Just when it felt safe, we caught it

More than two years after narrowly avoiding lockdown in Bethlehem, after mysterious months of mask-wearing, social distancing and excessive ventilation, enduring myriad unintelligible and illogical restrictions, a spell in hospital with a gall-bladder infection and experiencing all the joys of a long low-fat diet – just when it felt safe to come in out of the cold, I caught Covid.

To be accurate, my wife and I both caught Covid, testing positive on the same day. She, being more resilient than I, was over it within a week; my version lingered for another three days. I still feel tired and have minor pains in my back.

Why should you be interested in this? Rumour has it that about seven people out of ten in England have had Covid in one form or another. And that’s the interesting thing – in one form or another. Because nearly everyone appears to be affected differently.

My wife and I both had the symptoms of a very bad head cold, with a few vague add-ons such as peculiar head pains and a certain amount of shivering. But neither of us had the “official” symptoms – high temperature, sore throat, loss of taste or smell. We just felt very ill, and so tested ourselves.

One friend said she felt “fantastic” while still testing positive. Others felt more or less OK. But of course many have been laid very low, with symptoms that go on and on and on, debilitating and more than distressing.

Naturally we know several people who have not caught it. Half a dozen of them have never been vaccinated. Others have had the full range of jabs. We have had three jabs and still caught it. We might ask what the jabs were for; you might answer that we would have been much more badly affected if we hadn’t had them, but that is conjecture. In fact, most of it is conjecture.

In view of all this, it must be right to return to normal life now, or we never will. Even civil servants might risk it.