Coronavirus: Chichester woman speaks out about contracting COVID-19

Laura Gibbs
Laura Gibbs

A Chichester woman who has contracted COVID-19 has spoken about her experience with the virus.

Laura Gibbs is a manager at The Duke and Rye in West Street, Chichester and believes that she contracted the virus while in either Chichester, Bognor Regis or Littlehampton.

Speaking to The Observer, Laura called the support she has received from friends and family 'amazing' but said the virus is 'one of the worst things I've ever had'.

The 26-year-old from Chichester also condemned the actions of some people who she said were despondent about the virus.

She said: "I'm lucky that I'm young, otherwise healthy and have no underlying conditions that can complicate the virus, but it's still one of the worst things I've ever had. I have been in isolation since Monday last week, as I was practicing distancing and only going out for essentials anyway, but I started showing symptoms last Wednesday.

"Thankfully I live alone so hopefully I haven't passed it on to anyone. It started with a headache, muscle aches and fatigue. Within a few hours I had the dry cough and fever.

"I was coping with it okay until late Saturday night, my cough had got progressively worse over the week, I had to call an emergency ambulance after using 111 and taking their advice as I couldn't breathe properly (hyperventilating) and had severe pain and tightness in my chest.

"The paramedics arrived quickly and were wearing full PPE. My temperature when they took it was 39.7°c. It was at this point I was tested but it was decided to keep me at home instead of hospital as my breathing improved by this point.

"I was told I have pneumonia, but there is literally nothing they can do for it as there is currently no treatment or cure for the virus. I was later told the test was positive and to keep in isolation.

"Today is day 5/6 I've been ill and I'm feeling a little better, but still not out of the woods. I am safe to leave home by Thursday but I will be self-isolating until my symptoms are completely clear, and with the pneumonia this is likely to be another week or two.

"The help and support from family and friends I've received has been amazing. It's great to see the community coming together to help everyone in need. However I did get quite upset at how many people seemed despondent about the virus and were blatantly ignoring the guidelines and advice from the government and NHS.

"I just hope with these new measures in place they start to realise how serious this is and how we all need to act now to limit the damage."

Find out the latest NHS guidance here.