Hi, I am Alfie and I'm a young carer. This is my story of living through the pandemic.

A few years ago, my mam had a major kidney transplant. My dad had to donate a kidney to save my mam’s life, which was magnificent. Not just life changing, but lifesaving.

When we first heard about the virus in Wuhan, probably in late 2019, we thought nothing of it when they said it could come to the UK. When the coaches of covid-infected people started to hit the news, things started to get very eerie. I remember it very well. The poor coach driver with no PPE, putting his life at risk to transport those people. Who'd have thought it would end up as such a significant event to our country where we all have to stay at home?

A few more days passed, and numbers slowly rose. 12 covid cases, 22 covid cases, 26 covid cases and so on and so on, making its way into the hundreds.

The Prime Minister and the Government told vulnerable people like my mam to shield, and I hated it. I'm an outside person. I was going crazy, falling asleep mid-conversation, social skills lacking due to no communication with anyone bar my household. Needing to get essentials and shopping dropped off contactless at the door, a man in a plastic apron dropping off fruit and veg for us. It was like something out of a horror movie.

As we slowly got further through March and into April, lockdown began. Nobody to see, nowhere to go, nothing to do. It was nothing but struggle.

As time went by, I was given permission to cycle to Manors Station to see the trains (always been a hobby of mine) and for some socially distanced train spotting with a couple of friends. That was a boost to my emotions, cheered me up considerably.

Later, after a couple of months, we had to go back to school. I've never been one for school. Teachers used to be horrific, the most judgmental people I have ever met. Things were tricky again.

After struggling through all sorts of lockdowns, curfews and restrictions, by about Easter 2021 we were properly free.

Into the freedom, seeing family, days out and riding trains again. In September this year, we had a trip to the zoo and the week after my parents became ill. This was quite a scare. I'd just had the induction to my new apprenticeship so was in good spirits, but things became rather scary. My mam and dad bedbound and looking awfully ill. What was happening? Upon us all getting a covid PCR test, they had it, after so long of staying out of the way. After my first day at work, I felt a little bit breathless and my muscles were aching, despite having had the vaccine in August.

The whole household came down with covid and it was terrifying!

My mam spent a week in hospital with no visitors and bad breakfasts (running joke), relying on video calls to speak to her each day. We were all worried. Us left in the house. Me, my dad and brother were waiting for news constantly. How is she? What's happening? The doctors were keeping us posted and after a long week, she was home!

We have recovered since. I'm in the apprenticeship I've always wanted. My dad’s working from home and my mam is almost back to work. Normality once more (almost). Never underestimate what can happen. As much as I can't stand wearing masks and sanitising every few minutes, it is probably worthwhile.

All I can take from having covid is that it's pretty much tailored for each person that gets it, so take care.