We are sharing the experiences of people that continue to be impacted by Covid-19. These are the lived experiences and opinions of the individuals themselves, not of Covid Aid. By sharing these personal stories, we aim to reflect the need for visibility and to raise the voices of the millions around the UK who continue to be affected three years on from the Covid-19 pandemic.
LJ shares their story with us below:
"I have now had Covid 4 times and each time has been worse that the time before.
I originally spent 10 months in my house shielding because I have underlying health concerns. Then it was decided that schools were safe, so as a teacher I returned to work with incredible anxiety, I was having panic attacks every morning. Unfortunately, after a few weeks, I developed what I thought was a sickness bug, but I had Covid. I ended up in the hospital for a week because I couldn't keep anything down, not even a sip of water. That was October 2020. It took a few weeks to recover enough to return to work but thankfully I was able to work from home which eased my anxiety. At this point, I hadn't even seen my friends and family for almost a year.
Then when all children returned to school I had to go back. Once again my anxiety skyrocketed and my mental health really suffered. In June 2021 I had Covid again, this time I had nausea and sickness along with some difficulties breathing. When they scanned my lungs they said there was significant scarring which is still a concern.
As I have underlying health concerns I was vaccinated earlier than others my age and I actually started to think there may be some end to this...
New years eve 2021 I once again tested positive, I thought I was just tired after seeing people at Christmas but nope, Covid again. This meant that I couldn't see my dying nanny because I was so ill. I ended up calling an ambulance who gave me medicine for my breathing because they were very concerned. On day 5 I went and had an infusion which definitely helped with the cough and breathing. However, it kick-started my fatigue and I started sleeping 22 hours a day. Unfortunately, my nan passed away in January 2022 and I was able to see her once before she left, it was heartbreaking because she was my life, she raised me and I hardly saw her in the final few years of her life.
Somehow we got through the funeral and things like that but I was still sleeping so much that I was unable to work. I was diagnosed with long covid and started getting some support from the NHS, but there is not enough time or money to actually support people effectively.
It took 6 months to get to a point where I could work an hour or two a week. Work tried to be supportive but they essentially said that I had to return to work or quit.
September 2022, 9 months later I returned to work for half a day and had to change my contract to only work one day a week... It's crippling financially. Even now I can't do anything the day before and the day after my day at work, I spend my time in bed or one day at work, I just don't have the energy to do anything else, I'm just a shadow of my former self. I don't know when or if this will ever get better...
When I shower I have to lie down after, it's not a life.
Another issue is that my relationship has fallen apart through this time, my being so physically ill and my mental health went down the toilet and so now my husband and I have separated.
It's now March 2023 and I yet again have Covid! Spent a week feeling nauseated and now I'm struggling with breathing again. There is just no end in sight and no one really understands, I have people telling me that there is no way I feel this bad all the time because it's just too much, and I don't want others to struggle but I would love some understanding. The pain and fatigue I deal with daily is so intense but I just have to continue because there isn't enough support. I have so many alarms and reminders on my phone because my memory is shocking now and I can't trust myself to remember anything. So many friends have distanced themselves because I just don't do anything anymore, I only leave my house for work and medical appointments... It's ridiculous. I still sleep roughly 12 hours a day, so it has improved from 20+ but it's no life. The other thing is that there are no answers, people all experience long covid differently so there is no data about recovery times and what to expect. I have to use my inhaler all the time now and it's so hard to not be able to enjoy things. I have also found that many doctors just assume that every symptom is related to long covid. My wisdom tooth cracked and I was originally told it was probably referred pain from long covid...
I just wish there was something to look forward to but there isn't anything right now. I've lost friends, family, financial security, my husband and my health to Covid... It's just so hard.
We thank LJ for sharing their story with us.
Covid Aid continues to support those significantly impacted by Covid-19. Even three years on from the pandemic, people continue to be affected by a range of Covid-19 related issues including Long Covid, grief and bereavement, mental health and financial issues.
For moral support and access to a range of helpful resources, you can join our online Support Community
You can leave a special dedication on our Wall of Reflection in memory of a loved one to mark National Day of Reflection on the 23rd of March