Tamar Dutton, 25, is a trainee social worker living in Newcastle with her mum, Cathy and dad, Paul, who are both in their mid-50s. She is hugely thankful for the vaccine after contracting Covid only three months after her second dose.
As an athletic teenager, Tamar suffered from Post-viral Syndrome for many years after battling an undiagnosed illness. When the pandemic hit she took every precaution and she remained vigilant after restrictions eased. Testing positive came as a shock to her and her friends and family. Being double dosed for Tamar made all the difference because without it she worries things could have been worse.
Today, she is still recovering and is sharing her story to encourage everyone to get both doses of the vaccine, to not only protect themselves from becoming seriously ill but to protect loved ones, friends, family, colleagues and their local communities. For Tamar, getting the vaccine ultimately helps to save lives.
“I tested positive just three months ago in July. I woke up one day with cold-like symptoms not thinking anything of it at first but my gut was telling me something wasn’t right.
Within 24-hours of getting a PCR test, at Gosforth Great Park, I got a positive notification. My mum and dad were speechless. As a family, we’ve been so careful throughout lockdown and still remain vigilant today.
As a teenager, I was struck by an undiagnosed disease which my body fought but at a cost. For years, I lived with Post-viral Syndrome which was once uncommon but is now more widely recognised due to Long Covid. I know what it’s like to live with an invisible disease.
Now in my mid-20s, I no longer suffer from Post-viral Syndrome but living with such a serious condition made me highly aware of Covid. From day one we’ve been cautious. Even after restrictions eased I only saw small groups of double dosed friends and family outside.
Initially, I felt very emotional. I was consumed with worry about my friends, my partner and my parents. I couldn’t help but feel guilty. I’d done everything I could and I still caught the virus. Everyone was shocked. It really sunk in how serious Covid still is.
Then, chronic fatigue hit. All I could do was sleep for two weeks. When I was awake I was floored by flu-like symptoms. It was exhausting and lonely. I self-isolated to protect my parents; they were double jabbed but we didn’t want to take the risk.
It took a mental as well as a physical toll on me. I felt frustrated, guilty and it brought up some old anxieties which is never a pleasant experience. I’m glad to have had support from my family.
Today, I still don’t feel 100%. Some days fatigue just hits me and I find it hard to concentrate. Studying virtually with Lancaster University to become a social worker, means I’m able to go at my own pace. If need be, I take a lunchtime nap or listen to lectures in bed. Slowly things are getting better.
For me, it is more important than ever to keep protecting each other. The vaccine is the difference between life and death not only for you but everyone around you. Covid is still out there. We all need to remain cautious and be kind.
If you can, please get both doses. It's not painful or scary, in fact, it's over in a few seconds. Please remember, it’s okay to have questions. Speak to your GP as well as friends and family who have already had it to inform your decision.
“I am extremely thankful for the vaccine. As someone who has lived with an invisible illness without a cure, I feel fortunate I could do my bit to fight Covid.”