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Covid Surbiton Home

Covid: Life on the frontline – Bernard’s story

Bernard, a 92-year-old RAF veteran, who lives at the Royal Star & Garter Home in Surbiton, tested positive for COVID-19. Now recovered and having tested negative, he speaks to Royal Star & Garter about the impact the virus had on him.


I had a cough before my COVID-19 test, so it didn’t come as a shock when I got the positive result. The suspicion was there, and that was that. By the time I got the result back, I was feeling better.

There was no time at all when I thought COVID-19 was going to kill me because I wasn’t suffering at all. It must have been very minor because in not much more than a week my immune system tackled it. I had no treatment whatsoever, and I wasn’t inconvenienced in any way.


I didn’t even tell my family until it was over because it was so short. They’ve got enough trouble with Daddy in a home, so I try not to alarm them unnecessarily. The administration here are liable to talk to whoever your contact is in the family. But I don’t think they phoned up. They asked me and I said leave it for a while.


Having COVID-19 didn’t cause me any mental upheaval. I didn’t think that this could be the end of me, because at 92, you know you’ve got a certain proximity to the end… God doesn’t give a sell-by date, does he! So it didn’t cause any psychological problems, because I live with the possibility of popping off any night.

I know it’s been very hard and challenging for staff here during the past few months, but I have never noticed a drop or change in the standard of care they have provided. I can’t praise them enough. They’re so good and I count them as very good friends. They’re the only friends I have now, because all my friends I had outside have departed before me.


I constantly thank the staff for all they do for me. My wife was in an old person’s home which was meant to be top-notch, but it was never a patch on this. This is luxurious, and the experts are pretty expert and very knowledgeable. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.