A-Z

Sue

Age at interview: 61
Brief Outline:

Gender: Female
Ethnicity: White British
Background: Sue is 61 years old and is White British. She is a charity worker and trainer. Sue provided care for her parents who were unwell with Covid. When she caught Covid herself she was sick for about a week. She was advised to take paracetamol when she had Covid. However, she says that this did not improve her symptoms much. 

 

More about me...

When Sue first heard about Covid she dismissed it as a news item that would die down. After some time, Sue became aware that the Covid-19 pandemic was getting worse. For example, some students on her training course did not arrive due to health conditions, and the students who did turn up had to socially distance. She also said the reports of deaths and hospital admissions made the pandemic seem real.
 
Sue explains that her life changed quite a bit during the pandemic. For example, she used to live quite an active lifestyle, but all of a sudden she could not go to her yoga classes. Sue also had to stop going to her local choir. Her family situation changed too: for a while she was not able to see her parents. She was particularly worried about her dad, who had been in and out of hospital for the past few years. He was seeing carers multiple times a day, so there was a worry that he could catch Covid this way. As she puts it, "so suddenly my whole social life shrank." 
 
Sue thinks she caught Covid from supporting her parents while they were unwell with Covid themselves. When she found out she was positive her daughter became very scared that she was going to die, but Sue thought this was very silly because her symptoms were quite mild. Sue took paracemtol and cold relief tablets, but the tablets did not really improve her symptoms. 

 

 

Shortly before the March lockdown, Sue’s sister decided not to risk coming to a birthday lunch.

Shortly before the March lockdown, Sue’s sister decided not to risk coming to a birthday lunch.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
EMBED CODE
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

I think when I first heard about Covid or and Coronaviruses as I think it was first sort of, the terminology first used in the media, I just, I didn’t dismiss it but I just thought, ‘Oh it’s..’ and I know something like SARS or MERS, they were serious but they were quite regionalised and didn’t, you know, spread to a worldwide pandemic so I just thought it was a news item that would sort of die away and so on and then when things started, not hotting up a bit politically or whatever but my birthday’s on the 17th March so I, I was going out for a meal for my birthday for lunch and I asked my sister and my brother-in-law if they’d like to come and my sister who had had an operation on her heart at the end of the previous year, 2019 and has had a bad experience. She’s become sort of quite, don’t know what the word is, not paranoid but she’s become a bit very careful. So, she said that she decided that they, they decided they wouldn’t come and then of course on the Monday, the following Monday, which I think was the 20, I can’t remember the 26th or the 27th or something that’s when lockdown was announced.

 

Sue described calculating the risks of Covid transmission when she was caring for her elderly parents.

Sue described calculating the risks of Covid transmission when she was caring for her elderly parents.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
EMBED CODE
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

No, I’d, I didn’t think twice about it, I just went, and I had said, you know, “if you need me, ring me” and my mum, you know, my mum did ring me, and I was the only person basically they would ring. And I knew that because I live on my own, I wouldn’t have been putting anybody else at risk.

 

I knew when I was with my parents, I was likely to get it because I’d been up so close particularly with my dad, you know, because you have to get close to him, a) to feed him and give him his medication but [b)] also because he can’t hear you. So, we’re both shouting at each other, which increases the chance of, you know, air transmission, through the air so to me I thought it was almost inevitable to be honest.

And often people make those decisions with their heart rather than, you know, rather thinking about them, they’re instinctive sometimes and then when you’ve done it once, you think, ‘Oh I’ve done it once therefore I might as well do it again,’ you know.

 

Sue was mostly socially distant with her father, but sometimes he wanted to hold her hand.

Sue was mostly socially distant with her father, but sometimes he wanted to hold her hand.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
EMBED CODE
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

We always social distance and we haven’t hugged or anything like that but when I was there, you know, I did hold my dad’s hand and that kind of thing and when we left him at any time or when I left, when I went over he’d always want to touch you because he couldn’t see you, you know, just touch your hand as a way of saying goodbye, you know, and to me, I wouldn’t have been able to say no to that, you know, that but that was my choice you know. But I suppose I was potentially putting him at risk as much as vice versa so it’s a really but as you say everyone has their own, their own assessment of risk, their own threshold, their own priorities when they’re risk assessing and so forth.

 

Sue lives alone but wasn’t worried because her sister and a friend helped with shopping and she knew of extra support within the community.

Sue lives alone but wasn’t worried because her sister and a friend helped with shopping and she knew of extra support within the community.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
EMBED CODE
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

So, a friend brought some shopping round. My sister brought some shopping round and we had a conversation through the window, and I had, I had been taking shopping round to a friend and to my mum as well during lockdown. A friend who was decided, had decided to shield and things so and I think fortunately I didn’t have to use the service but a wonderful a wonderful kind of, which I think has happened all over the country, so voluntary organisation started up where volunteers were collecting people’s prescriptions, getting their food, checking on them. All that kind of thing which a friend’s family is involved in, so I knew that if the worst came to the worst, well I had offers of people to bring me food anyway so that wasn’t an issue which was, which was good.

 

Sue’s niece thinks that the virus will get weaker, like a cold virus, over time. Sue’s own experience of Covid was nothing like the ‘common cold’.

Sue’s niece thinks that the virus will get weaker, like a cold virus, over time. Sue’s own experience of Covid was nothing like the ‘common cold’.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
EMBED CODE
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

Well, I know there’s a risk of getting it again and that obviously the jab, they still don’t know whether, if you get it again whether that means you can pass it on or not. At the moment they’re saying they don’t know and also that, you know, we’re likely, it’ll likely be a bit like the flu jab, these new variants coming out that we might have to have the jab every year or every six months and so on and my niece actually works for AstraZeneca. She’s just started a new job with them. She works in not in vaccine, she works in developing cancer treatments but in the lab and everything and she’s a biochemist. So, what she’s said is that hopefully the, and I think Chris Whitty has said this as well, that the virus will gradually get weaker, and it’ll just become like a common cold virus. But I was, but ironically, I would say that for me, when I’ve had a cold in the past, you know, it can be just, it doesn’t necessarily make me tired but that swimming head thing, you know, it has the effect on my ability to do things as much as probably the virus. The coronavirus had on, or the Covid virus had on me this time although the sort of fatigue thing, I don’t normally get that with a cold, and it probably doesn’t last as long.

Previous Page
Next Page