A 48-year-old Auckland man looks at a photo of himself weighing about 150kg in November 2019 and thinks if that version of himself had contracted Covid-19 he wouldn't have survived.
The New Zealand-born Samoan man was told last year he was pre-diabetic and was line to begin medication to combat the disease which affects Pacific Islanders at three times the rate of other New Zealanders.
"I'm a typical Polynesian male, former athlete, but not very active anymore and I had all these signs and symptoms... I was probably a ticking time bomb."
But instead of going down the medication journey, the man, who didn't want to be named to protect his privacy, went on a diet.
A vegan diet worked for him, and between November and March he lost a lot of weight
and was feeling great.
"I was feeling amazing, I thought I could play a game of footie again."
But Covid-19 hit him "like a ton of bricks" in March.
The man recognised almost immediately what was causing him to feel so sick wasn't a regular flu and he sought out a Covid-19 test at a community testing station in St Lukes, but was turned away twice.
It was only when he drove from his home in the central Auckland suburbs to Māngere that he was finally tested.
He said the differences between the service at St Lukes compared to Māngere couldn't have been more stark, but he wouldn't put it down to race.
"I know a lot of people thought it was really bad I was turned away, but I never turned it into a race thing. But there was a difference of service on site."
He felt the healthcare workers at St Lukes didn't recognise him as a possible Covid patient because people were required to have links to overseas travel as well as symptoms to get a test in March.
The staff at Māngere took one look at him and saw how unwell he was and treated him with compassion. He got a test right away.
"In Māngere they were more forthcoming and warm," he said.
"When you're sick, you're a patient, so treat them like a patient."
He spent six days in hospital fighting the virus. It attacked his lungs, kidneys and heart and at one point he thought he wouldn't make it through the night.
Five months on, the long-lasting impact of Covid-19 is not fully known.
"I'm not 100 per cent now, I have bad days and I get tired more. I'm lethargic and I get aches. Any little thing I wonder if it's the virus."
He understands how important it is to be in good health to fight Covid-19, but also the ailments commonly seen in Māori and Pacific people.
"We have to be leaders in our community and educate ourselves about how important your personal health is.
"If you're not in a good physical state, this virus can attack you."