Golfer Greg Norman urged Covid “doubters” to take the virus seriously as he revealed it had “kicked the crap out of me like nothing I have ever experienced before”.
The 65-year-old Australian posted a picture of himself from his hospital bed on Sunday after testing positive for the disease while suffering severe headaches, muscle pain and fatigue.
He wrote on Instagram: “For those doubters out there, do not judge or cast unwarranted comments and opinions I would not want anyone, even you, to experience this hideous virus.
“So I ask, do what is right, not just for you, but your family friends co-workers and other people around. I am luckier than most and for that I am thankful and blessed.”
Norman believes he was exposed to coronavirus while competing in the PNC Championship tournament in Orlando, Florida, last week with his son, who has also tested positive.
After suffering symptoms while quarantining at home, he admitted himself to hospital on Christmas Day. He told his followers: “This sums it all up… On behalf of millions, f*** CoVid. This get this s*** behind us never to experience it again.”
He was released back home to continue his quarantine while awaiting the result of a PCR test but on Sunday Norman revealed he was back in hospital in Palm Beach Gardens and was receiving an antibody treatment.
“Ok I hope this will be my final update on this Covid saga of mine,” he wrote on Instagram. “Now back in hospital after getting a positive result on my PCR Covid test. Getting an infusion of Bamlanivimab antibody. The path to full recovery. Hoping to be out later today.”
Norman also urged people to take the virus “very very serious [sic]”. He said: “I am fit and strong and have a high tolerance for pain but this virus kicked the crap out of me like nothing I have ever experienced before.
“Muscle and joint pain on another level. Headaches that feel like a chisel going through your head scrapping little bits off each time, fever, muscles that just did not want to work like yesterday walking my dog Apollo my quads and hip flexors just did not want to work due to fatigue. Then my taste failed where beer tastes bad and wine the same.”
Several golfers sent messages of support, with British trio Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter among those to wish the Australian golfing great a “speedy recovery”. Other well-wishers included American model Cindy Crawford.
Norman, who earned the nickname The Great White Shark, spent more than 300 weeks at the top of the world golf rankings and won two Open championships in 1986 and 1993.
He also finished second seven times across the three other majors, having finished runner up at The Masters and the US PGA Championship in the same year as his 1986 Open victory. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001.