When Joseph Flavel’s car hit it on 1 March 2020, only a few dozen cases of coronavirus were known in the UK. Three weeks later, the country was closed. The Briton, who was 18, fell into a coma after the accident and is now slowly waking up from him – in a seemingly different world.
“I don’t know if Joseph will understand our stories about the lockdown,” his aunt Sally told the Guardian. “I just don’t know where to start. If someone told me what would happen a year ago, I don’t think I would have believed them.”
According to Sally, her cousin has a long way to go before he’s fully recovered. In the accident last year, Joseph sustained serious brain damage.
“He is now showing slight signs of recovery,” said his aunt. “We know he can hear us and respond to simple commands.” For example, Joseph was able to “say” yes or no by blinking his eyes.
Due to strict Coronavirus measures in the UK, the family of the 19-year-old can barely visit him. Family members communicate with him via video call.
According to Sally, they’re also trying to make it clear that they can’t stay with him right now due to the strict rules, but keep it as simple as possible. “We don’t really have time to delve into the epidemic in detail. If we can call face to face again, we can explain what happened,” she told the Guardian.
Joseph himself was infected with the Coronavirus twice recently, but both times he recovered.