Sunday 20 December 2020

I have covid.

Over the past couple of months I played a little ignorant if I'm honest. If I woke up with a sore throat, I'd panic that I'd have the virus, but by lunch I was all fine again and nothing would come of it. In the summer we stopped wiping down our food shop and stopped waiting two days before opening parcels. Even with the next few lockdowns and tiers, I didn't think it would happen to me. And then it did.

I was waiting for it I think. I work in a school as a TA. I work with students with extra needs and this involves sitting with them all day for extended periods of time. The government didn't make students wear masks, only the adults. This meant that when I sat with a student with a mask and shield on, I wasn't wearing them to protect myself, as the masks still let those pesky virus things in, but to protect the students. We started off well. The year groups never mixed and I stayed within one year group bubble. And by bubble I mean the 300+ households in those bubbles freely allowed to mix at their leisure. This was all fine of course, to mix with these households all day for months, but I wasn't allowed to see my boyfriend or my dad during this time, because mixing bubbles outside of a school was a no. Mixing inside a school? Fill your boots. Covid doesn't get through those school gates. But then, it did. Year groups at a time from not only my school, but others, were off as a whole because many of them were positive. It spreads like wildfire. But apparently the Tories didn't see this, despite the unions throwing the stats at their faces. We were told "we see no issue", because of course, the free babysitting service that schools provide allows for workers to go back to work, and for shops to be open and money to be made. And at the end of the day, that's all this has been about.

When cases rose in March we locked down, and that included schools. That was before it even reached the kids we taught. When cases rose faster in September, October, November and December (funnily enough when schools opened...) it was ignored because as we were told before, we are expendable. Teachers are not to be trusted, the government said when it came to exams last year, so why would they listen to us now?

As I've mentioned, I sat in work all day with a mask and a shield on. Every single day. In science I'd wear goggles too, because who needs to be able to actually see anything through layers and layers of fogged plastic these days anyway? I'd handsan every time I walked into a classroom or our office. I only took my mask off in the office, because that was where I'd eat in my two half hours of breaks a day. I watched as people online attended parties and secret raves. They had family gatherings in lockdown 2 then went to work as if they were abiding by the law the entire time. I really went off when a couple of girls I followed had an adult sleepover type thing for one of their birthday's, complete with about 5 or 6 other friends, all plastered over Instagram, whilst I sat and watched their stories, feeling like a complete mug. Ask my dad, I refused to go to birthdays if 7 people were in the house when the 6 people max limit was on. I followed the rules. I still got covid. 

I recently took someone I used to work with off of Facebook because of their "covid's a conspiracy" rubbish. Every time I'd go on the app he would share posts from random "scientists" claiming the vaccine is a microchip or mask wearers are sheep. Classic. It is these people that have led us to be in this hell for the past year. I still feel sick every time I watch Bojo on the tv telling us some new rule he's made up. I listen to the banging on about fines but who has actually been fined this year? Not my neighbour having parties every weekend in lockdown? They weren't fined? The woman at work who is happy to state she allows her son to bring his gf over whenever he fancies (may I add that she then thinks she has any right to complain about the protests earlier in the year, a right of which she does not have)? Not one fine there either.

The government have proved themselves to be a sham this year. At the latest broadcast Bojo was asked about shielders in tier 4, and replied something along the lines of "I hope shielders are not being asked to work". Shielding advice has changed multiple times this year, with latest guidance that that should be going into work, not actually shielding at home. My mum is critically vulnerable. She is still going through cancer treatment, and will be for the next 8 or so years. She has had the letter twice this year to stay home. I however, someone who lives with her, was told to go to work as normal. I was not asked to stay home. I caught covid at work and I brought it into the home where she was. She now has it. 

I was allowed to work and, despite my best efforts to stay safe whilst doing so, STILL caught the virus. Shielding is completely useless unless ALL parties in the home are shielding. This is something the government will never put in place. This is why my mum is now struggling to breathe. 

I, on a personal level, feel no guilt for catching the virus. I did my best to keep it at bay and have complied with the track and trace the whole way along. I am however, angry. I'm angry at the party goers, the back garden shed pubbers who have invited their pals round to watch the match as the pubs have been closed. I'm angry at the government for a. not knowing their own guidance and b. for being completely incompetent, refusing the acknowledge any rise in cases until it's too late, and c. for putting the economy before the health of the people. 

As I write this I can hear my mum coughing her lungs up, on the sofa that she's laid on all day with no energy to get up. My sister, in constant panic attacks that she also cannot breathe properly, and my brother, with OCD, hiding in his bedroom, waiting to be hit with symptoms the rest of us has this past week. My positive test result, sore throat and loss of taste and smell was only the start for my family. We pray that my mum has enough of an immune system to fight this off, and that covid leaves just as quickly as it came around


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