‘It’s no joke. Take it seriously’, says Gauteng man who tested positive for Covid-19

You start the day feeling wonderful. It’s like you have never been sick. Then it hits you, to a point where you can’t lift your arms. When you cough, your lungs burn.

Leon Haywood from Krugersdorp on the West Rand tested positive for the virus on March 27. Image: Leon Haywood

From sore kidneys to shortness of breath, pink eye, fever blisters, nose bleeds, headaches and body aches, these are some of the symptoms a Gauteng man has experienced.

Leon Haywood, from Krugersdorp on the West Rand, tested positive for the virus on March 27.

With no knowledge of where he might have picked up the virus, Haywood suspects it might have been during the week of March 16.

“It started with a scratch in my throat and a postnasal drip. I get that at this time of the year anyway so didn’t think too much of it. I also realised that I was finding it harder to breathe.

“I thought maybe it’s my asthma, but I felt tired as well,” he told TimesLIVE.

On the weekend of March 22, the family received a letter from their daughter’s school informing them that the mother of one pupil had tested positive for Covid-19.

Despite the pupil testing negative, the 41-year-old said on the Sunday morning he woke up with a non-stop nose bleed.

His wife booked him a doctor’s appointment for the Monday.

“I still went about my business as usual. I went to the doctor and filled in some forms. The doctor did a verbal test and asked me questions. Then the doctor did a physical test and looked concerned,” he said.

“The thing they pushed into my nose caused another nose bleed. I went home and carried on as normal but the doctor asked me to self-isolate at home until we received the results.”

“I told my wife it couldn’t be corona because I had no fever whatsoever, and that is the main thing everyone complains about.”

On the Friday, the first day of the national lockdown, Haywood tested positive and was asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Haywood said he moved to the flat on the other side of his house to avoid contact with his wife and two children, aged five and eight.

He said he was visited by a nurse from the department of health. He was put on antibiotics for the secondary infection, pain medication, antihistamines, vitamin C, nasal spray and an asthma pump.

“I told my wife it couldn’t be corona because I had no fever whatsoever, and that is the main thing everyone complains about.”

A close family friend delivered food and groceries to their home.

He said it has been “extremely” hard being separated from his wife and two children.

“Some of my days start with me “man-down” on the mattress in the flat. By the afternoon I  feel so good that I would be willing to run a marathon.

“And then it’s like a switch when you can feel it going downhill again. Next morning you are fine again, only for everything to come back.”

He said he spends most of his time on Facebook reading the “horrified” posts by people arguing over the wearing of masks.

“All I can think about is people in squatter camps, townships and the homeless. We get angry about people going to shops but what are the alternatives for them? Where will Checkers deliver food if they live in a shack, for example?”

He said his wife has had the same symptoms and the doctor has advised her to self-isolate.

Haywood warned that the virus should not be taken lightly.

“Most people are scared, and rightly so. This is not a walk in the park. It is a terrible virus and it seems everyone gets it either in a ‘light’ form or ‘you are going to die’ form.”

By Iavan Pijoos – TimesLIVE

Leave a Reply