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Kirstie Allsopp on her Covid recovery: 'It's the brain fog I find so weird'

Kirstie Allsopp decorates her tree in Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2021
Kirstie Allsopp in Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2021 (Image credit: Channel 4)

Homes and property TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp, renowned for her vehement opposition to Covid-19 lockdowns, has revealed she is just recovering from a nasty bout of the virus herself.

Kirstie is currently back on screen in a new series of popular Channel 4 daytime DIY craft show Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas, made with strict Covid precautions, but that didn’t prevent her contracting the virus.

She told The Telegraph that she was quarantining at home in Devon while she recuperated, complaining that she still ‘can’t smell that candle!’

“I’d rather not have had Covid, but it’s interesting to have had it,” she explained. “It’s the brain fog that I find so weird. It’s slightly sinister, this virus, I don’t remember anything else having all these symptoms.”

The Location, Location, Location presenter is one of the most vocal anti-lockdown campaigners in the public eye (although that ‘does NOT mean you are anti masks, hand washing, some social distancing and respect for how horrid Covid can be’ as she explained on Twitter last year) and has argued that the negative effects of lockdowns are worse than their Covid-prevention benefits. 

“There’s no getting away from the really dreadful effect all this has had on the mental health of young people and the isolation impact on the elderly,” she said. "Obviously, we didn’t know about this disease and it was really important for us to find ways to protect people. Since we’ve had a vaccine, I think every single one of those impacts needed to be looked at in the round and calculations made about the damage they cause.”

As much as she hated the cycle of lockdowns we’ve lived through, Kirstie put the experience to good use, making another series for Channel 4, Keep Crafting and Carry On, on which she provided ideas and activities for locked-down families to do at home.

But she battled with the ethics of being able to film the programme while in lockdown.

“Everyone who was involved in the production had to isolate, then drive to Devon by themselves. I thought to myself, ‘There are people who know that we were allowed to do that, but if you wanted to see a member of your family who was dying it wasn’t allowed’.”

She denounced the one-hour of exercise a day rule during lockdown, calling it ‘idiotic’.

She continued: “They knew early on that your chances of catching Covid in the fresh air were really low and they know about fresh air and exercise and the importance for mental and physical health. 

"Because of the nature of my job, I’ve seen where people live, I know the small flats and small houses that families live in and I was amazed by the way people who had large gardens or lived in rolling countryside were able to say, ‘Oh, no, I don’t think someone should be allowed to get in the car to go for exercise’. I just thought to myself, ‘You have NO idea, you have absolutely no idea’.”

Kirstie's Homemade Christmas continues on Channel 4 on Monday, Dec 13.

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