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The Cruellest Of The Cruel & Long Covid

On October 30th last year my brother walked out on his wife of 26 years. They’d been together 33 years before he decided, on a whim to start afresh with someone new, saying nothing at all to his wife and two of his three children. The month before he left, he took his wife away for the weekend and couldn’t keep his hands off her, as she tells it, he was loving, attentive, constantly wanting to be beside her or touching her, telling her he loved her every single day. The night before he left he initiated sex with her and was gentle, considerate, loving and sensual. The next morning, he got up, made her breakfast in bed and told her he was going to visit his Mum and he’d see her later, he even kissed her goodbye. She texted our Mum to let her know he was on his way. Mum texted back to let her know they were out and would be all day, so to tell my brother not to bother. So my brother’s wife texts him to let him know our Mum wasn’t in and to not waste the journey. He texts her back to say he’s not coming back, he’s left her.!

She was absolutely devastated. They had no issues that she knew of. They’d never kept secrets from each other, as far as she knew, and to top it all, she had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.! She was a mess and justifiably so. Three days after he left, his house keys, phone and a note arrived in the post. The note just said he’d taken his name off the rent agreement for their house and all the bills were now in her name alone. The problem was she had no money. He’d gone behind her back and taken his name off of everything that was a part of their lives together, even closing down their joint bank account. Now she is alone, penniless and a month behind on the rent and all the bills. She can’t find work, because she has arthritis in her knees and ankles and she hasn’t worked since the day she gave it up to look after her firstborn back in 1992, so she has no valid qualifications. She can’t get benefits because all his stuff is still in her house and the DWP don’t believe that he has left her. She has no idea what to do with it.

My brother is living it large. He transferred his security job to a new hospital, lives with a woman in Bridlington, who has an autistic teenaged son at home, and only pays half her rent and his share of her bills. He gave his laptop to a mate after cleaning the whole system back to factory settings. He’s deleted all his old social media and opened new accounts. He hasn’t spoken to his wife or eldest daughter since the day he left. He spoke to his son on New Year’s Day and he only has contact with his youngest daughter when she initiates it. He’s destroyed everything he’s left behind, deliberately and cruelly.

It has been nearly three months since Bear tested positive for Covid and he still is not well. After the initial seven days of self-isolation, he felt better and seemed better in himself, other than experiencing a brain fog and being out of breath after climbing the stairs. He went back to work and was sent home within an hour after being doubled over trying to catch his breath after climbing a flight of stairs at work. He was sent to the doctors and given a fortnight off work to recover. After that fortnight he went back to work, still experiencing the brain fog, lack of breath and having a heart rate that was too fast. He worked four hours and was sent home again, exhausted. He slept for six hours.

He is not the only one of his work colleagues experiencing Long Covid symptoms. There are now four staff members who are unable to work more than 2-4 hours a day without feeling exhaustion and breathlessness. Bear worked for four hours every other day in December and was checked by the doctor who found no discernible improvement in his condition, so he is now working 2 hours, every other day. His health has not improved. He is not able to attend Covid Recovery Therapy because his heart rate is too high and his breathing too laboured. An otherwise strong, healthy man has been left with a limited lung capacity, a loss of memory and a too-fast heartbeat, all thanks to Covid.


Nationally Syndicated Editorial Cartoonist

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