The first Northlander to catch Covid-19 is in full isolation and well on his way to recovery at home in the Bay of Islands.

Joshua Dent decided to go public to dispel rumours circulating on social media but mostly because he wanted people to stop giving his family grief.

Dent, 23, said he was isolated in the family house while his father was outside sleeping in his car, cooking on a gas burner, showering under a hose, and maintaining a safe distance.

READ MORE:
Coronavirus: New case of Covid-19 in Northland; region total now 2
No more Northland cases in 13 new positive Covid-19 cases
Thai students at Kerikeri High cleared of Covid-19 virus
Covid-19 testing stations to start in Northland

Advertisement

His father was cooking meals and placing them at a midway point on the deck before retreating and using takeaway plates that went straight in the bin afterwards.

''I just want people to stop giving my family grief," said Joshua Dent. "There's no close contact between us. Everyone needs to know how good my dad's been and what a great dad he is.''

Health authorities told Dent he most likely caught the virus in London, where he travelled as a birthday surprise for his best friend on March 7.

After a fun night in London with a visit to a curry house and a cheap bottle of New Zealand wine, Dent went to Paris to visit an exchange student friend.

When he was in France, the Government called on all Kiwis to come home so he ditched the remaining two weeks of his holiday and flew via Abu Dhabi and Sydney to Auckland.

He felt fine when he landed but went straight to his car and drove to the Bay of Islands to self-isolate, interacting with no one on the way.

He was about an hour from home when symptoms started. First it was a runny nose, a cough and a headache; a sore throat, shortness of breath, fatigue and an all-over ache came later.

His father had already moved out of the house and was staying with family so Dent could self-isolate.

Advertisement

He called Healthline when he got home and, after waiting half an hour to get through, explained his symptoms and where he'd been. He was told to get tested first thing in the morning.

The results came through the next day.

''I was shocked, but I was sick to the point where it was expected so I had mentally prepared for it.''

Joshua Dent in Oxford before his holiday was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo / supplied
Joshua Dent in Oxford before his holiday was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo / supplied

Dent gets a daily phone call from a nurse but otherwise he just has to wait it out.

He had a scare a few days into isolation when he was struggling to breathe, ''which kind of freaked out my family''.

''I think it was probably stress, thinking too much about it, watching the news and reading the comments.''

At that point, his father returned and started living in his car, where he could ''look after his boy'' while maintaining a safe distance.

Dent has been passing the time with Netflix, FaceTime and phone calls.

His only non-electronic social interaction is dinner with his dad. Dent sits on the deck while his father sits on the driveway about 10m away.

After getting grief at the shops, his father had also opted for self-isolation, despite having had had no close contact with his son.

Dent urged all Northlanders to heed official advice and take all precautions against the virus.

He was lucky because he was young and healthy but other people had ended up in hospital.

Recovering Covid-19 patient Joshua Dent at home in the Bay of Islands. His father, Sam Dent, is living in his car and coming no closer than 10m to his son. Photo / Joshua Dent
Recovering Covid-19 patient Joshua Dent at home in the Bay of Islands. His father, Sam Dent, is living in his car and coming no closer than 10m to his son. Photo / Joshua Dent

''Mine was bad but it wasn't next level. It was like a bad case of the flu.''

The former Bay College and Kamo High student said he was 85 per cent recovered.

''Now I'm just waiting for the last push from my body to get rid of this virus. I just feel like I have a light cold. I don't really have any symptoms any more. I'm getting better and better every day.''

At edition time yesterday Northland still had only two confirmed cases of Covid-19. The other is a woman in her 40s, recently returned from Melbourne.