The life of Joris van Caulil (43) from Berkel-Enschot has been turned upside down for a year and a half. Since April 2021 he has lung covid and is almost out of energy. “I couldn’t walk 500 meters and couldn’t climb any more stairs.” He tells his story now that it has been exactly 1000 days since the first Dutch corona infection was diagnosed in Brabant.
In April, Joris was suddenly so tired that he couldn’t do anything. “The doctor told me to rest for four weeks. “Four weeks!” I shouted. I didn’t intend to. But now a year and a half later I get it.”
“I haven’t worked or played sports for a year and a half, nothing. Walking 500 meters was already too much for me. Things are getting better now, especially since I spent five months rehabilitating in Tilburg. I can walk 500 meters now, although I don’t do it wholeheartedly yet. I do sit on the exercise bike every day.”
“I didn’t move forward for a long time.”
“I have to distribute my energy well over the day,” says Joris, “and think carefully about what I do and don’t do. Going to a busy restaurant, for example, is already too much.”
It took a long time for Joris to get better. “I didn’t take any steps forward for a whole period. I got a little lost in that. But lately it’s been a bit better and so mentally too.”
“What was very frustrating is that you don’t know where you stand. I couldn’t climb the stairs and couldn’t accept that I couldn’t work. Now I can tolerate it a little better. But it takes a very long time.”
“More understanding would be nice for covid patients.”
Joris now has enough energy to help fellow sufferers. “I do voluntary work for the lung fund and have now started contact with fellow sufferers and will guide a group. Two fellow sufferers live here in Berkel-Enschot. It’s nice that half a word is enough with them. That is different with other people, who do not know this.”
“More understanding would be nice for covid patients,” says Joris, “particularly with the government. More research is really needed. There is now a very large group of people standing on the sidelines. And those people just have to be able to participate.
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