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Peter and Emily Andre open up about their Covid battle

Peter and Emily Andre have opened up about their battle with Coronavirus.

Speaking from their home, Peter and Emily, who is an NHS doctor, told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid about how the virus impacted them and how it has left them with lingering side effects.

Explaining how the virus didn’t follow the typical pattern for him, Peter revealed: "It’s quite unbelievable because everyone has different symptoms. I think one of the key things I wanted to say was don’t ignore your symptoms because they are not all going to be the same, to the point where when I had symptoms I was absolutely convinced that I didn’t have the virus.”

Emily added that even she didn’t think Peter had the virus, saying: "It just wasn’t textbook how it presented, it was a lesson to both of us to be vigilant of your symptoms."

Talking about his symptoms, Peter went on: “I didn’t have a temperature, I had body aches, I had a cough but it wasn’t as persistent as what I had been told but it was persistent enough that I went and got a test. The key thing about that was, once I went and got the test, we self-isolated for ten days so we knew once we got that positive result, that in that ten days we could not infect anyone else.”

Discussing how the virus affected him, he added: “There was a couple of days, it was very unpleasant but people have had it far worse than me. One of my cousins is still on oxygen now and he was sick before me. It just goes to show that everyone has got different symptoms. You can’t ignore it."

He also spoke about how he still has side effects and the psychological toll the virus takes.

"I still have no sense of smell and I went on a small bike ride yesterday and I was completely puffed out. I said to Emily, ‘That never happens to me’. It’s a psychological thing, ‘Is it going to get worse at one point?’ I am 47, I exercise, I feel quite good and yet I have a doctor in the house and had nights where I would wake up and feel like I was finding it hard to breathe. Emily was like, ‘Calm down, a lot of it is anxiety’, Peter told Piers and Susanna.

Emily, who has also had the virus, is hoping to have her first vaccine this week. “I am on standby and I am looking forward to it,” she said.

Asked if she worries about reinfection, and also having to wait twelve weeks for the second dose of the jab, Emily said: “For me, I don’t feel worried. I am in a position where I am relatively young and healthy, so from my perspective, I was very happy to let more vulnerable people come forward and get the vaccine first. Obviously, I am being offered it as part of my job role and I will take it and am very grateful for that… In terms of the second dose, again I do feel happy if I end up just getting one dose. The research is showing that even if the second dose is given after 21 days, with either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine, you do still get a good level of protection... I think it’s about getting a degree of protection to as many people as possible…”

Talking about how his cousin and his cousin’s son are suffering, Peter said: “When I got told that he was sick - both my cousin and his son were both in hospital and on oxygen, and his son is younger than me - all of a sudden I realised psychologically what this is doing to a lot of people. We are so scared about what is going to happen… when I heard that they were in a bad way… it really brought it home how serious this is. I had somebody yesterday send me a message saying, ‘I can’t believe you are being a puppet for the media trying to tell people that this virus is real. You disgust me, we never saw your thing from the NHS saying that you were positive.’”

Asked what it will take to persuade some sceptics just how serious this is, Emily replied: “I think sometimes you can’t persuade some people. If they are so fixed in believing that this is a big conspiracy, how many horror stories do we need to hear? How many front line workers do we need to hear from? I think sometimes you can’t convince everyone but all we can do as individuals is keep sticking to the rules...and if you are eligible, get the vaccine. The only way out of this at the moment is the vaccine, so I would just say to anyone who is eligible, please consider getting it. It is so important.”

On feeling disconnected from his family in Australia, Peter said: “I rang the embassy because I looked online and saw that there were certain guidelines and criteria that you had to meet for travel… Apparently, you have to be an Australian citizen, which I am not, and I regret now so much that I am not an Aussie citizen. At the time I could have got my citizenship I was in England and things were moving well and I was like, yeah I will go back and do it, and I didn’t. That has come back to bite me and now I can’t go back and see mum and dad.”

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