Wakefield Covid sufferers share their experiences to encourage others to stay safe

Wakefield Council is sharing real-life experiences from local residents who have suffered from the Covid virus to help encourage others to keep safe.

By Leanne Clarke
Wednesday, 9th December 2020, 2:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th December 2020, 3:09 pm
Wakefield Covid sufferers share their experiences to encourage others to stay safe
Wakefield Covid sufferers share their experiences to encourage others to stay safe

The video series named 'I never thought it would happen to me', includes residents from all walks of life, aged 18 to 60, who have come forward to share their true experiences in the hope that their stories could encourage others to be safe and avoid catching the virus.

As part of the series of videos, we hear from 24-year-old Simmie who urges people to take the virus seriously.

She said: "I'm 24 years of age and have no existing health conditions, hence I didn't think that Covid would affect me as hard as it did.

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"It absolutely knocked me for six."

Simmie didn't know anyone with the virus until it struck close to home and took the life of a family member. She later contracted it and was ill for three weeks, months later she still continued to experience tiredness and breathlessness.

Coun Faith Heptinstall, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: "The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives of millions across the globe, including many people in our district. These people may be your neighbours, family, work colleagues, the nurse or the delivery driver from your community.

"Thank you to everyone that has shared their personal experiences with us. We hope that by sharing these real-life stories from our local residents, that it will remind and encourage everyone to keep safe and ultimately save lives.

"You can keep yourself and others safe by following the restrictions in place, washing your hands regularly, wearing a face covering and maintaining social distance."

When symptoms started, Andy thought it was perhaps the flu or cold. He tried to talk himself out of the possibility that he'd caught COVID-19 until a test confirmed it. Though he suffered mild symptoms, it really had a huge impact on him. Watch his story here.

When Charlotte lost her sense of smell, alarm bells rang. A test confirmed she had COVID-19. Her story highlights how easily the virus can spread to other family members and beyond. Watch Charlotte's story here

Clare was shocked when a COVID-19 test confirmed she had the virus. Having followed the rules and taken all precautions to protect herself and her family, she didn't think it would happen to her. She lost her taste and smell and developed really extreme flu symptoms, and was ill for three weeks. Watch Claire's story here

As soon as her symptoms started Ellie isolated and got a test booked straight away. It was a massive shock to her when that test result came back positive and it really made her consider her future choices about what it was necessary for her to go out and do. Watch Ellie's story here.

Julie contracted COVID-19 and passed it to her husband. Other members of the family also contracted it. She describes the guilt she felt in spreading it to others. Watch Julie's story here.

Lorita felt she had been really careful in following the guidelines to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 and didn't think catching the virus would happen to her. When it struck, she became ill very quickly and was ill for four weeks. Five months later she was still suffering the effects of long Covid. Watch Lorita's story here.

Scott was not aware that he had contracted COVID-19 because he had no symptoms. It was picked up during a routine test for work. Though he suffered mild symptoms, self-isolating was the hardest part of recovery for him. Watch Scott's video here.

Before COVID-19 struck, Simmie was a very active and energetic person but the virus has taken a toll on her life. She knew no-one with the virus until it struck close to home and took the life of a family member. She later contracted it and was ill for three weeks after which she continued to experience long Covid. Watch Simmie's story here.Anna Hartley, Wakefield Council's Director of Public Health, said: "These videos are a powerful reminder of the effects of the virus and I hope they encourage others to do all they can to keep safe.

"It is important that if you have symptoms, even if they are mild, to please act quickly – self-isolate and get tested. Please do not ignore any symptoms you might have as you could be spreading the virus to others who are more vulnerable at risk."

Anyone displaying coronavirus symptoms – of a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell - is urged to get a test by accessing local testing or by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119

The local testing service is also available from Monday to Friday and bookings for appointments can be made at www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 01924 224497

The Wakefield district is currently under Tier 3 (very high alert level) restrictions.

For full details of these restrictions please visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/about-the-council/coronavirus-information ​