teacher Rob Richardson prepares to read a story on Facebook Live (1)

Dear Editor,

I am clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) after having my spleen removed in 2002, so I’m at a massively increased risk of infection.

In February last year I had to give up my job as a supply teacher and “shield”, which has meant that for over 12 months I have severed my outside contact.

If I went shopping, I went at 9.30pm with masks and gloves, the lot.

This has been multiplied by a factor of hundred given that I am the carer for my Dad who is disabled and pretty much house bound.

Because of this we have had Carers, four times a day, and we could not cope without them.

Our Covid-19 infections may have been through the Carers coming in, as since Christmas the only place my Dad has been to was to get his vaccine on 14th January 2021 and I got mine three weeks later.

The Covid symptoms came on so quick it was quite disturbing. First of all my Dad contracted what he and the doctor thought was Tonsillitis, diagnosed through a phone call.

This soon went over to me and I immediately lost my sense of smell and taste, which hasn’t returned yet, some 3 weeks later.

Then came the persistent cough and feeling of complete weakness.

Literally the slightest little thing would wear me out, in fact I couldn’t get to sleep for coughing.

Everything ached all over, even my eyeballs hurt and all I wanted to do was sleep.

I could hear my breathing wheeze and my Dad was ten times worse and it meant that I was always trying to look after him first and me second, eating and drinking is now problematic at best.

We haven’t been able to eat a proper meal in over three weeks, we nibble and sip but the moment we try more than half a sandwich you can’t keep it in. It’s horrible, simply horrible.

The treatment was rest, get out of bed when possible, open the windows and get some fresh air in, have the fan on at night to help with breathing and pop paracetamol every four hours.

My emergency antibiotics were of no use whatsoever and it was literally a case of let the virus take its course.

Thank God that my Dad had the vaccine in January and I had mine three weeks later.

After speaking with the GP its quite plain that if we hadn’t had the Pfizer jab we would both be dead, as neither of us have an immune system able to fight the Coronavirus.

It’s taken me two weeks more than my Dad as despite being 82 shortly, he’s as tough as an old horse.

Me, my immune system had to really rely on the vaccine and I can’t thank the volunteers enough for getting it out, literally just in time.

The ambulance crews were amazing and were so calming and reassured that the best place for us both was home not hospital.

To the anti-vaccine movement I’d say a little knowledge is a very dangerous thing.

I’ve watched the “anti-vax” videos and the supposed experts on there who tell you that it contains pork, it changes your DNA, it sterilises you, it implants a microchip into you and that it will kill you.

This vaccine has saved my life and the life of my Dad, simple as that.

Since the vaccine my DNA hasn’t altered. I still have one head, I haven’t grown any new toes or started supporting Liverpool FC… I’m the same and I’m still alive, thank God.

If you are in any way worried about having the vaccine, please please ring a professional, the GP, the District Nurse or someone.

Please don’t think that a Facebook thread off someone who you know from the chippy, or a shared video from the USA or something you watched on YouTube is gospel because it isn’t.

Anyone can post a video, have an opinion (and that’s fine) but the only person that should influence you … is YOU.

Please talk to medical professional before you make what is going to be the biggest decision of your life.

It will help save yours, and the lives of everyone around you, from your Mum, your Dad, your Grandparents, and your children.

People who think Covid doesn’t exist should have simply visited when we were both ill and let us cough or breathe on you.

It exists, it’s real and it’s a killer.

I would have swapped having my spleen removed again for not having Covid.

How can you not think that it exists? More than 120,000 dead, I know that the world is full of conspiracy theories thanks to the internet and YouTube, but this is real.

To those who have had it you know what I mean when I say, that you’re left with no energy, no sense of smell or taste, the slightest job exhausts you, you can’t face food as you can’t keep it in, you’re tired constantly and you sit here wondering how the “hell am I still alive?”.

I don’t know if my Dad or I will have Long Covid or scarring on the lungs, but to be honest at this point in time, I don’t care.

We’re both still alive, somehow, he’s seen Manchester United win in the UEFA Cup and he’s happy, that means that I can concentrate on getting myself better.

Yes, I’m worried about the future, I don’t know how this will affect my job, my drumming and from now on I will have to take the lift up to the Streford End! but I’m alive and that is all that matters for now.


Robert Richardson
February 2021

One Comment

  1. Home Atkinson says:

    A great post Robert! The very best of luck and better health to you and your father. May all who read this be encouraged to go for the Vaccine as soon as possible!

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