Sunday, April 14, 2024
HomeCOVID-19An outcast in the House of the Jabbed

An outcast in the House of the Jabbed


IN October last year, seven months after then Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out his plans for ‘living with Covid’, my long-term home rental came to an end. I came across an ad for a ‘spare room’ which sounded perfect as a temporary solution.

My potential landlord seemed very nice. He showed me the ‘self-contained’ mini flat on the top floor of his and his wife’s house and told me that whilst I would have my own space up there I’d be sharing a front door, kitchen and lounge with my landlords – their bedroom was in the basement. I wasn’t overly happy with this situation: it was hardly ‘self-contained’ and sharing the kitchen to make my early morning coffee did fill me with some apprehension. I can be shy. However it was the best I could find and winter was drawing near so I proceeded. Most of all I needed a base from which to search for longer-term accommodation.

On the day I moved in, my landlord told me that he felt achy and tired and didn’t feel at all well. I was worried and asked whether he’d just been vaccinated as I was fully aware of the high numbers of adverse reactions and had witnessed such reactions among my own friends. My new landlord, it transpired, had just had his fourth jab plus a flu jab and was fully stocked up until the call for the next one, as he put it.

It was as he talked so blithely about this, not recognising any possible connection between the jabs and symptoms, that a feeling of dread came over me that something bad was going to happen. At work I heard myself saying: ‘I have a horrible feeling my landlord will have a heart attack and I don’t know why.’ But at the same time I think I did know why. 

Two weeks passed and it was a rainy Sunday evening when I came down from my bedroom into the lounge to find my landlord sitting watching TV. I asked him whether he would like anything from the shops and he replied in an anxious voice: ‘No, I don’t feel well, I think I’m having a heart attack.’ He said he had chest pains and tingling in the arm. I said we must phone an ambulance immediately and he dialled 111. The first thing I heard them suggest was that he wore a mask. Really? To restrict his oxygen even more? Are you nuts? They agreed to send an ambulance and then he turned to me and said ‘the call handler has asked you to wear a mask’ if I was to accompany him to the hospital. My immediate response was ‘No chance.’ I then watched him helplessly (and against my advice) trying to garner oxygen whilst suffocating himself in the nappy he thought he must wear, and panicking. When the ambulance eventually arrived the paramedics immediately asked me to put a mask on, so again I replied ‘Absolutely not.’ They then asked if I had been jabbed or had Covid. I said: ‘Are you serious, the man is having a suspected heart attack and you are asking me ridiculous questions? And he can’t breathe because he’s wearing a mask!’

The good news is that despite this idiocy he survived and came home from hospital the next day.

But the living situation was to become dramatic. I was now ‘out’ as an anti-masker and an anti-vaxxer. First I was apprehended for putting the wrong materials in the wrong recycling bin, next I was labelled a conspiracy theorist. Feeling rather isolated I phoned my colleagues to pour out my woes and get some sympathy and advice on what to do. Their  ‘f**k ’em’ response gave me the strength to go back and face even more abnormalities.

A few weeks after the ‘heart attack’ incident, I went down one Saturday morning to find the landlord’s wife in something of a state because, she said, she was bleeding from her nipple. Of course I advised her to get it seen as soon as possible, which she was able to do privately, hence getting her results straight away. She was diagnosed with cancer of the milk duct and had a tumour in her breast. I offered her my support and help, especially since her husband was not too well either. But far from being grateful, she first seemed hesitant and then came out with it – that the unjabbed, unmasked like me aren’t welcome in the hospital, so no, I couldn’t help her. That’s when I started to feel like a leper.

Her illness escalated very quickly and she was advised to have surgery as soon as possible. I felt unwanted and unwelcome in the house where I was treated like a threat so I stayed in my room as much as possible, keeping out of their way.

One morning I felt confident enough to come downstairs and make my breakfast, though they were both sitting at the kitchen table. As I made scrambled eggs I heard screaming. I dropped my spatula and turned to see the landlord’s wife in a panic: her tongue had swollen and her eyelids had turned red and her body was turning red. I knew she was having an anaphylactic shock. I suggested her husband go to the pharmacy to buy antihistamine while I called an ambulance. The paramedics, when they arrived, opined that it was an allergic reaction to hand wash. I could not believe they really thought this but I wasn’t shocked at their conclusion as, let’s face it, the last three years has been a shambles as far as truth is concerned. I did try to tell them her reaction wasn’t down to a hand wash, but the lady wasn’t having any of it. She thanked me for phoning an ambulance, the second time in two months, but they still weren’t joining the dots, that maybe, just maybe, their sudden problems could be vaccine-related. Instead she insisted that I wear a mask in the house at all times or move out, as though I was the cause of their ill-health and a threat to them. Their anger and irrationality was frightening.

I spent that evening in my bedroom, feeling unsafe in such a toxic and hostile environment. They wanted me out and, believe me, I wanted out as fast as possible. In desperation I rang my best friend to come and get me. I crept out in the middle of the night, taking my breakfast eggs and leaving my due rental money in my bedroom, to my sanity-saving getaway. 

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Jane works in artist management.

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