Zahra was fit and healthy and was really careful to take the precautions necessary to protect herself and her elderly relatives from Coronavirus. She followed social distancing when she could, washed her hands regularly and stayed at home as much as possible. It wasn’t enough. In July she became ill with Coronavirus.

Zahra said:

“I was fit and healthy and for the most part, I was following all the rules so couldn’t believe it when I became ill with Coronavirus. I’ve thought long and hard how I got it and still to this day, I don’t know where, when or how. I had been so careful throughout because I wanted to protect myself and my elderly parents. The shock was unreal; I really didn’t think it could happen to me, but it did.

“I can’t explain how debilitating it is. I was tired all the time, lost my sense of taste and smell, had a bad cough and couldn’t get up for two weeks. I felt like an empty, lifeless shell not knowing then, when or if I’d get better. That’s a frightening place to be; not knowing.

I kept apart from my family so they wouldn’t catch it and that was hard too. In a time when you really need the support of loved ones, I had to do the right thing to keep them safe by staying away and shutting myself off from them.

Even after three weeks I still had lost my sense of taste and smell and I still have a cough that comes and goes.

“This has shown me that truly anyone can catch Coronavirus, even when you are being so careful to protect yourself and your loved ones. I urge everyone to keep following the rules and take as much care as they can – we need to keep ourselves, family and neighbours safe.”