and argument when someone is allegedly observed to not comply with the general advice given. Typical of this is people appearing to not respect social distancing, not wearing a face covering when required etc etc etc… Often, the national media pick up on these issues and sensationalise them, simply to sell newspapers, potentially feeding fear, anxiety and conflict. 

Personally, I have witnessed people sound off (particularly on social media) about their disgust at the behaviour of others. It potentially creates an intimidating atmosphere of “grass on your neighbour” oppressive state that can infringe upon the freedoms of what I hope is still a element of democracy we still have. Perhaps, a way of addressing a concern when we witness somebody, for instance, not wearing a mask and we are not in the position to police this (i.e. not the proprietor of a shop) could be as follows. Politely 

“Excuse me. I noticed that you are not wearing a face covering. I wonder if you have forgotten or whether you have a specific exemption. I hope you are not offended by my question; it is just it makes me feel uncomfortable and I want to resolve this for my peace of mind. ” 

About the author Marty Boneidol 

Some might see this as a somewhat flaky approach. If so, then that is ok with me. I accept your opinion. What would help is that this opinion is qualified by some evidence. It helps to be able to accept it, even if I don’t agree.  

Conflict caused by some of the circumstances I have described above can cause so much unnecessary stress and heartache. It can also feed fear and uncertainty causing rash decisions.  

In times of global crisis such as we are currently experiencing, I feel we need to care for and support each other, not get into fights and arguments resulting in potential insults and personal attacks. There will always be people that have conflicting and challenging opinions to our own. That is simply a fact of life. A clear challenge for us all is to accept and take our own actions of personal protection physically, emotionally and spiritually.