Image Copyright: Will Nutland, 2020
Image Description: Black and white image of a person’s shoulder and partial view of their arm and torso. The shoulder has been taped up with patterned physiotherapy tape.
COVID-19 – it’s either hospitalisation and death for old people, or just a mild-flu, right? That’s the narrative.
For tens of thousands of us – many of whom were never hospitalised, the experience of living with COVID has been largely ignored, or brushed aside by medics who don’t know how to treat us. “Maybe some counselling would help?” one professional asked.
As people on social media post photos of their park based workouts, throbbing muscles exposed in tight tee shirts and shorts, I look down at my almost-gravity-defying man-boobs, and my ever-growing COVID belly.
Exercise is almost out of the question. Lifting a plate up into a shelf causes pain like that of the dead arm given by a school-yard bully. Pins and needles pinch at my limbs throughout the night, interrupting dreams of when we can hold and gather and embrace once again. Some days my arm flops by my side, only able to function when held and supported by my other arm.
Just like mild-flu. Sure.