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Stop the rumours and stigma, pleads Covid sufferer


Mayo person with coronavirus appeals for public awareness and cooperation

Michael Duffy

A person living in Mayo who contracted the coronavirus is appealing for the public to be more sympathetic to the plight of a family who have to deal with such an ordeal.
The person, who wishes not to be named in order to protect the identity of family members from further attention, said it is inevitable that more Mayo people are going to contract the virus in the coming weeks and the public should be doing all they can to help families dealing with a confirmed case, rather than spreading innuendo and rumour.
“Everyone wants Covid-19 to be gone, but the reality is it going to be part of everyone’s lives for a long time into the future, and the public really need to realise that they are only heaping misery on a family effected, by spreading rumours and trying to be experts, when they most definitely are not.”
The person said it was very difficult for family members to first of all deal with the fact that a loved one had contracted the virus, but that this was made harder by also having to listen to people in the wider community telling members of the family what they could and could not do.
“I obviously had to go into isolation as instructed by my GP and the HSE for the two-week period after my case came back positive. The symptoms of the disease are well known at this stage, but I didn’t have them all, just a runny nose and a cough, and needless to say, I was shocked to have it confirmed that I had the virus.
“There is then a strict series of measures which I had to endure in order to keep the virus away from my family. They were also instructed by the HSE about what they could do during the period when I had to isolate.
“They were allowed to go to the shop once a day, to walk the dog, to go and get fresh air, yet some people felt they had the right to go around telling my family what they should and shouldn’t be doing. Along with extended family members being accused of having the virus and members of the community expecting them to isolate also. That’s just not fair.”

The person said this type of approach from the public is only adding to the mental-health distress of a family already dealing with the reality of having Covid-19 in their home.
“It’s a struggle to try and overcome the disease physically, but it really does make it all the harder to recover mentally when you know your family are also being stigmatised.
“Mayo is a rural county, people are going to hear of people who contracted the disease, but the best thing they can do is look up the advice that is there for everyone to access from the HSE.
“Our family followed the advice we received very carefully, and now we want to just get on with our lives. Over 600 people in Mayo have now contracted the virus, many more will, and the public need to be sympathetic and careful with their words and actions going forward,” the person concluded.