BBC News

Covid patient urges people not to visit family at Christmas

Related Topics
  • Coronavirus pandemic
media caption"You don't have to cancel Christmas, just postpone it", says Chris Lea, who's in hospital with Covid-19

A father who is in hospital with coronavirus has urged people not to visit relatives over Christmas.

Chris Lea, from Harpenden, Hertfordshire, was taken to hospital on Wednesday as he "fought for every breath".

From his hospital bed, the 60-year-old said the thought of people travelling around the country visiting family was "worrying the hell out of me".

"It is not worth losing an aunt, an uncle or grandparent," he said.

Mr Lea is on oxygen and being treated with multiple drugs at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

  • Beds, Herts and Bucks move to tier 3
  • Home working call after pregnant nurse Covid death
  • Can I see both my sons at Christmas? And other questions

The father-of-four said he had experienced tiredness for a few days but on Wednesday his situation "escalated from getting short of breath to fighting for every breath in just a few hours".

"The look on my 16-year-old son's face when I was fighting for breath was heartbreaking," he said.

image captionMr Lea was admitted to hospital on Wednesday

Mr Lea's said his son's year group was sent home from school and told to isolate recently due to two positive cases and he fears this may be how he caught the virus.

"Sending children to mix with other family members at Christmas is unwise," he said.

"If you saw the look on my son's face when I was fighting for my breath you would not want to be sending these children all over the country to see their family.

"You don't have to cancel Christmas, just postpone it, we are so close now with this vaccine - have the big family get-together at Easter or in the summer."

Mr Lea said the care he was receiving was "phenomenal" and he had made rapid progress in 48 hours.

"The doctors, nurses, the porters, everyone is working relentlessly hard, they're working like crazy," he said.

"They're amazing really. They deserve a medal."

Find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion email

Related Topics

More on this story

  • Covid rates across Beds, Herts and Bucks

  • 'You don't have to cancel Christmas, just postpone it'