LIKE millions of others, I sat in front of the TV on Monday night to listen to the Prime Minister’s announcement on the latest round of restrictions on our lives.

We must now all stay at home unless we are:

ONE – going to buy food or medicine

TWO – meeting medical or care needs of ourselves or others

THREE – going to exercise in an empty, outdoor place; or

FOUR – going to and from work which is essential and can’t be done at home.

These are scary times for many people.

I understand as I’ve just come out of 14 days’ isolation after contracting Covid-19.

Now the whole country needs to treat itself like they have the virus and lock down for three weeks. The exceptions above must be that, exceptions.

When I first came down with the virus it hit me immediately. Sweats, headache, backache, muscle ache and a sore throat.

This all came on within 30 minutes during a meeting on foreign policy as the new shadow foreign minister.

As soon as I felt it, I left and went home.

But what happened next?

I lay in bed for eight nights, never quite managing to get to sleep due to pain.

I had a tight chest and shallow breathing.

I went through shivers which I couldn’t shift for hours which would then become hot sweats.

It was unpleasant but after nine nights it left as quickly as it came.

The fever passed, I was finally able to sleep through the night.

Now after 14 days since the symptoms started, I have been given the all clear.

I have a tickly intermittent cough, which I’m told will last a few weeks and is non-infectious.

I was lucky.

While I have HIV, I am undetectable, and my immune system is healthy.

Some of my colleagues are still ill, some have lost all sense of smell and taste and we don’t know if it will ever come back.

One person I met many times, Michael Gerard from Leicester, passed away with the virus on Sunday, leaving a wife, children and grandchildren.

We cannot be complacent, because if we are many more will die.

I may usually oppose the Prime Minister.

I may think that we should be doing more for self-employed people and frontline workers.

I may think we should be testing more, as the WHO (World Health Organisation) says it’s the only thing to stop the virus.

But in his message last night the Prime Minister was right.

We must do all that we can to keep this country safe.

Now I am recovered I will focus my energy to ensure we get the right support for renters, self-employed and those laid off, like other countries already have.

When we come out of this crisis, and it will end, everyone must be able to rebuild their lives, and no one should be thrown into poverty.

Until then, please stay at home, for the sake of your friends, family and our brave NHS workers who are on the frontline.

Lloyd-Russell Moyle is the Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown

  • The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal.  Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. To donate visit