Binnelanders actor Reynardt Hugo on contracting Covid-19: 'Psychologically there's a war in your head'

Reynardt Hugo
Reynardt Hugo
Photo: Instagram/ @reynardthugo
  • Binnelanders actor Reynardt Hugo tested positive for Covid-19 in June.
  • He was the first cast member to test positive for the coronavirus on the set of the Afrikaans weekday soapie.
  • Reynardt admitted that he was scared, and concerned about his breathing.
  • "I asked my fiance: 'Am I going to die? Will I be able to breathe?'" he said.

Binnelanders actor Reynardt Hugo has spoken openly about contracting Covid-19, his fears and returning to work after 21-days in self-isolation. 

He was the first cast member to test positive on the set of the Afrikaans weekday soapie. 

Reynardt says he was mostly concerned about his breathing ability after receiving his results and while in self-isolation at home, he sat outside in his underwear to soak up Vitamin D.

He told presenter Suzaan Steyn of KN Pandemie on kykNET that on a Wednesday night last month he went to bed and started "shivering" and "feeling bad." 

"I thought it was exhaustion and I was busy writing a book as well during that time. The next day - the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I felt extremely bad - body ache. It felt a bit worse than the flu."

"At work I thought: 'Please just don't let me be the first one here to get Covid. And then it turned out to be me. But I suspected by the Saturday, Sunday when I lost my sense of taste - my sense of taste completely disappeared'."

"On Monday I called my doctor and said can I make an appointment, and she said it's fine. She asked me what's wrong and I said: 'I'm feeling flu-like', and I said: 'My sense of taste is also gone', and she said 'Aha, go test yourself.' Opposite my house, there's a Lancet laboratory, and I went and got tested."

He said: "It was terrifying. Usually, you go and do blood tests. But it was weird to go and test for Covid. I won't lie; I was scared."

"Then I told the production manager at Binnelanders that I went to go and get tested, and this is what happened. For two days I didn't go in to film waiting for my results - they say 48 hours. I called the whole time and asked: 'Did you get my results? I'm on the app.'"

"By the evening around half past seven, I got the SMS saying 'You've tested positive for Covid'. It's not nice getting an SMS like that. It really wasn't."

"I asked my fiance: 'Am I going to die? Will I be able to breathe? Won't I be able to breathe?' It wasn't nice. It was terrifying. You don't believe it until you get the SMS."  

Reynardt said he was scared that he might not be able to breathe. "I can sometimes get quickly anxious. I got very anxious during this period. It took a relative period of time for me to heal. I don't like to complain, but I must say that while I had Covid and was still filming before I knew it, it was bad."

He said: "I read on Facebook and wherever I could - News24 - to drink zinc tablets, and I must say I sat many days outside in my underpants, luckily I live in a place where people can't see me, so I nicely baked in the sun and got Vitamin D and made sure I do that."

"The lockdown was already a big shock for everyone and secondly to test positive and having to stay home - you feel in quotation marks 'failure' isn't the right word. I thought that now I'm the first person to get it at Binnelanders, now everybody's going to look at me and go 'There's the guy now'. Now everybody's going to keep their distance from me."

"Psychologically there's a war in your head. You try to stand strong, but there are always times when negativity kicks in, and it is a reality - it is difficult. Sometimes for me, it was difficult. Sometimes for me, it was tougher than other times to accept the situation as it was."

"I like to work. I like to be outside. Suddenly it was just cut off. I had to stay home for 21 days. kykNET said two weeks and MultiChoice said 21 days, so we went with the 21 days just to be sure," he said.

About where he thinks he got Covid-19 Reynardt said: "We're trying to backtrack it where I possibly could have gotten it from. I was twice in a Woolworths, CNA and a Clicks - and twice at Lifestyle Centre with the masks on."

He said his fiance tested negative for Covid-19 twice "with me living in the house, so we can't explain that".

"The best you can do is to really just stick with the rules, to think about and to obey the rules that there are," he says. 

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