A kidney dialysis patient about spoken about coping in self-isolation during Covid19.

Fez Awan, aged 34 who is on the waiting list for his third kidney transplant, is in the high risk category of patients who have been advised by the Government to self-isolate for 12 weeks.

“I’m sure I speak for a lot of people when I say I feel like I’m going a bit stir crazy with the cabin fever of staying indoors, but I understand the importance of it,” he said.

“Self-isolating is peace of mind that I am safe, which is a positive. My mantra is ‘this too shall pass’.”

Chelsea supporter Fez is a huge sports fan and says he will miss watching all the competitive events this summer including Wimbledon, the Premier League and European Championship football.

“I especially love watching football at weekends and playing football games like Football Manager. Even out of season, football fans can usually find games to watch, but there’s nothing. I’ve taken to watching things like the old World Cup matches and setting personal challenges of trying to remember what happens next, just to get my fix of sport!”

As a regular movie-goer Fez, who lives in Blackburn, is also missing trips to his local cinema and says streaming films on platforms like Netflix are ideal replacements.

“I enjoy watching all sorts but the thing I’m enjoying most right now is Man Like Mobeen, a comedy and probably the first Asian comedy since Goodness Gracious Me in the 1990s. Humour is a great coping strategy. I would highly recommend people to not lose their sense of humour!” he said.

Fez is a volunteer patient ambassador at his local Kidney Patient Association which covers Lancashire and South Cumbria, and for the national NHS Blood and Transplant service, but all this work is currently on hold.

“I miss being part of that,” he said. “I think people are starting to realise it’s the simple pleasures in life which mean the most. Even food shopping used to be an event with my mum and brother, but now, because I am self-isolating, I can’t go.”

Fez is on nocturnal dialysis and knows he is lucky that he can do this in the safety of his own home.

“I like home dialysis better than hospital because I feel in control of the situation which suits me better. Nocturnal feels less strenuous for me on my system.”

So, what is the first thing Fez plans to do when lockdown is lifted?
“Go to the local park for a walk and take in just how good that feels,” Fez said. “I can’t wait for the world to get back to how it should be, so I can enjoy simple pleasures. We all take such small things for granted.”