I returned from the Middle East nearly two weeks ago and when I woke up on the Wednesday I felt a bit tired, but I thought it must simply be jet lag. 

By the Thursday I was distinctly below par, but travelled with my wife Hannah to our cottage in Suffolk, as we’d planned.

That lunchtime I suddenly broke out with nasty shakes, it was almost indescribable, but no other symptoms at that stage. I had an early night, but woke up with a high temperature, at which point I thought I must have got coronavirus.

My wife and I have both had the same symptoms at exactly the same time. We’ve suffered together, if there’s any comfort in that. 

It leaves you unable to control your temperature and gives you really unpleasant night sweats which leave everything soaking, along with a persistent headache. 

For a number of days we suffered very heavy aches and pains, but no coughing at that stage. 

That came on day three or four, when it was worse than anything I’ve ever had before.

Of course I don’t know for sure if I’ve really had coronavirus because I’m not being tested, as so many people aren’t. NHS 111 are overloaded and can’t respond, so all we’ve been able to do is self-isolate for eight days now. 

This is the first morning when I feel as if I’m starting to reach the other side, but I feel like I’ve been run over by a bus.

It’s important that people take this seriously. It looks like in reality there are probably around 60,000 people out there with it. 

I know we’ve all heard of people who’ve been able to brush it off and it doesn’t affect everybody in the same way, but you need to take it seriously. You absolutely can’t fight it and it saps every bit of energy

I’m worried that people aren’t taking it seriously. There are people who go into complete self isolation, but there are also the flat earthers out there who don’t believe it’s that much of a problem and are quite blase about it, but we all have to recognise that age does make a difference. For people like me it seems to have a very marked effect.

We’re lucky in that we can walk around our cottage garden while we’re in quarantine. I feel for people who are stuck in flats. It must be very tough.

The Government is trying to maintain the message of keep calm and carry on and that’s all very well, but initially they were simply not tough enough in telling people what they should not be doing, such as not socialising.

The testing regime has not been good at all because this thing has caught them out and there have not been enough testing kits.

We need to build our defences before the onslaught of infections, just as we had to hold back Hitler during the early period of the war to give us the time to build the Spitfires we needed.

As told to Patrick Sawer

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