Mental health toll of Reynolds’ COVID battle

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Former NRL star Josh Reynolds has opened up on his recent battle with COVID-19, revealing he’s still struggling with both mental and physical issues following the diagnosis.

Reynolds, who played 160 NRL games between the Bulldogs and Tigers, last month contracted coronavirus while in England playing for Super League club, Hull.

The 32-year-old moved to England earlier this year after having spent the 2020 NRL season with the Tigers.

The former NSW Blues star spoke to Nine’s Danny Weidler about his COVID-19 battle, in which he admitted he was left shaken by the diagnosis and not knowing how it would affect him while living alone.

“It was full-on, I’m not going to lie,” Reynolds told Nine News.


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Hull FC’s Josh Reynolds scores a try during the Betfred Super League match at the KCOM Stadium, Hull. Picture date: Monday May 17, 2021. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images) (Getty)

“It’s nerve-racking because you don’t know how it’s going to hit you.

“I had pretty severe headaches, lost my taste and smell. I can’t fully taste or smell at the moment.

“The most freaky thing, because I live by myself, you’re a bit nervous in case anything happens. It wasn’t that I couldn’t breathe, but I didn’t feel normal.”

Asked about the mental health side of living through a pandemic, Reynolds said he can’t take any more of it.

“To be completely honest with you, I’m over it,” he said. “I’m over the way we’re living.”


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Josh Reynolds (Getty)

During his NRL career, Reynolds was most famous for his stint with the Canterbury Bulldogs, for who he played 138 games.

Reynolds said the current COVID-19 outbreak impacting Sydney and the Canterbury-Bankstown area has been hard to watch from afar.

“To everyone in that area, because a lot of my family are there and a lot of my best mates, I’m thinking of you guys,” Reynolds said.

“I know what it’s done to this country [England]. I was over here when it got really bad and unfortunately, it’s getting like that and especially in the Canterbury-Bankstown area.

“Stay inside, it’s only going to get worst. It spreads like rapid fire.

“You see what it does to people, it’s not COVID-19 itself, it’s peoples’ mental states.

“When I first got over here and I was in that little room by myself and not having anyone to talk to, it’s not a nice place to be.”

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Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.

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