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Don’t let this be you!

Published: Friday, 29th January 2021

News story on two Pendle women who caught Covid-19 over the festive season

Sarah Bradshaw from Higham in Pendle who caught Covid over the festive season.

Two Pendle residents who were floored by Coronavirus over the festive period are urging people to read their stories to understand its true impact.

Sarah Bradshaw and Janet Philbrook Parkinson experienced first-hand how quickly the virus can take hold and spread among others.

They have each spoken out to remind people how important it is to remain vigilant to the national regulations in order to reduce its spread.

Sarah, 33, a Marketing Manager who lives in Higham, experienced the first signs of the virus on Christmas Eve.

She said: “My eyes were really aching, so much so that I had to turn the lights off. I thought it was just a bit of a headache and didn't really think much more of it.

“But on Christmas Day it started again, and I found myself falling asleep with really sensitive skin. I just thought it was the flu But it was the virus.

“Unfortunately, my husband, my parents and my in-laws also went on to catch the virus and have all been the same if not worse with symptoms.

“I go to the gym four to five times a week and never thought I would become so ill from Covid.  But it absolutely floored me!

“We have been so careful. We've had our shopping delivered since March, we've only had contact with those in our childcare bubble and we still managed to catch it.

“Whilst it is difficult to ignore all our natural instincts to socialise and be there for our friends and family, the alternative is so much worse.
“Put your health and the health of your loved ones first,” warned Sarah.

Janet Philbrook Parkinson, Artistic Director at Stage Door Youth Theatre, Colne and who lives in Nelson, was hit by the effects of the virus on Boxing Day and described it as ‘truly awful’.

She said: “I'd been running classes at Stage Door all year, following the rules and guidance and doing really well.

“Then bam! On Boxing Day, it took me down!

“My husband tested positive for it on 23rd December and I was already in isolation so didn’t get a test myself, but I know I’ve had it.  I ticked every symptom box, plus some!

“January 5th was the first day I was actually able to do anything for longer than five minutes.

“It scared me at the beginning when I realised what was happening. My mum contracted Covid when she had pneumonia. Her health deteriorated and she died a few months later.

“The unknown of how I was going to react to it was pretty daunting.

“If anyone thinks they are immune to this virus they need to think again,” added Janet.

Councillor Mohammed Iqbal MBE, Leader of Pendle Council said: “We are grateful to Sarah and Janet for sharing their stories to help us get across the message that anyone can catch this virus. 

“It is so important that we each remain vigilant to the lockdown rules and to cover faces, wash hands, make space and stay home. 
“We also urge people to get vaccinated when their time comes.”

Deputy Leader, Councillor David Whipp agreed, saying: 
“The sooner we do, the quicker we can look forward to fewer restrictions on our lives."

The latest stay safe guidance and regulations can be found at  

“If anyone wants to share their experience to help reinforce the message that people need to keep taking care to stay safe, please get in touch with Pendle Council’s Communications Team,” said David.

The team can be contacted by email: or via a direct message on Pendle Council’s Facebook page.