'I never thought I would become as ill as I did' warns Long COVID sufferer.

Date published: 17 February 2021


An estimated 1 in every 20 people diagnosed with COVID-19 experience the often debilitating effects of long-term symptoms experienced after contracting COVID-19 – commonly known as Long COVID.

Someone is said to have Long COVID (or Post-COVID Syndrome), when symptoms continue for more than 12 weeks after a COVID-19 infection and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis.

Sufferers commonly experience generalised pain, fatigue, persisting high temperature and mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress, anxiety or depression - but many other symptoms have also been reported.

Mark Griffiths, 47, first contracted COVID-19 in March but soon realised something wasn’t right: “Initially I just thought I had a cold, then maybe flu but as my symptoms got worse, I had a test and found out I had COVID-19.

“I didn’t develop a cough until around 6 weeks later – and at this point I knew something was wrong.

“I then developed a whole range of symptoms such as fatigue, constant headaches, concentration and short-term memory problems, joint and muscle pain and breathing difficulties.

“As time went on, I became very frustrated. I was wondering, how long I would feel like this? How long will it take until I can live normally again and go back to work?

“After a while, I started to improve slowly - week by week – before returning to work full-time in September. However, my heart still races, and I still live with ongoing fatigue and headaches.

“People need to be aware that COVID-19 poses a greater risk to your health than you may think. I was a fit and strong individual and now I have symptoms I may have to live with for a long time to come. I certainly never thought I would become as ill as I did.

“Simply being cautious and following the advice can save people going through what I went through and potentially save lives.”

Dr Andrew Furber, Regional Director for Public Health England and NHS Public Health in the North West, said: “Long COVID can cause debilitating illness and a range of symptoms which may affect people’s ability to work, go to school, or even exercise.

“People often assume that if you’re young, fit and healthy COVID-19 will be a short-lived, minor illness for a couple of weeks and then you’ll be back to normal. This isn’t always the case and may develop into something more long-term and severely impact your quality of life.

“That’s why it’s still so important to follow COVID-19 advice closely. It’s not worth the risk.”

To help COVID-19 sufferers with their recovery, NHS England launched the ‘Your COVID Recovery’ website back in July.

Dr Furber added: “We advise anyone suffering with the long-term effects of this disease to contact NHS 111 online or by phone in the first instance.

“The ‘Your COVID Recovery’ website is also a useful source of information, advice and support as you recover from COVID-19 – whether you’re experiencing physical or mental symptoms.”


Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing news@oldham-chronicle.co.uk , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.


While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Oldham Chronicle and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Oldham Chronicle offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer, please consider supporting us financially and help Oldham Chronicle to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Oldham Chronicle