Gender: Female
Ethnicity: Black Caribbean
Background: Claudia is 57 years old and is Black Caribbean. She is retired from being a mental health nurse and works part-time in funeral services. Claudia heard about Covid while on holiday but experienced it herself after she developed symptoms in August 2021.

Claudia first heard of Covid in 2019 while on holiday in Australia celebrating her retirement, but didn’t think much of it when she returned to the UK in February. Her first experience with Covid restrictions was when she had her temperature checked after arriving in Malta a few weeks later. When Claudia came back from Malta, the UK went into lockdown. She wasn’t worried about herself during the restrictions, but started to worry about her mum feeling isolated.

Claudia experienced flu-like symptoms in August of 2021 and only realised it could be Covid after doing a lateral flow test which she had at home. A PCR test result confirmed that the fatigue and sore throat Claudia was experiencing were Covid symptoms. Claudia was more worried about accidentally passing on Covid to close contacts than she was about her own symptoms, and feels very lucky to not have had any complications.

Claudia had already received two doses of the Covid vaccine and feels that having Covid might have been worse without it. She feels that more education is needed to encourage people to take the vaccine, but also to engage with healthcare services more generally.

While Claudia was isolating for ten days, she was called regularly by NHS Test-and-Trace – which she found more annoying than helpful. Claudia feels that getting the calls was probably worse than getting Covi, and that being asked the same questions all the time was frustrating. Claudia feels that the script given to callers was the issue, but she also felt that the women who called were more empathetic than the men.

Before retiring, Claudia worked as a mental health nurse, and heard from frustrated (former) colleagues about being isolated to a single ward, and their worries about their patients being isolated too. Claudia feels that it’s important to try to look after our physical and mental health during the pandemic as best as we can. She also feels that the government has made poor decisions and miscommunicated during the pandemic, which has made everything more difficult.

Claudia would have assumed her Covid was a cold if she hadn’t tested at home.

Age at interview 57

Claudia said that fear of racial discrimination in healthcare stopped people from minority ethnic groups from seeking help.

Age at interview 57

Claudia formed a support bubble with her mother to help her feel less isolated.

Age at interview 57