Kuveri Katjangua is a 44-year-old dad of two who lives with his wife and children in Newcastle. Kuveri caught Covid in December 2021. Here, Kuveri describes how Covid has affected him and why becoming fully vaccinated and remaining vigilant is vital.
“When I caught Covid, my first symptom was a runny nose and, soon after, I developed a cough. Over the course of the next week, my cough worsened, and I felt absolutely dreadful. I did take a PCR test, but it came back negative, so I tried to get better at home, but I just felt like I was getting worse.
“At some point, I started to feel really scared, I couldn’t catch my breath properly and I knew something just wasn’t right. My condition was deteriorating by the hour. It was at that point that I decided to go to the hospital.
“When I arrived at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), myself and my one-year-old son (who was also poorly) were taken to a private room and tested for Covid. We both tested positive, and I was admitted.
“My oxygen levels were really low, and I needed help with breathing. Thankfully my son was able to recover at home with my wife, but I was taken straight to a Covid ward, and an oxygen mask was put on me. I had to wear the oxygen mask for three days until my cough subsided a little and I could breathe a little bit easier.
“After three days, the mask was taken off and I remained in hospital for another two days before I was discharged. When I was discharged, I was given anti-viral medicine that I had to take for around four weeks which greatly aided my recovery.
“Looking back, it was the scariest week of my life. I was worried about my son at home but I was also so unwell myself. I genuinely count my lucky stars that I was double vaccinated when I caught Covid.
“I have now received the booster as I definitely do not want to catch Covid again. I am still recovering from long-lasting effects too. I am slower at doing everything, at thinking, working things out such as sums or directions, and when doing any physical activity. I still haven’t returned to the gym, and I was a regular gym-goer before I caught Covid, and I also struggle to concentrate for any decent length of time.
“For anyone who hasn’t received their vaccine, or who isn’t fully vaccinated, I urge you to think again about your choice. Not only are you risking your own health but you’re putting the lives of others at risk too. You don’t know the immune system of that person you sit next to on the bus or the person you stand next to in the supermarket. They could become seriously ill from Covid.
“We must think about our NHS too. I put off going to hospital longer than I should, but I know how overwhelmed the medical staff are and how tirelessly they’re working to save lives on a daily basis. If you don’t want to get the vaccine as you think your immune system is strong enough without it, do it to protect others which, in turn, helps protect the NHS.
“I know currently there are no legal restrictions in place for Covid, but I think it’s so important that we all keep wearing a mask indoors, especially in crowded and poorly ventilated places. We should keep washing our hands too and keep our distance where possible.
“Covid really isn’t a virus to be messed with and following sensible actions such as wearing a face covering and hand washing, as well as becoming fully vaccinated, is the only way we can start to live our lives normally alongside Covid.”