By Theresa Goodwin
A man currently receiving care in hospital weeks after contracting Covid-19 is appealing to people to take the virus seriously – and follow safety protocols to protect the health of themselves and their loved ones.
The patient, who gave his name as Toby, made the impassioned appeal from his hospital bed live on Hitz FM’s Spice Room show hosted by JR and Eboni T.
“This Covid thing is really serious. And if people wan fu know, tell dem play wid dis Covid. Everybody hab dis sickness likka joke but me a mek dem know if dem ting a joke tell dem try it. Mi feel lakka me a dead,” the man said.
Toby explained that over the course of three weeks he lost his appetite but did not read too much into it initially. He finally sought medical attention when he began having difficulty breathing.
“After being at home for a while I decided to go to the hospital and called my child’s mother to take me because I could not make it on my own.
“When I went to the hospital, they conducted some tests and told me I had contracted the virus and I immediately started receiving care,” Toby said.
He continued that before he could process the news of his medical condition, he was inundated with calls from people saying they were seeking to verify rumours that he had been placed on a ventilator and had later died.
The ailing man said he was forced to send out a WhatsApp broadcast confirming he was alive.
He said he called the radio show as he felt the need to respond to the claims, particularly as his teenage son had been so distraught by the rumours.
“People were calling me asking if I was dead, and I asked them how could I have died and I was speaking to them on the phone.
“I heard they had to restrain my son because they are saying ‘daddy dead’,” the man said.
The hospitalised patient said he remains in good spirits and is anticipating a full recovery.
Toby also stressed the need for continued vigilance, saying he did not know when or where he contracted the virus.
He is hoping his story will inspire a change in behaviour.
Antigua and Barbuda currently has 367 active cases of Covid-19 and has recorded 14 virus-related fatalities.
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