'I’ve been ill for 16 months' - Kingsclere children's entertainer opens up on battle with long Covid
A CHILDREN’S entertainer has spoken out about her struggles with long Covid, describing it as “the worst illness I’ve ever been hit with”.
Kingsclere resident Kate Izzard, who runs award-winning children’s entertainment company Jollypop with her business partner Grace Durber, said she has struggled with constant exhaustion and breathing problems for the past 16 months.
She first contracted the virus in March last year – although tests weren’t available at the time – and was seriously ill for four months, often leaving her bed-ridden.
Ms Izzard, 31, then struggled with breathing problems, hindering her ability to perform as a singer at events and children’s parties, before testing positive for the virus again around Christmas time.
This time she didn’t have a temperature or a cough – two of the classic coronavirus symptoms – but did suffer from a lack of taste and smell, as well as stomach problems.
Since then, Ms Izzard has said she’s frequently “wiped out”, comparing her symptoms to being hungover without having drunk anything.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News, Ms Izzard said: “The doctors think, having had it twice, I’m suffering from long Covid symptoms from both bouts of the virus.
“I’ve had ongoing stomach issues that I didn’t have before, plus the ongoing breathing problems, the tiredness.
“I’ve been talking to the doctors for months but there isn’t really anything they can do because nobody really knows what the long-term effects of Covid are.
“My long-term advice has been to stop everything and not work anymore, and then build it up.
“But I can’t do that because there are bills to pay and companies to run, and really the only advice they can give is to do as little as possible and at some point you’ll probably get better, but there’s no timescale on that.
“But I’ve been ill for 16 months now.”
Ms Izzard, who has had both vaccinations, said she now has to carefully plan her week to ensure she doesn’t overwork her body.
She continued: “To be told at 31 you need to slow down and not work, it’s crazy.
“Before Covid I was an average 31-year-old, running around, going to the gym, and now I have to measure the decisions I make based on whether my body can do it.
“It’s constant up and down and comes out of nowhere – sometimes I have good days and sometimes terrible days when I’ll feel like death.”
Ms Izzard is now calling for more Government support for sufferers of long Covid, which is believed to affect around a million people in the UK.
She said: “There’s not a lot of financial support out there.
“I said to the doctors, if you tell me not to work, how am I supposed to pay my bills? There’s no answer to that.
“There’s no Government support for the long-term effects people are getting from Covid – it’s not talked about enough.
“People need to talk about it more. I’m not alone in this in terms of the long-term effects and the way it’s literally affecting everyday life.”