Coronavirus survivor reveals what it’s like to have COVID-19
Connor Reed, a British man who works at a school in Wuhan, explains how it felt to have the COVID-19 coronavirus, discusses what life is like after 40 days in lockdown and how he thinks people in the UK would cope in similar circumstances.
Reporter: You actually got the disease early on you recovered from it just talked us through the different stages and what they felt like?
Yeah, so this particular virus happens in different stages as you said you get better before you get worse so in my case the first stage was. I had a cold just a common cold my nose was stuffy and I had ear problems sinus problem that sort of thing but then you get better before you get worse so I was getting better and that’s what I got hit with the flu now I’ve had the flu half a dozen times and this was probably the worst I’ve felt with that.
It really was quite bad it wasn’t life-threatening but I did feel terrible and with the flu and I would be stuck in bed. I had had a headache and I just generally feeling unwell. I was getting better from the flu and that’s what I hit got hit with pneumonia.
Now pneumonia I’ve never had that before so that was quite serious for me and that’s the point I went to the hospital.
Reporter: And when you had pneumonia just describe to us we’ve all heard the word but none of us so most of us don’t know what it feels like what did that feel like to you?
Connor: Yeah so pneumonia feels like you’ve only got 20% of your lungs working you can’t take a full breath like you need to. And if you stand up and go and walk into the kitchen you’re out of breath, because you just can’t get that breath.
Reporter: And it also sounds like you’re breathing through a bag and your breath is very crackly and croaky and it generally is not a fun thing at all and it can be very very serious. And you’re young and you look healthy so that must have been a really scary thing.
Connor: Yeah during that time it was just because I don’t really drink I don’t smoke and having that problem was very scary just because I breathing’s like to live. if you can’t breathe you can’t live and so having that being affected was quite a serious thing.
Reporter: How long have you now been living in this apartment in this room that we can all see in isolation?
Connor : I’ve been here for 40 days now over 40 days it’s it’s been a long 40 days to be honest!
Reporter: So do you miss the face-to-face contact with other people?
Connor: I do yes and many other people are in the same boat as well because you go down on the streets and normally this city is very vibrant and there’s a sense of life you go on the streets at night there are people dancing people singing people with families and at the moment there’s just nothing like that anybody that you do see they’re there they have a mask on they’re going to do something and they go straight home there’s no lingering there are no groups of people chatting and it’s quite sad really.
Reporter: what about your mental health and the mental health of you know you’re the people that you’re communicating with in Wuhan?
Connor: Mental health-wise we’re all in the same boat this there’s nothing we can do about it so there’s no point us being down or being unhappy it’s just it is what it is it will be gone soon we’ll get over.
Reporter: Do you imagine people in Britain living the same way that you’re living at the moment because they have to because of the rate of infection?
Connor: I don’t think that lifestyle is very different here in there’s no Western influence and it is completely foreign to what we would be used to I believe that lockdown of a week or maximum two weeks in the UK I would be fine but then people would be wanting to get out people would be wanting to break the curfew and there’s no way that the government could really stop them doing that.
Reporter: so considering what you’ve had to go through do you think that eventually, you will feel safer in China when it comes to the virus than if you were living in the UK?
Connor: I believe yes and no the city that I mean it’s very densely populated and you’ve got thousands of people in the same area so I believe that the spread happened here so fast because of that but back in the UK I believe that the government will have a handle on it and will be able to deal with it in the manner that they should.
Reporter: So you don’t think that levels of isolation that we’re seeing in China at the moment that you’ve been experiencing yourself will be necessary for the UK?
Connor: I believe that if the infection rates were to skyrocket and then those measures will have to be implemented and it will be a case of people that will have to go through some discomfort and just to help everybody else.
Reporter: Finally Connor if we get to the same level of isolation that you’re experiencing at the moment what advice would you have?
Connor: Yeah my advice would be to have a lot of things that will keep you entertained take up a hobby learn a language I would also advise that people don’t panic doesn’t help anybody if there is an isolation process where everybody has to be isolated they shouldn’t think about themselves but think about other people if you are affected don’t go out don’t infect other people stay at home not because it’s uncomfortable but to protect the people around you.
Reporter: have you done anything in the last month you know you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t found the time to do have you learned to language have you read a book that he hasn’t read before?
Connor: Yeah I’ve read a fair few books I have a Kindle which is really handy I’ve painted I I’ve never been good at painting but I’m slowly learning I’m learning Russian at the moment just in my free time my days are busy even though I am isolated it’s definitely important to keep busy so so every morning for half, for now, I do sit-ups and push-ups and just to keep myself from going mental and I’m learning how to cook properly I’ve never really cooked decent meals just anything that you can think of and make sure that whatever you’re doing you’re interested in it and you and you want to do it.
Reporter: Sounds like you’re the model citizen in the age of the virus.
Connor: I wouldn’t say that I do there are many more people in this city that are doing the right thing and ideally the rules.
Reporter: Connery thank you very much for talking to us good luck.
Connor: Thank You