A-Z

Karin

Age at interview: 53
Brief Outline:

Gender: Female
Ethnicity: Swedish
Background: Karin is 53 years old and is Swedish. She lives with her partner and son, and works as a designer. Karin wasn’t particularly worried about Covid when she first heard about it. She contracted Covid soon after receiving the Astra Zeneca vaccine. Recovering took about ten days, though she still feels her taste and smell are not the same.

 

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Karin first heard about Covid in January 2020. She knew some people who had contracted Covid, but they had rather mild symptoms so sheassumed it was like the flu. When it hit the UK, she did not feel that panicked, though she did begin to feel that the television coverage was “overwhelming”. Karin felt like she could manage the pandemic more because it was sunny outside. She was not too worried about catching Covid because she did not have any underlying health conditions. However, she was worried about her mum, who is in her 80s and lives in another country.
 
Karin received the Astra Zeneca vaccine. She says that she was puzzled by people who would not receive the vaccine because of fears of blood clots. Karin reflected on her experience with the contraceptive pill, which has a much of higher risk of blood clots. 
 
After her vaccine doses, Karin felt “invincible” and went away on holiday. She contracted Covid from her partner while doing mandatory post-travel isolation in her home. When Karin caught Covid, it felt like a bad flu with high fever. She lost her sense of smell and taste, but did not develop a cough. Karin recovered after about ten days, though she still doesn’t feel like her taste and smell are back to normal.  

 

Karin was not impressed with the way the British media covered the news during this period and called it ‘fear-mongering’.

Karin was not impressed with the way the British media covered the news during this period and called it ‘fear-mongering’.

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Yeah I think it was around January or so when people started to say that, yeah there’s a new disease in town so to speak and people who had been like I’m Swedish so I know that people who had been in Italy on a skiing trip they all brought back Covid and, you know, it wasn’t like they were dying or anything so I thought okay, okay it’s just a flu or, or something similar. But then everything got so much more dramatic especially here in England there’s so many more people here so and very good coverage of course, the media went crazy and were you know loving the situation even though it was so horrible it was just oh a party in, on the radio and television, newspapers, magazines, everywhere it wasn’t, you know, it was almost like you know, happy days for the media and that disgusted me slightly because, you know, they make a bigger thing out of something that might not be so big and with that they also frightened a lot of people and especially older people and vulnerable so I was pretty disgusted by the whole thing so that’s how I felt.

 

Karin stopped looking at the news when it became too overwhelming and time-consuming.

Karin stopped looking at the news when it became too overwhelming and time-consuming.

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Television, you know, I ahhhh, my mother is a television addict, you know, news so I’ve got that in my blood but there were weeks when I couldn’t turn on the television at all because uh it was just too overwhelming, and it made me angry and upset so I stopped that. But when I was watching I could not turn it off so it’s that or nothing and what it does to you, you kind of know where so yeah it was media, media, media, media, radio, radio and television, Sky, CNN, BBC News, you know, flick, flick, flick, flick, flick of.

 

Karin feels less judgmental than she was at the beginning of the pandemic.

Karin feels less judgmental than she was at the beginning of the pandemic.

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No it’s more in general how you behave how you have behaved amongst people throughout Covid that it’s so easy to be critical towards people that you’re not, you know, standing 2 meters, you know, of course and also you see people dropping masks everywhere, there’s masks lying around everywhere and you think “bastard why don’t you pick up your masks” because then you can think “oh that poor person dropped their mask, you know, because we’re not used to having any masks”. So if you pull it down, pull out your keys from your pocket your mask could slip out and then you have somebody like me coming after “oh how could you drop it, you know, bastard” and there were lots of these plastic gloves everywhere and yeah. And yeah you know, it brings out the worst in you doesn’t it the suspicion, yeah definitely it’s almost like, you know, a war, warzone feeling but everybody could be your enemy.

 

Karin felt she’d be fine if she got Covid.

Karin felt she’d be fine if she got Covid.

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Yeah I wasn’t so worried myself because I don’t have any underlying, you know, illnesses, well I mean I didn’t know that, that wasn’t really the fact you could still actually get it even through you didn’t have, I mean get it bad and also that I was quite young, I’m 53 now I was 52 when it happened, and I felt, you know, I can handle this I’ve been, I’ve had flu before and I’ve had this and that and yeah I felt strong. So no I wasn’t worried.

 

Karin emailed her neighbours to let them know that she had Covid.

Karin emailed her neighbours to let them know that she had Covid.

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We actually wrote an e-mail to everybody to let them know, you know, keep out kind of thing, we wrote an e-mail just, because we have so many old people, our neighbours, we just wanted, you know, to, black and white this is how it is and then you can choose another way around our house or, or whatever you want, yeah. No misunderstanding.

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