A Message From Matt – 19th October 2020

So I caught it. The invisible and deadly virus that I have been terrified of for the past 6 months. Despite us not really seeing anyone for the first three months of lockdown, despite all the hand washing and alcohol gel, despite the face masks and social distancing, I still managed somehow to pick up the virus.

We don’t really know where it came from and in truth we never will. That is perhaps one of the most frustrating facts about this virus.

So, what lessons have I learned over the past 2 weeks?

1 – This virus can find you, no matter how careful you are. For me, this underlines the importance of everyone ‘doing their bit’ to keep others safe.

2 – My personal experience of the virus was not too bad at all. I was fortunate to be one of the mild cases. I first had a mild temperature a week ago on Sunday and ordered the obligatory test, which to my surprise came back positive.

Following the positive result, I was a little tired and achy for a couple of days and then I lost my voice for a day or two. After this, I felt generally ok (not perfect, but ok) for around a week and then I lost my sense of smell for a couple of days. It just vanished all of a sudden which is rather disconcerting I must admit. After that, I have been fine and I am pleased to report that I feel as if I have completely recovered, having got back to my exercise regime three days ago.

3 – Despite my case being very mild, the sheer ‘catchability’ of the virus does make me worry for some of my frailer family and friends (see point 1 above).

I suppose actually having the virus has put things into perspective for me and this experience has, once again, reinforced the fact that the media reports on the extremes of things.

When I went to book my test, I expected the whole experience to be a nightmare given media reports of 3 / 4 day wait times and 300-mile drives! My experience was anything but.

I ordered my test at 4:30pm on Sunday afternoon, had it in a drive-in test centre 15 minutes away from my house at 6pm that same evening and then the results followed only 24 hours later – pretty much a flawless service in my view.

Now, I am not saying that no one is having issues with testing, but it does go to show that the media rarely report on the positive. I haven’t seen a single media report where they interview someone about testing and they just say “yes – my experience was very speedy and efficient thank you very much” – it just doesn’t make good news.

They also rarely seem to interview the thousands of people who have had a mild version of the illness. “Well I was a little under the weather for a day or two and then I felt fine” doesn’t make particularly compelling watching I suppose.

But, this does underline the need for perspective when thinking about the virus as with all areas of life. The media will tend to report at the extreme ends of any spectrum, but this hides all of the people in the middle, which will tend to make up the majority.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. For some people, the virus is devastating. It has had a huge impact on many of the client families that we work with and we have lost a relative close to home as well.

But, having now ‘been through it’, I have a healthy respect for the virus, but it’s fair to say I have a more balanced and unbiased view. There is nothing worse than the fear of the unknown and that is the problem with our current fight. Unlike with other crises, we can’t see the enemy, we don’t know what impact it will have on us if we are one of the unlucky ones.

All I wish is that you keep well and keep safe through winter as we head back into a lockdown of sorts and I look forward to ‘seeing’ you at our 2020 Client Event which of course will be held virtually this year.