Queen describes how Covid left her “tired and exhausted”

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The Queen said Covid left her “very tired and exhausted” as she spoke to a former patient and NHS staff about their experiences during the pandemic.

The monarch, 95, who contracted the virus in February, also expressed relief that the ghost of Dunkirk “still exists”.

She spoke during a video call to mark the official opening of the new Queen Elizabeth Unit at The Royal London Hospital, of which she is the patroness.

It was built in a record five weeks to accommodate the rising number of Covid patients and is one of the largest intensive care units in the country.

During her video call with workers and medical staff, the Queen listened to their stories of coping with the massive influx of Covid patients, and was told by a senior nurse: “We held their hands, we wiped their tears and we offered consolation”.

Handout photo published by Buckingham Palace of Queen Elizabeth II in conversation with Polly Fitch, clinical psychologist; Imam Faruq Siddiqi, Chaplain; Mireia Lopez ReyFerrer, older sister; and Jackie Sullivan during a video link call and virtual visit to the Royal London Hospital


The Queen also spoke to former patient Asef Hussain from Windsor Castle who explained how he and his family contracted Covid in December 2020.

His father and brother were also treated in the ward for the virus before they died and he told the Queen about his struggle with the disease which left him in a wheelchair for a long time and still needing a portable oxygen machine.

Hussain praised the staff’s work and his wife told the Queen how she staged a “prayer on Zoom” where 500 people around the world prayed for her husband.

The queen said, “I’m glad you’re feeling better. It leaves one very tired and exhausted, doesn’t it, this terrible pandemic. It’s not a pretty result. It’s really nice to have the chance to talk to you today” before telling the couple that she was “very happy to see you and hear your story.”

The monarch tested positive for Covid in February and had what Buckingham Palace said were “mild cold symptoms”.

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