A COUNCILLOR has told of the ‘horror’ of suffering coronavirus and the abuse she received when she posted a video about it on the council website and Facebook.

Briercliffe Liberal Democrat councillor Anne Kelly spoke of her experiences at the Burnley Full Council meeting.

The 67-year-old and her husband John contracted Covid-19 six weeks ago. She was so tired, sweaty and short of breath she spent a week in bed and has yet to regain her senses of taste and smell or shake off the persistent fatigue.

Cllr Kelly, last year’s Mayor of Burnley, said: “I have had the coronavirus and been extremely poorly. I have absolutely no idea where I picked it up. Everywhere we’ve been we’ve sanitised, we’ve worn masks.

“I was asked if I would do a short video to go on the council’s website and Facebook to explain how horrible it was and try and make people understand. I put it on, a very short one.

“Within half and hour I had 50 or more horrible, nasty remarks about it, saying that it’s all untrue, it’s a lie, it’s a plot by the government to cull older people, I should stay at home, I should never go out.

“I wasn’t just a few people and I took it off immediately because it was just so horrible, but somehow this message about how dangerous it is and how important it is for people to follow the guidelines, that message is absolutely not getting through.

“The second thing is about the track and trace. What an absolute waste of time that was. I spent and hour and a quarter on the telephone with a lady asking me all sorts of ridiculous question when I was at my worst. I had to stop three times and ask her if I could just wait for a few minutes until I had enough breath left to speak.

“The whole track and trace system was absolutely ludicrous.”

Cllr Afraisiab Anwar, Burnley Council’s community boss, said: “I take everything on board and agree with a lot of what you said. It’s sad to hear you experienced that. We want to be able to share those messages so that people know that it is absolutely real and that it is life-threatening. Social media can be a fantastic tool but it can also be really harmful.

“If as a town it had been us in charge of track and trace, it would have been a world-class system but sadly we’re not.”