A carer from Southport has revealed what it is like to suffer from Coronavirus.
And she called for more to be done to make sure that all essential and key workers have urgent access to potentially life-saving protective equipment (PPE).
Helen Maloney said: “You want to know what probable coronavirus feels like?
“It sneaks up on you with a little dry tickly cough. Soon your whole body aches and you can’t get out of bed, the fatigue is debilitating.
“I have had four days so far not moving out of bed. Sleeping 15 plus hours takes one away from the body aches, and the head that feels like it’s in a vice.
“Your temperature fluctuates – one minute you are boiling, the next, you are wearing everything you possess.
“Your sense of smell and taste comes and goes, your lips feel like you’ve been six months in the Sahara.
“You’re a little bit breathless sometimes. There is pressure on top of your chest. Your mouth feels like a dustbin – but frankly – you stop giving a damn. The world is on hold.
“I am sleeping with my phone to hand in case I need a nice paramedic.
“My friends and family are a vital resource, via phone and social media to keep my morale high.
“I don’t need sympathy – I will recover, whenever that may be.”
Helen, who works as a carer in Southport, has issued a heartfelt plea for all people still working in our country to be given safety equipment urgently.
She said: “I would like to say a heartfelt plea to get the correct PPE in sufficient numbers to all essential workers.
“I may not be on the front line. But I am on the secondary front, helping to look after vulnerable adults as a part-time community carer. I am an essential worker who can’t be spared.
“We are going off sick with this thing – we need the right protective equipment. And in sufficient quantities, to keep ourselves and our service users safe.”
Helen believes there are lots of workers out there who need to be protected.
She said: “All essential workers, including delivery drivers, supermarket workers, bin men etc should be kitted out with PPE and trained on its correct use.
“I also call for research into the mode of transmission, as I was being ultra careful.
“I am fortunate that I probably have a moderate dose of Covid-19.
“In addition, community testing and contact tracing would be helpful to slow it down.”
Using the Covid Symptoms Tracker proved helpful, says Helen, when she first noticed symptoms.
She said: “I used the tracker initially and followed its advice.
“On the first day, it informed me to use NHS 111- online.
“From them I received a seven-day isolation note. They also put my family, who weren’t symptomatic, into 14 days quarantine.
“The next day my symptoms worsened and I developed further ones. Again using the Covid tracker from Kings, I called NHS 111 on their advice.
“The very well-trained call handler, Ashley, dispensed me advice and a further note for 14 days isolation.”
But no Coronavirus tests were offered.
Helen said: “No testing is available, even though I’m in an essential role.
“It wasn’t recommended, unless I progress – God willing I won’t – to needing hospital care .
“Contact testing would be useful to slow this down, but they can hardly put half my carer team into isolation.
“I am certain I followed correct barrier nursing procedures. Plus I hadn’t mixed with another soul not work related, except on the phone, for several weeks.
“This thing must exist in the air.
“We need to urgently understand how to stop transmission.”
If you feel unwell and suspect you have Coronavirus symptoms phone the NHS on 111 or in an emergency call 999.
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