Gasping for breath and struggling to speak, Andy Hardwick can barely keep his head upright as he describes the coronavirus symptoms he is experiencing.
The 51-year-old is normally fit and healthy, visiting the gym at least three times a week, and suffering from asthma only occasionally. But he has been completely floored by Covid-19, and his friends and family urged him to make a video to show others how serious the illness can be.
???My spine hurts, my back hurts, my neck hurts. You don???t want to talk, you get shortness of breath if you move around, and you don???t want to lift your head off a pillow,??? Hardwick explained in the video, which has been shared on Facebook over 37,000 times.
In it, he lies back in a grey hoodie, fighting to keep his eyes open as he talks in short bursts to the camera. ???It does come in waves, you will feel slight relief sometimes, then it will go ??? This really hurts, it???s like nothing I???ve ever had before, I wouldn???t wish it on my enemy,??? said Hardwick.
According to Hardwick???s wife, Nicola, many friends have said they didn???t even recognise Andy in the video. ???It was like everything had just left him, all the energy,??? she said.
Hardwick, a father of two from Wickford, Essex, said the illness started on Friday with a ???very dry cough??? which made his throat sore. ???You start to feel generally crappy and then you???ll find your lungs will tighten,??? he described.
He wasn???t suffering from a fever initially, so he went to bed expecting the symptoms to pass. However, he woke up a few hours later with a temperature, unable to breathe properly. ???[I was] sweaty, clammy but freezing ??? I couldn???t get warm and I had a raging thirst.???
After calling 111, he was assessed by a doctor over the phone who said his symptoms suggested he did have Covid-19, and he was instructed to call back if his breathing deteriorated and he was in need of hospital treatment.
Although paracetamol helped to reduce his temperature, his preventative asthma pump did little to help his breathing difficulties, he said.
???If you get the cough, it???s very painful, and if you feel the need to laugh, don???t, because it???s very painful.???
His family think he probably picked up the virus while travelling to London, where he works as head of repairs and operations at Camden council, although he had been working from home since 18 March.