A Scottish farmer who contracted Covid-19 in the run-up to lambing has warned his peers not to become complacent about the virus.
The producer, who has chosen to remain anonymous, made the plea in a blog post on NFU Scotland’s website.
He said his whole family was struck down by the virus in the early stages of the outbreak. While some experienced mild symptoms, he was badly affected, was stuck in bed in the weeks prior to lambing and suffered shortness of breath for many weeks afterwards.
“I have grave concerns that members of our farming community are not taking Covid-19 seriously,” said the farmer.
“Some farmers are paying little heed to social distancing, with anecdotal reports of reasonable- sized gatherings and little concern for the health of each other or that of their family.”
He said the risks posed by the disease are still high and farmers and members of the agricultural community are not immune to it.
“I am a relatively fit and healthy farmer but in the first week of lockdown in late March I went down with what I would describe as an absolutely horrendous flu, which rendered me unable to do virtually anything for 10 days,” added the farmer.
“Even getting out of bed was a real effort. If this had happened a month later when we would have been flat-out lambing, not being able to help would have been a potential disaster,” he said.
“Even by lambing time, I would still get very breathless and would say it took two months to get back to normal.”
He urged farmers to take all necessary precautions and think twice before shaking a neighbour’s hand, or going out without a face covering for a social visit.
“How would your farm and business cope if you or someone else was laid up for a period?” he asked.
“Think what it would mean if you had to self-isolate for two weeks if you are identified as a close contact of someone who is confirmed to have coronavirus. Most importantly, stay safe and do not get complacent.”