‘I cried so much’ - Mum-of-four on impact of whole family having Covid

Sheringham family test positive for coronavirus

Claire Gill with her children (from left): Ebony, 10, Lisa, Henry, 7, and Lottie, 3, all of whom tested positive for coronavirus. - Credit: Karen Bethell

A mum-of-four whose whole family tested positive for coronavirus has spoken out about the lasting impact of the disease, and the toll it takes on sufferers’ mental health. 

When Claire Gill, from Sheringham, woke up with aching joints on New Year’s Eve, she thought nothing of it, took some paracetamol and made plans to celebrate the end of 2020 with a Chinese takeaway. 

However, after husband Mike, who works at Morrison’s supermarket, Cromer, also developed symptoms, she decided to order coronavirus home test kits.

“While we were waiting for the results, Mike got worse,” Mrs Gill said. “He was literally bed-ridden, he was sleeping constantly, not eating and every time he moved, he was just exhausted.” 

Three days after posting their testing pack off, the couple received the results. 

“We were both positive, I felt physically sick,” Mrs Gill said. “We were wearing the appropriate PPE and, apart from going to work and shopping, we hadn’t been out, how could this happen?”  

When their children, whose ages range from three to 15, all tested positive too, she was "devastated". 

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“My heart sank – I am supposed to be protecting my children and I felt I couldn’t even do that,” she said. 

With Mike in bed and Mrs Gill and the children cooped up in the house all day, the strain began to show. 

“I cried so much worrying about Mike, worrying about what would happen if the children were as ill as he was,” she explained.

“I was petrified of going shopping after our isolation ended and Mike going back to work – the only thing I wanted to be able to do was to take the children for a walk in the woods again.” 

Mrs Gill was also worried about her parents, with whom she shares a support bubble, especially her mother, who has scarring on her lungs from a previous illness. 

But, luckily, they tested negative, Mike is slowly recovering and, apart from mild, flu-like symptoms, the children were fine.

She added: “I just want to make everyone aware that no one is safe anymore – not for one minute did I think we would get coronavirus, but it just shows it can happen, even if you are careful.”

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