• James Hewlett

Valentine’s 2021

It has been exactly one whole year since I last went and saw/did a live thing. Valentine’s Day 2020 was spent in London with friends in York Hall watching a really great independent wrestling show with a few hundred other people.

The sheer idea of that feels completely alien at this point. We were in the second or third row, packed in, not as tight as a crammed gig but still pretty cosy with everyone talking, shouting, cheering, coughing, laughing, drinking around one another... no masks, no sanitisers, no cares in the world.

By this point we knew about coronavirus as it was still being called everywhere, general population using COVID-19 came later, but there hadn’t been more than a handful of cases reported in the UK yet and no one was super concerned.

I caught it that night.

It’s not been confirmed, when I went to the doctor a week later it was a few days before testing for the virus was taking place across the country but it was diagnosed as a ‘viral upper respiratory tract infection’ and all the symptoms were completely accurate based on what was known at the time.

The time between infection and symptoms lines up too and based on the packed tubes we were on and everything else up there I’m certain that’s where I caught it.

I was lucky though.

It was the sickest I’ve been in my life, I couldn’t speak, I felt like death, I couldn’t eat and I was coughing so much and so violently that I tore my oesophagus and was coughing up blood pretty consistently.

I am lucky because that was it. I didn’t have to be put on a ventilator, I didn’t have to go to hospital, hell it was so early in this things tenure that I still saw a few people I am close to because they were looking after me and I them as they were sick with something totally different.

I was lucky because I didn’t infect anyone else when I very easily could have. Had I known what I had and how easily this infection spreads I wouldn’t have ever left my house for the three or so weeks I was super sick.

I really miss going to gigs and wrestling shows. I miss seeing the small group of friends I really care about in person. I miss a lot of things, but I absolutely think that we all need to continue to stay the fuck at home and not see other people as much as humanly possible and that is a damn site more than it seems most people are doing. You who are not doing that are fucking it up for those of us who are and I do not care what your excuse is.

I want to be able to go on holiday, I want to be able to see bands, I want to watch grown ass men do athletic things in predetermined fights for entertainment. I want to do these things this year but I don’t think I’ll be able to.

This is preventable.


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©2017 by James Hewlett.