Kevin picture courtesy of artist Majid Adin
We first met at the beginning of March this year at my neighbour’s house. I spotted you straight away, but my neighbour was having none of it and gaily went hither and thither ensuring your survival. That was a good choice of human Kevin, he certainly wasn’t going to keep it to himself.
You soon leapt to join me and we have now been sharing my body for over 19 weeks, 136 days, 4 months, look at it however you will. As we have got to know each other so intimately, I have decided to call you Kevin, Covid Kevin, so that we can relate on first name terms.
Kevin, nobody can accuse you of not having any imagination or creativity as you manage to cook up the most bizarre symptoms for your virus and, so far, I have counted 66 different symptoms that you have gifted me during our time together. Headaches, fevers, extreme fatigue, bruised feet, cough, the squits, loss of words, dodgy heart, difficulty breathing to name just a few. Did I mention the extreme fatigue? That seems to be your trump card, absolutely dashing the will to live and ability to do anything at all, anything. Cleaning my teeth has become a feat of triumph.
At first, I thought you might just stay for a little while and then be on your merry way but it appears that we are in it for the long haul. I have tried to understand you Kevin and, I have to say, I do have a level of grudging respect for the strength of your survival instinct. I do admit to hating you at first and you are scary, let’s face it, you do seem to take people out all of a sudden and you have no rhyme nor reason as to who you wallop with your indiscriminate gaze. I was talking with my friend Majid (Majid did that brilliant picture of you, he’s nailed you don’t you think?) and he said that I was understanding you all wrong. I was a bit jealous at first, I thought that Majid liked you and I’d developed this deep mistrust of you blah blah blah but anyway, Majid said that me and you have something very important in common. WE BOTH WANT TO STAY ALIVE! Well, that was a game changer. I felt a bit sorry for you then. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want us to be together forever but I get where you’re coming from now.
Kevin, I have been in some really rubbish relationships but you really do take the prize. This has to be the worst relationship ever and I don’t want us to live together forever, but I see now that I can’t just kick you out. It doesn’t work like that. The third person in our relationship, however, is Death and neither of us want him lurking around.
Actually Kevin, apart from the sickness, the wanting to die, the nearly dying several times, the complete head f**k, unemployment and utter isolation, you have gifted me a few things. I’ve certainly found out who my friends are, that’s for sure. Some people have run for the hills. Some people have proper stepped forward. Some people have just talked nonsense. I have also been able to get a bit creative. I started making stuff out of rubbish, papier mache, rather manically, trying to quell the ever rising panic that I wasn’t going to make it out the other side of this, trying to get my hands to work and coordinate because, Kevin, you. have. got. into. my. brain. I’m seriously not happy about that, you are not allowed to stay there. That is my own personal boudoir, a no go zone, you must get out of there Kevin. Another place you seem to like is my feet. I get that, I like my feet too. I like all feet actually, but I particularly like my feet. You have covered them in bruises and made them swollen and painful which means that I am often confined to the sofa.
This brings me to another gift that you have brought me and that is endless box sets. I am coming to the end of this fascination but it has been fascinating. I’ve never had the time, nor the inclination, to sit, lay, dangle, for hours and days upon end watching stuff. I have never felt so utterly crap that all I can do is stare at a screen for days and weeks upon end, being a passive recipient of stuff. There is something quite glorious about that although I find it hard to put into words. One of the reasons that I find it hard to put into words is because you have stolen very many of my words and I LOVE words. You shouldn’t have stolen my words Kevin, that was just rude. Like marching into the sacred boudoir of my brain was rude. You probably found my words in a drawer in my brain and it is rude to rummage around in other people’s drawers without permission. I do feel that once we have established a few more ground rules, and definitely some manners, then we might get along a bit better.
I do like what you did for the environment Kevin, that was cool. If only humans had taken that on board, then it would be something positive out of this whole saga. Sadly, humans can be a bit greedy and more than a little bit stupid, which is probably why you are having such a raging success Kevin. It’s pretty easy to stay alive when loads of humans don’t even believe you exist. There are loads and loads of brilliant humans, though, so there is a great deal of hope. I do like how you made all the normal people really important, like delivery drivers. I wept at a delivery driver once, in the early stages of our relationship Kevin, and threw money at him as I felt so grateful. He probably thought I’d lost the plot. He’d have been right. I do like how you have given the world a chance to breathe. For animals to wander unhindered. For birds to claim the skies once more. Short lived, but it was good while it lasted. I do also like how you brought out the creativity and humour in people, some people anyway, and the generosity and kindness to their fellow humans. It would be great if that lasted too.
I think you probably meant to polish me off Kevin but you hadn’t banked on the strength of the power of love. I’m really lucky you see, I have people that love me. I’m a mother. I also have a really really cool dog friend, Tom, who certainly wasn’t going to let me go in a hurry. He has stuck to me like glue and taught me the true art of chilling out. He is the master of Chill and has a heart the size of this planet.
So, Kevin, for now we continue to share my body. You continue to spring surprises on me every day and I never know what you have up your Covid sleeve. You have taken me to the very darkest of places but I’m still here. I don’t know how long our relationship is going to last but I’m still here. I may never recover fully but I will recover. You will either disappear or just go to sleep and wake up when I overdo things, a reminder. Maybe, Kevin, you are simply getting us in training for what is to come because, as we have all come to learn, you never know what is just around the corner. As creative as you are Kevin, humans are actually more so. There are some fantastic humans out there and it may be thanks to you, Kevin, that we find a healthier path to travel along together. With much respect,
from your host, Glenys Newton