It is rare that I write about personal matters, but I wanted to mention my recent time in self-isolation with suspected coronavirus. I am not seeking to generate pity or sympathy. I hope that sharing my own experience may give readers a perspective on the crisis which has gripped our country and the world, and to underline the importance of unity and resolve in our collective response
The high temperature, cough, deep muscle aches and night sweats were relatively straightforward to cope with. The shortness of breath was the most difficult, so much so that I was ear-marked for an ambulance at one point. However, my breathing eased and I could continue to recuperate independently. I spent 9 days in complete self-isolation and I am pleased to say the symptoms have all cleared. All that was left was incredible fatigue, a residual cough and the loss of my sense of taste.
Although I am no athlete, I am relatively young and in reasonable health, yet this was the most ill I’ve ever been. Which is why we should be concerned to think the effects of this illness on the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
The 7 and 14 day isolation rules, along with ‘social-distancing’ measures, may seem an inconvenience, but they will save lives. Put bluntly, our individual choices will determine how many people may die. There can be no greater consideration than this.
The announcement of Covid-19 related deaths at Stepping Hill Hospital is a stark warning to us in Stockport. We are all on the frontline of the battle to beat this dreadful illness. By our own examples, let us heed the rules on isolation and social distancing, protect the most vulnerable and care for one another.
Everyone working in the NHS, those working hard to beat this vile virus, and all those supporting others in whichever way, have my complete admiration.
I know how hard everyone is working at Stepping Hill Hospital, at our local GP surgeries and in social care, to name but a few. My first priority is to do everything I can to ensure they have the equipment, tools and resources they need to treat and care for people.
My small office team continue to work incredibly hard on behalf of people locally and I ask for your patience at this time, as we prioritise Covid-19 related matters and cases. I understand that this is a particularly distressing time if you have loved ones abroad. We are doing our best to help with geting them back to the UK.
I am working to ensure that the Government's economic package helps as many workers and businesses as possible. It is vital that as many jobs are saved, through the furlough scheme, and that the self-employed are supported more quickly.
I wish to thank all those who have expressed their good wishes to me personally over the last few weeks. I also wish thank to everyone who has stepped forward to volunteer in our communities. Individual acts of kindness, as well as decisive measures from Government, will be what gets us through this crisis.
Please all take care.