Back in March, GENERAL HOSPITAL alum Emma Samms (ex-Holly) revealed that she had contracted COVID-19 and even now, six months on, she continues to suffer from the debilitating effects of the disease. The actress opened up about her personal struggle in a column published in Cotswold Life. “For the past four months I’ve kept an overnight bag packed and ready to go by the front door,” she wrote. “And when I’m in the bathroom, I don’t lock the door. As someone who always locks a bathroom door, even when alone in the house, this is quite telling. It’s because I don’t trust my body anymore.
“For four months I have felt that it could fail me at any time,” Samms continued. “I’ve felt seconds away from the point when my shortness of breath, chest pains, sore throat, fatigue, and various other symptoms were no longer manageable at home.”
When she came down with a nasty cough in March, it was before England had declared coronavirus a pandemic, so she thought her nasty cough was just a cold. But as various treatments like antibiotics and steroids were ineffectual, she eventually wound up at the hospital. “But unless your oxygen level is dangerously low or something shows up on an X-ray, there is literally no treatment available,” Samms explained. “After being examined by paramedics and A&E doctors, it was admission to hospital or nothing. I was delighted to be in the latter group, of course. I thanked my lucky stars to avoid the terrible state of so many unfortunate people filling the COVID wards and the ICU, but being sent home with no medication and no advice other than to ‘come back if you get any worse’ was demoralizing and actually rather scary.”
With no treatment, Samms simply had to give her body time to recover from the virus, but even now, months later, she continues to feel the effects of the disease and grew frustrated when her symptoms of severe fatigue were not taken seriously by doctors. However, she has taken comfort in discovering there were other people also suffering from what is being called “Long-COVID” as doctors continue to discover more and more about the virus.
“This is hugely frightening,” Samms declared. “Once this research has filtered down to local-level caregivers and the mainstream press, let’s hope that no one will be allowed to diminish the seriousness of catching COVID-19 or ridicule mask wearers and those taking their social distancing responsibilities seriously. The whole ‘You’re not the boss of me’ attitude o the militant mask and science deniers who selfishly put the health of others at risk is baffling to me.”
Though even as she continues to suffer from the fatigue and exhaustion of her condition, Samms knows that it could always be worse. “My heart goes out to all the people who have suffered far worse than me, either with their own illness or by losing loved ones” she concluded. “I know how lucky I am. Even with this new, smaller life, I am very happy indeed.”