As you know, there’s nothing going on football-wise right now so I hope you’ll forgive the non-football post I’m making. I wanted to share an experience with you all, solely because I want you to impress upon everybody the importance of following the guidelines set out by our respective governments in dealing with the COVID-19 threat.

A few days ago, my father came down with a bout of…well, ‘something’. He was breathless, had a high temperature, and disorientation. Initially he thought it was just the symptoms of a cold but I became concerned and took him to a medical centre near my house (yes, with an appointment after calling 111). They said that the only thing that concerned them about his state was his oxy levels. I felt relief, because I felt certain they’d have said he had COVID-19 if he did. They simply said that, if his breathing hadn’t improved in 24-48 hours, then to call the hospital for further guidance.

The next morning, his breathing sounded even worse so I rang an ambulance for him. Although I acted logically and rationally, I still didn’t have any words for him when they took him to the hospital. Since then, we’ve been banned from seeing him. They’ve swabbed him to see if he has COVID-19, and although the results are yet to be confirmed, the medical professionals believe he has the virus. They’ve confirmed that he definitely has pneumonia, which we’re keeping our fingers crossed is the only thing wrong. What if it’s not, though? My father is on the ‘vulnerable’ list in the UK because he’s a type one diabetic who is about to turn 70. What if I never see my father again? I can barely compose myself to speak to people (on the phone) that know him because it’s too hard for me. It’s the same for each member of my family, too. Millions of unpleasant thoughts race through my mind, and my moods shift between vengeful, sad, contemplative, and philosophical. None of it helps, though.

Do you want to be in that feeling place? I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s absolutely killing me. Truth be told, even if there somehow was football right now, I’m not sure I could continue to update the site because my mind isn’t on that right now. So if you don’t want to be where I am, feeling like I feel, then please stay at home. Please wash your hands regularly. Please don’t go and see anyone, whether they’re friends or family. I banned my father from leaving the house the moment I heard about this epidemic, way before the lockdown, and he adhered to it. It’s not prevented him from getting it though. Don’t misinterpret that; it’s the only way to stand a chance of avoiding this silent killer so please do as the government advises. All I’m trying to say is that he did everything I asked of him and yet he’s still caught it. That means that anyone can so please don’t aid the spread via carelessness or tunnel-vision because too many will be affected that do obey the rules, never mind if those that don’t obey the rules are taken into account.

COVID-19 may not affect you personally right now, but sooner or later it’ll affect somebody you do care about – and it’ll be too late to do anything about it. Please do what you can to prevent being in the same position I’m in, wondering if I’ll ever see my father again.


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