Monty Don: ‘Utterly exhausted!’ – concerns for star after he was bedridden for 4 days

Gardeners’ World: Monty Don discusses tulip fire

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Whilst some viewers found the amusing side of the horticulturist’s strain when removing and replanting fern trees in preparation of the Chelsea Flower Show, others took to social media to express their concern for the star. One user wrote: “Worried for Monty’s back! #GardenersWorld “. Whilst a second added: “I think @TheMontyDon needs a lie down after all that lifting tonight[…] Looking forward to seeing you all from #ChelseaFlowerShow”. And a third commented on the physical nature of the job saying: “This whole tree fern thing – far too much effort.”

Concern for the popular broadcaster’s health was not completely unwarranted as a few days earlier the star revealed that he has been suffering from Covid.

Posting an update for his 262,000 Twitter followers, he wrote: “Have been in bed with Covid for the past four days but much better today- however it isn’t much fun and boy, doesn’t it knock you sideways! Utterly exhausted.”

With a flock of support and well-wishes from his followers, one urged the star to “take care” as he returned to 10-hour working days filming Gardeners’ World and presenting the evening round-up show from the Chelsea Flower Show, airing each evening this week on BBC Two.

The concerned fan in question wrote: “Please take care with your energy levels and pace yourself, no point ending up with long Covid, it would rob you of so much that brings you joy. I can sadly tell you that from my own experience.”

Whilst other concerned members of the public added: “Wow that’s some achievement as you are still getting over Covid. Try and take it easy.

“Try & go steady (easier said than done during Chelsea week I know!) your health is more important.”

Amidst the viewers concern for his health, Don warned others that Covid is “still very much around” as he said that it has not only affected him personally, but most of the crew who work on the BBC show.

Warning others to take heed he wrote: “Full 10 hr GW [Gardeners’ World] filming day in the garden – came through tired but fine. Of our regular team only two have not had Covid since March. It is still very much around.”

With the unprecedented outbreak of cases of monkeypox outside of Africa, it might seem that Covid is becoming a thing of the past. However, there remains two types of the Omicron variant of the virus, known as BA.4 and BA.5, that have been labelled as a “concern” in the UK.

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), released on Thursday (May, 19), the BA.2 variant remains dominant in the UK.

Since then, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has revealed that two further Omicron sub-lineages, BA.4 and BA.5, have been added to the list of “variants of concern”.

Whilst concern for the UK does not seem to be widespread, these two particular variants are currently fuelling a new wave of Covid in South Africa.

Doctor Meera Chand, UKHSA director of clinical and emerging infections, said that this reclassification reflects emerging evidence on the growth of BA.4 and BA.5 both internationally and in the UK.

Doctor Chand recently said: “Whilst the impact of these variants is uncertain, the variant classification system aims to identify potential risk as early as possible.

“UKHSA is undertaking further detailed studies. Data and analysis will be released in due course through our regular surveillance reporting.”

As of May 19, there have been 115 confirmed cases of the BA.4 type and 80 cases of BA.5 in the UK. But further data suggests that the two Omicron types have a “growth advantage” over BA.2 meaning that they could easily outcompete the current dominant types of Covid.

Previous research has shown the BA.4 and BA.5 have the same mutations in their spike protein – which helps the virus to enter cells. However one main factor contributing to its growth is a mutation that may help them dodge the body’s immune responses.

Despite this reclassification, following advice from the NHS England medical director and the four nations’ chief medical officers, the UK’s Covid alert level has been reduced.

A statement released by the professionals said: “The current BA.2 driven Omicron wave is subsiding [and] direct Covid healthcare pressures continue to decrease in all nations. Whilst it is reasonable to expect the number of cases to increase due to BA.4, BA.5 or BA2.12.1, it is unlikely in the immediate future to lead to significant direct Covid pressures.”

The NHS still advises that individuals remain aware of Covid symptoms, which include the following, and if caught individuals take measures to limit the spread to others:

  • A high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on Your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or exhausted
  • An aching body
  • A headache
  • A sore throat
  • A blocked or runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling sick or being sick.

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