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MP shares personal covid experience

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
MP shares personal covid experience

DUMFRIES and Galloway MP Alister Jack has this week spoken out about how he contracted covid at the same time as two other UK Cabinet ministers.

Scotland’s Secretary of State became ill at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, shortly before Prime Minister Boris Johnson ended up in intensive care due to the virus.

Mr Jack had milder symptoms and, while there was no testing back then to confirm if he had indeed caught Covid, the politician is certain he did.

He explained: “At the time, I was speaking to the Secretary of State for Health, and he was having a similar experience and also self-isolating.

“The Secretary of State for Defence, after me, found himself self-isolating the following day.

“On comparing notes, it was all pretty similar what we were experiencing. It was a sore throat, a bit like cut glass, persistent coughing, and a bit of a temperature.

“Now, it was pre-testing so who knows? I haven’t had any symptoms of anything since.

“My health wasn’t too badly affected and neither were the other two I mentioned. The person who did have a bad experience back then, and who was self-isolating at a similar time, was the Prime Minister.

“That became quite frightening for a while as he went into hospital, and then into ICU.

“My experience wasn’t so serious. I’ve had flu before and that was a lot worse.”

While the number of positive cases across Dumfries and Galloway rose to almost 5000 last week, hospitalisations and overall death numbers remain low.

Mr Jack called on more people to get vaccinated in order protect themselves and had another message for people in his constituency: “Be cognisant of what the rules are on either side of the border and stick to them, but try as best as you can to get your life back to normal,” he said.

“We have to learn to live with Covid. We always said the vaccine was there to give us freedoms and the vaccine is working.

“There is clearly a breach in the link between cases and hospitalisation, and because we’ve been able to vaccinate the more vulnerable over 50s, there has been a breach between hospitalisation and death.

“That break is absolutely critical to us protecting the NHS and allowing people to move around without fear again.

“Stick to the guidelines, but do everything you can to make sure you’ve taken both jabs and can get your life back.

“We are seeing that the vaccine programme – as we said it would – is getting us our freedom back.

“The case numbers across the UK are at about 50 per cent of what they were at the peak last time, but the hospitalisation rates are a fraction of what they were last time. They’re incredibly low – and remain incredibly low across the south of Scotland.”

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