‘Stop stockpiling and stay home’ pleads coronavirus patient

A woman currently in hospital with suspected Covid-19 has urged the public not to panic buy and to stay at home to avoid spreading the disease further.

Delia Colwill, from Berkshire, was taken into hospital on Tuesday, six days after she first began showing symptoms of the coronavirus.

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Britain before and after coronavirus lockdown
A composite image of the streets in the centre of Bath busy with visitors and shoppers on 11/03/20 (top) and the empty streets on Tuesday 24/03/20 the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of Bournemouth beach on 28/06/19 (top), and on Monday 23/03/20 (bottom), the day Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of London's National Gallery in Trafalgar Square on 28/01/14 (top), and on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of London's Canary Wharf Jubilee Line platform on 31/01/13 (top), and on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of London's Tower Bridge on 16/03/20 (top), and on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of commuters at Waterloo station in London on 12/03/20 (top), and on Wednesday 25/03/20 (bottom), after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of ticket holders for Comedy about a Bank Robbery in line outside the Criterion Theatre, London on 12/03/20 (top), and the theatre on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of of commuters crossing London Bridge on 13/03/20 (top), and on Wednesday 25/03/20 (bottom), after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of London's Buckingham Palace during the Changing of the Guard on 13/03/20 (top), and on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of Bournemouth beach on 14/09/19 (top), and on Monday 23/03/20 (bottom), the day Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of people walking across the Millennium Bridge, London, with St Paul's Cathedral in the background, on 13/03/20 (top), and on Wednesday 25/03/20 (bottom), after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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Composite photos of ticket holders for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in line outside the Palace Theatre, London on 12/03/20 (top), and the theatre on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of London's Canary Wharf Station on 17/03/20 (top), and on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of the streets in the centre of Bath busy with visitors and shoppers on 11/03/20 (top) and the empty streets on Tuesday 24/03/20 the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of visitors to Leicester Square, London, on 13/03/20 (top), and on Wednesday 25/03/20, (bottom), after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of ticket holders for Ticket holders for Come from Away in line outside the Phoenix Theatre, London on 12/03/20 (top), and the theatre on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of the streets in the centre of Bath busy with visitors and shoppers on 11/03/20 (top) and the empty streets on Tuesday 24/03/20 the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of Edinburgh's Royal Mile on 14/03/20, and on Saturday (21/03/20) after bars, pubs and restaurants were instructed to close. Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown on Monday night to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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Composite photos of people on the beach at Barry Island, South Wales, on 19/06/17 (top), and on Wednesday 25/03/20 (bottom), after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of the streets in the centre of Bath busy with visitors and shoppers on 11/03/20 (top) and the empty streets on Tuesday 24/03/20 the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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The 47-year-old suffers from a spinal cord injury that affects her nervous system and has chronic pain. She said the virus has "absolutely knocked me sideways".

She has been repeatedly tested for the virus and received mixed results with one positive and one negative.

She told the PA news agency: "I'm not sure what to believe. I've suddenly been moved to a general ward with very vulnerable patients and I have no mask, nothing and I still have a virus.

"I'm not sure what to make of the testing and the situation honestly because I've had five doctors say it's Covid-19, one confirmed test positive and now a negative."

She has pleaded with members of the public to avoid stockpiling medicine, including paracetamol, and to avoid social contact.

"I am appealing to anyone who is still not adhering to the social distancing and people who are hoarding and people who are acting fearfully," she said.

"There is a reason for these policies and they are to protect those that are vulnerable. While that might not be you, it will be someone close to you, or someone that you know. I just wanted to show you what the virus looks like."

Her symptoms have varied, from "horrific head pain and sinus pain that feels like my brain is exploding out of my skull" to blackout headaches and intense sweats. She has also suffered from a loss of appetite and sense of taste.

She has now been in the hospital for five days and said staff looking after her are exhausted by the influx of new patients.

Ms Colwill said: "But I can see the staff are tiring. It is getting busy. The pressure is mounting. The need for beds is pressing on me and has done for the last two days.

"The doctor wants me to walk to the toilet ASAP so I can be discharged as she is stressed about keeping things moving and turning beds around as fast as she can. I can totally understand."

However, she said she is struggling to feel better, continuing to feel "weak beyond exhaustion".

But she praised the NHS staff looking after her, saying: "They have been absolutely amazing and looked after me so well — and they are dealing with so much and as prepared as they can be for the coming weeks.

"So I take a lot of comfort in seeing things first-hand here."

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