The UK’s Covid restricts the use of certain words on its website, including “fat” and “mental illness”. This has led to a petition for an end to Covid restrictions, which is now more than 1.5 million signatures strong.
The who is at higher risk for severe illness from covid-19 is a question that has been asked. Covid restrictions have been lifted and the health of those who are vulnerable to the virus will be at risk.
It’s strange to see folks celebrating their newfound “liberty” when so many of us are left out of the story (Picture: Hannah Turner)
With the advent of the long-awaited ‘Freedom Day’ on Monday, July 19th, came a slew of news articles about nightclub goers eager to dance.
I’m sure I know a couple of them since I’m in my mid-twenties as well. Instead of going out and celebrating, I spent the evening canceling all of my reservations for the foreseeable future at every restaurant and bar I had made.
If they are pinged by the app, individuals who have been doubly jabbed will no longer have to quarantine.
Restrictions have been lifted, the government has declared that double-vaccinated visitors from the United States and Europe would be allowed to enter the country without being quarantined, and infection rates in England are now at one in every 75 people. Sitting in a crowded city bar is a risk I can no longer justify.
As someone who is susceptible to Covid, I have spent endless hours inside my apartment or in physicians’ offices over the past 16 months.
It’s as if I’m living in a parallel world, suffering from medical paranoia. It’s strange to see folks celebrating their newfound “liberty” when so many of us are left out of the story.
Although many establishments have requested that customers continue to wear masks, as well as testing their personnel and restricting tables, it is not enough to calm my nerves.
I’ve been having my groceries delivered and avoiding all public transportation and crowded interior spaces.
I was isolated for 21 days in April of this year in order to have surgery for ovarian cysts and endometriosis excision, and no one was permitted to see me during my four-day hospital stay.
I was housebound after surgery because I couldn’t walk; it felt like a victory when I finally made it to the end of my street. My expectations of resuming a social life like that of other people my age were based on the assumption that as I became stronger, the outside world would become safer.
I suffer from endometriosis, Ehlers Danlos syndrome, and ME, among other chronic diseases. But the possibility of exacerbating my post-viral tiredness is what scares me the most about getting Covid.
In 2017, I had glandular fever and was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis, commonly known as ME or chronic fatigue syndrome, after months of being dismissed. The Epstein-Barr virus, which causes glandular fever, had damaged my immune system and triggered ME, according to the immunologist.
My body was in continuous agony, and the exhaustion could only be likened to a month-long hangover while jetlagged (Picture: Hannah Turner)
In a couple of weeks, my whole existence transformed. I couldn’t even walk my dog, much less run or workout. I had to cease working full-time, socializing, and even leaving my home. My body was in continuous agony, and the exhaustion could only be likened to a month-long hangover while jetlagged.
You’re dizzy from exhaustion, and each day seems like it lasts weeks. I counted down the hours till I could sleep again from the time I awoke.
Within the medical community, ME has a lengthy and complicated history. Exercise and antidepressants were the most frequently recommended therapies for what many physicians considered a psychosomatic disease and rejected by some psychiatrists as “nothing more than a case of mass hysteria.”
The World Health Organization has classified it as a neurological disease, and the controversial graded exercise therapy has just been withdrawn from official treatment guidelines. Despite the neurological categorization, those with ME were not included in the priority category, which comprised “adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group” when it came to vaccine roll-out in the United States.
MEAction, a nonprofit, has worked hard for recognition, and according to a recent study, 76 percent of ME patients who acquired Covid reported worsening ME symptoms, which persisted more than six months for more than two-thirds of the participants.
As someone who is already suffering from post-viral tiredness, the danger that Covid presents to me is more than usual.
Many people were ecstatic to be able to take off the masks that had caused them so much pain and celebrate the almost total removal of limitations, but I was terrified.
An acute case may compromise my immune system, leading in muscular weakness, inability to eat or bathe oneself, gastrointestinal problems, and hospitalization or confinement.
My tiredness and whole-body nerve discomfort may worsen to the point that I am unable to walk more than a few meters, cannot bear light or sound, and am unable to do any activity independently.
We are currently witnessing an increase in the number of formerly healthy individuals who have been diagnosed with extended Covid. Following a minor bout of the virus in February of last year, British rower Oonagh Cousins now suffers from “severe tiredness” and is limited to just a few hours of regular exercise each day. Unfortunately, this means she will not be able to compete for Team GB at the Olympics this summer.
Thousands more individuals will be identified in the coming months, with over a million people in the UK believed to be suffering with long-term Covid symptoms, not counting those who have yet to get an official diagnosis and will soon be living with a chronic health condition.
I worried as others rejoiced at the opportunity to tear off the masks that had caused them so much pain and celebrate the almost total removal of constraints.
Because acceptable limitations remained in place to keep the R rate below 1, and the vaccine rollout was proceeding well, possible infection looked like a tolerable danger from the end of April until restrictions were removed.
My tiredness dictates the majority of my social life; I may spend weeks without seeing anybody other than my girlfriend, with whom I reside. However, I began to meet friends on a one-on-one basis, ate at outdoor restaurants, and spent time at my neighborhood beach.
I had set firm limits, urged my friends to test them on a regular basis, and continued to avoid areas where I knew there was a high danger of harm. Even a cup of coffee with a friend no longer seems worthwhile: infection rates are rising, the number of individuals testing is declining, and new variations are spreading.
Additional Information: Health
Government advice now encourages individuals who are clinically susceptible to ‘consider the hazards of intimate contact with others,’ such as the possibility of being in ‘crowded places, where there are more people who may be infectious, or in confined indoor spaces with little fresh air.’
Following that guidance, it seems that the store, the bar, and the packed beach in the neighborhood are now all considered dangerous places for the 3.8 million individuals who are clinically very susceptible. That’s a lot of folks who aren’t enjoying their “liberty.”
So, while many others celebrate their liberation and make up for the year they “missed,” I’m staying inside till further notice.
Do you have a personal story to tell? Please contact Kathryn Snowdon at [email protected]
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
MORE: Although fewer individuals are dying, we must continue to be concerned about long-term Covid.
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