A-Z

June

Brief Outline:

Age at Interview: 60s
Gender: Female
Ethnicity: Black Caribbean
Background: June is in her 60s and is Black Caribbean. She works for the council as a registrar and is also doing a part-time Masters course. June ordered Covid tests online after feeling unwell in December 2020, which confirmed that she had been infected. As June’s symptoms worsened, she called NHS 111 and her GP, who recommended calling an ambulance. A paramedic told her that she would be alright to recover at home. June experienced symptoms of long Covid which lasted for several months. 

 

 

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When the pandemic started, June’s supervisor asked if she wanted to work from home. June felt like this was very generous given that there was no national lockdown. June initially hesitated, but then realised it was probably the right thing to do given that she has underlying health problems and this change could reduce her travel time. 
 
After a while, June did not like working from home. She missed her colleagues and decided to go back to the office. One day, in December 2020, she was driving home from work and felt a bit odd, similar to a cold or flu at its early stages. After a few days June felt worse. June thought of going to a Covid test centre, but she felt too unwell to drive. She decided to order a test through the post.
 
June says she felt awful. She was having a combination of different pain-relieving medications which were not very effective. She also tried some herbal remedies that her friend recommended, which included a mixture of lemon, lime, black pepper, turmeric, and ginger. June lost her appetite and was not eating much.
 
June’s condition got worse, so she rang the NHS 111 helpline. She was also called by her GP who recommended calling an ambulance. An ambulance came and a paramedic assessed June. He felt like her stats were within safe levels, and that she could recover at home. June recovered from some of her initial symptoms, but experienced long-term fatigue that meant it was several months before she could return to work. 

 

 

June took an ‘awful’ concoction of citrus, pepper, turmeric and ginger.

June took an ‘awful’ concoction of citrus, pepper, turmeric and ginger.

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A friend also had it in the early part of y'know, Covid, made me this concoction, which was awful. It had lemon, lime, black pepper, turmeric, ginger in it. But I took it because I think she’d taken it and it helped her. You know, no doctor is gonna see me. You’re kind of left to get on with it. I had to do something and so I, I did, I did take that concoction and my son was very good. He looked after me, but also made sure that I took the concoction and that I was drinking water and so on.

 

June liked being able to monitor her blood oxygen with a pulse oximeter.

June liked being able to monitor her blood oxygen with a pulse oximeter.

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I was able to get an oximeter to check my sat levels. I was able to borrow that. My son went and collected it for me. But that fell a little way into my condition. So, having things like that where you could self-test based on what you were advised and through that app that I was told that I could get the optometer or whatever it was and the simple things that were available via apps that were not, didn’t work as much, but physically having the optometer which you put on your finger and you with practice you’ve got the reading. It was a self-help thing that, that they were real practical and not things that were via the phone as reading.

 

June is concerned about asymptomatic Covid and won’t ‘throw off her mask and skip down the road’ just because she is fully vaccinated.

June is concerned about asymptomatic Covid and won’t ‘throw off her mask and skip down the road’ just because she is fully vaccinated.

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And I spoke to this gentleman on Sunday morning who and this was scary, he was asymptomatic twice, but caught it twice. And the only reason why he knew he had it the second well the first also ‘cos his son had the symptoms. And so they all said, all the family got tested and that’s how he knew he had it.

I, I felt it was really scary. Not only to be asymptomatic once, but asymptomatic twice and catch it twice. And the second time was he did a test through work and that’s how he knew he had it. And I find that a bit scary ‘cos you, you obviously can be spreading it to other people so it’s not as though you’re being reckless. You just, you don’t know you’ve got it and you’ve got no symptoms. So, yeah, it would have been handy, but then I realised that I could have got it again and it could’ve been, I could’ve got it in different circumstances. But your brain logically kind of you know thinks well, could I get it? And you, you try and you try and have guess work, you know, but I got no idea. I got no idea.

No, because you've heard of people, you've heard of, I can’t, think of an interesting story but I’m sure I’ve heard of, I feel as though I’ve heard of people having the vaccine and still getting it mild, but getting it. So, I’m not one of those people that feel, you now, throwing a mask skip up and jump down the road because I’m now fully done you know.

 

June was sceptical about the vaccine but changed her mind because she was so ill with Covid.

June was sceptical about the vaccine but changed her mind because she was so ill with Covid.

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I’ve had my first jab. I think I’m due to have my second jab tomorrow. And I’ve been very sceptical this time last year about having the Covid jab. I didn’t like the idea, it felt quite evasive to me. But having had Covid as bad as I did and for as long as I did, I decided to have to, had to have the jab. So, I had the first jab in March.

 

June recalls when Belly Mujinga, a transport worker, died of Covid following a racist attack.

June recalls when Belly Mujinga, a transport worker, died of Covid following a racist attack.

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Like how was that for you as a black woman and you were just getting this news cycle 24/7 like what did you like make of that at the time?

I think the biggest well the, I was gonna say, the biggest impact was, it was the start of us being a station rail worker, Belly Mujinga. I just think that the way in which the State and her employers have treated her story and her experience is disgusting. You know, the fact that they initially didn’t wanna do anything, the fact that the guy was interviewed and he was let go, you know. What he did was a, was a criminal act and whether and, and it seems to me there was it was too early to dismiss the fact that that they, they were not gonna go any further with the investigations. What investigations did they do to establish that he was in the clear? And I think I read recently that they’re gonna do an autopsy on her and I hope to God they do. And I hope to God that it does show, as much as it can do categorically one way or the other whether he was at fault or not. And then he should be imprisoned, ‘cos he’s, he’s killed someone, taken their life when they were doing their job. He’s deprived a family of their mother, aunt, sister, whatever.

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