Māori pool player Matthew Edwards, was preparing for the World Pool Masters in Gibraltar and has taken to social media to raise awareness of COVID-19, after testing positive for the virus recently.
I just want to get that awareness out there and let people know my experiences through it, and hopefully, that can help other people and also show people that it’s real and it is something that is very serious,” he said in a video posted to social media.
He was due to play a series of 5 tournaments over 5 weeks in both Las Vegas and Gibraltar, but returned home early after most of the events were cancelled.
He arrived home to New Zealand last week. After starting to show symptoms while in self-isolation, as per regulations, he says he started to show symptoms and got himself checked.
I started developing these pains all over my body, and in my joints. Something I’ve never experienced before just yesterday.
"Then last night started developing a very icy feeling in my lungs and I could feel it all the way through my back, and that sort of transitioned now into more of a hot, burning glassy feeling in my lungs is probably the best way I can describe it.
“I haven’t got a sore throat anymore, I’m not dizzy, or I’m not coughing so I’m happy about that.
"But my lungs is really unpleasant, I don’t have any trouble breathing so that’s a good thing.
"So I just want to give you guys an update and I’m going to continue to keep doing that,” he says.
Since testing positive, he says his local district health board is keeping in regular contact with him,
“[the DHB] is calling me every few hours.
"If my condition gets worse, and if I have trouble breathing then I would have to go to the hospital but right now I’m in isolation at home.”
He says it’s important that awareness of the virus and the implications are shared, particularly as the country prepares to go to level 4 on the alert system.
“A lot of us don’t know people who have the virus so it’s easy to be just frustrated.
"Cause you know we’ve been impacted financially and inconvenienced in our daily lives because of the rules and restrictions the government is putting in place but it’s necessary,” he says.
“I just want to go back to making sure people are self-isolating, making sure you’re following the rules, coughing, sneezing into your elbow, washing your hands.
"These things are really important, even if you’re fit and healthy it does not matter.
“The problem with this virus is that it lives in you, you can be incubating it with no symptoms for up to 14 days before you show symptoms.
"So even though you feel fine, you’re potentially spreading it to your loved ones, you’re potentially spreading it to your friends and though you might be fit and healthy, and you might likely recover from it, other people may not.
"Which may be elderly people, which might be our parents, might be our grandparents.
"So I just want to really reinforce that message and don’t just do it for yourself, but do it for the people around you.
"We have to protect these people,” he concludes.