My name is David (41) I live alone with 3 puddycats: Ethel (10) a grey tabby, Betty and Talullah (8), tortoise shells. My son (4) lives in Kent with his mum. I didn’t see him for the majority of lockdown as I didn’t want to risk their health. I work for the NHS in mental health as a Senior Physical Health and Wellbeing Practitioner. June 12th marked my 20th anniversary in the service which I am very proud of. Although not immediate frontline I cared for patients with COVID-19 and worked hard to minimise the spread. Before this we were a department of two working over twelve wards. During the pandemic, we became a team of six covering Specialist Services, which covers twenty-two different areas. It has been challenging, bringing physical health to the forefront of mental health services. Sadly some staff and patients lost their battles to this awful virus. I recently had the antibody test, it came back positive which was a shock. Despite having no symptoms, it means I have fought the virus at some point. Life at home has been very lonely to be honest. Thank god for my fur babies. One positive is realising that I have come a long way in my own life. It was incredibly hard at work, with 70 hour weeks at one stage. I have been resourceful and stepped up, taking on additional responsibilities to ensure we work effectively. My parents and younger brother are no longer with us, having had illnesses pre-COVID. I have missed them terribly. My brother passed away only last year; he has left a big hole in my life. I have also missed my little boy SO much, it’s like I’ve lost a limb when I’m not with him! I miss my friends too. They’re family to me and have supported me through dark times. It’s strange, I spend my day working hard and come home to no-one. I’m not good with all this zoom/houseparty stuff as I’m a tactile person and prefer to hug rather than chat online. I’m a survivor, life has to go on and I’ve learnt it’s ok to feel sad, lonely or have a good cry. But I am a mostly happy person and embrace what I have, including my health. I intend to live as fully as possible. Life is too short, you never know what is around the corner.