A mother-of-two from Pinner has spoken out to raise awareness of the long-term effects of coronavirus after being diagnosed with Long COVID.
Niamh McEnery, a university lecturer from Pinner recently returned to work after being signed off for nine months and still suffers from joint pain, fatigue and ‘brain fog’.
Now Niamh is speaking up to raise awareness of how Long COVID can continue to affect your health months after testing positive for COVID.
Niamh wasn’t hospitalised when she caught Covid-19 a year ago but had an unpleasant couple of weeks, despite her family shrugging the virus off with relatively mild symptoms.
She said: “Long COVID has stopped me doing simple things like going for walk with my children, swimming or strolling into the village for a coffee.
“I never struggled with breathlessness but had terrible headaches and joint pains. It physically felt like the virus was moving around my body systematically attacking different parts of it.
“I remember eating Christmas dinner and not being able to taste or smell anything and still haven’t recovered those senses.
“I find too much stimuli like the TV and radio being on just overloads my brain and leaves me feeling confused. Things have got better but it’s a case of one step forward, two steps back.”
Niamh set up a Long COVID Facebook Group in Harrow which she says has been a great source of support but finds the proliferation of online books about COVID-19 and supposed cures frustrating.
She said: “We’re all hoping for some scientific breakthrough but there is a lot of questionable material out there which preys on people’s desire to find a cure.
“I’m equally frustrated by those who claim COVID-19 is a hoax or that too much fuss is being made about it. It’s very real and the random way that it affects people is something everyone should be concerned about.”
Niamh also praised the Elliott Hall Medical Centre for their support but said its hard waiting for more information and medical papers on Long COVID to be published.