Jeremy Clarkson: I battled Covid over Christmas

Jeremy Clarkson has revealed he had a "scary" experience fighting coronavirus over Christmas.

The Grand Tour host, 60, still does not know if he has fully recovered.

He wrote in his column for The Sunday Times: "Four days before Christmas, I woke in the night to find my sheets were soggy. And that I had a constant dry cough."

After his test came back positive, "the doctor was very clear – I'd feel under the weather for between five and 14 days and then I'd either get better or I'd have to go to hospital.

"Because I am 60 and fat, and because I've smoked half a million cigarettes and had double pneumonia, I'd probably die, on my own, in a lonely plastic tent."

The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host wrote: "I also had to self-isolate. ... I took myself off to bed with the new Don Winslow book and a bag of kale to wait for the Grim Reaper to pop his head round the door.

"I'm not going to lie — it was quite scary.

"With every illness I've had, there has always been a sense that medicine and time would eventually ride to the rescue.

"But with Covid-19 you have to lie there, on your own, knowing that medicine is not on its way and that time is your worst enemy."

While he "didn't feel too bad" initially, Clarkson's "breathing really did start to get laboured, and there was always the doctor's warning ringing in my head about how it might suddenly get worse".

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Top Gear presenters, (l-r) Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, are driven across Tower Bridge in a stretched (two welded together) 434 Armoured Personel Carrier, to a Press Conference in Tower Hotel, to launch Top Gear going live (with debut at the MPH Prestige and Performance Motor Show, Earls Court in October), St Katherines Way, London.
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson puts one of Tesco's re-fitted shopping trolleys through its paces in the company's Hooverbuilding store, west London, this morning (Friday). The firm have spent 4 million fitting new steering devices to their fleet of trolleys in an attempt to stop them having a "mind of their own". It is hoped the refit of their 200,000 trolleys will be completed by October 1997. Photo by Matthew Fearn/PA.
JEREMY CLARKSON FORGOES HIS USUAL MODE OF TRANSPORT TO CATCH A BUS.
Jeremy Clarkson drives a Carver at Dunford Park, Surrey.
Model Jodi Kidd embraces TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson who are amongst a hundred invited guest for the farewell flight for Concorde departing from New York to Heathrow on the supersonic plane's final passenger journey.
Broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald and TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson in conversation during a visit by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II to Douglas House, a respite care home for young people with life-limiting genetic conditions, Oxford. The Queen toured the home and looked at various facilities including the spa room, sensory room and music room before officially opening the house with a plaque unveiling.
Jeremy Clarkson and his family.
James May and Jeremy Clarkson with the award for Most Popular Factual Programme at the National Television Awards 2006 at the Royal Albert Hall in west London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday 31 October 2006.
James May and Jeremy Clarkson with the award for Most Popular Factual Programme at the National Television Awards 2006 at the Royal Albert Hall in west London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday 31 October 2006.
The Stig (left), Richard Hammond (centre) and Jeremy Clarkson from the Top Gear TV programme at the switching on ceremony for the Blackpool Illuminations.
Top Gear presenters, (l-r) Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, are driven across Tower Bridge in a stretched (two welded together) 434 Armoured Personel Carrier, to a Press Conference in Tower Hotel, to launch Top Gear going live (with debut at the MPH Prestige and Performance Motor Show, Earls Court in October), St Katherines Way, London.
The Stig (back), Richard Hammond (left) James May (centre) and Jeremy Clarkson at London's Royal Geographical Society to launch the Top Gear Live World Tour.
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May backstage during the National Television Awards 2007, Royal Albert Hall, London.
(L-R) James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson in the press room at the 2011 National Television Awards at the O2 Arenea, London.
Presenters of the television car show Top Gear from left James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond outside 10 Downing Street in London, where they were filming an episode of the BBC's Top Gear show.
Richard Hammond, Tom Cruise and Jeremy Clarkson arriving for the UK premiere of Mission:Impossible Ghost Protocol, at the BFI IMAX, Waterloo, London.
(L-R) Top Gear presenters, James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson collect the Most Popular Factual Programme award at the 2011 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena, London.
(Left - right) Jake Gyllenhaal, Joan Rivers, Jeremy Clarkson and James May during the filming of the Graham Norton Show at The London Studios, south London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 29, 2012. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Colin Farrell, Sharon Osbourne and Jeremy Clarkson during the filming of the Graham Norton Show at The London Studios, south London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening.
Jeremy Clarkson leaves his home in London, as he laughed off his latest controversy telling reporters he was "just off to the job centre" after the BBC suspended him following a row with a Top Gear producer.
Jeremy Clarkson in the stands during the UEFA Champions League Round of Sixteen match at Stamford Bridge, London.
(Left - right) James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson arrive at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast, ahead of the opening Clarkson, Hammond & May Live show.
Jeremy Clarkson during the opening night of Clarkson, Hammond and May Live at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.
Richard Hammond (left) Jeremy Clarkson (centre) and James May on stage in Clarkson Hammond, May Live at the O2 Arena Greenwich - London
Prime Minister David Cameron meets Jeremy Clarkson and James May during an EU-related visit to W. Chump & Sons Ltd TV studio in west London.
EDITORIAL USE ONLY Three 8 foot models of the heads of The Grand Tour presenters, Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond pass by Buckingham Palace in London on the back of flatbed trucks after travelling 30,000 miles across 3 continents.
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May attending a launch event and screening of The Grand Tour Series 3 screening at The Brewery, London.
Jeremy Clarkson and Lisa Hogan attending the GQ Men of the Year Awards 2017 held at the Tate Modern, London. Picture credit should read: Doug Peters/Empics Entertainment
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He said: "We keep being told that we know a great deal about Covid, but what I've learnt over the past 10 days is we don't.

"We don't know how long we are infectious for. We don't know how to tackle it. We don't know what it does to us.

"We don't know how long the antibodies last. We don't know how easy it is to catch it twice. And we certainly don't know if any of the vaccines will work long-term. I don't even know if I'm better now."

He also criticised BBC coverage of the pandemic, saying it was "doom, with added gloom".

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