Sun | Sep 19, 2021

Mariappa shares his COVID-19 experience

Published:Sunday | June 21, 2020 | 12:25 AMRobert Bailey - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Jamaican international Adrian Mariappa described his positive COVID-19 test as a shock, given that he adhered to the strict lockdown measures currently in place in the United Kingdom.

The 33-year-old Watford defender shared his experience in an interview with ESPN recently.

As the English Premier League (EPL) officials were determining a return date in May, Watford were scheduled to authorise non-contact training on May 19. The first batch of COVID-19 testing for all EPL players and staff was already completed and he received the disappointing news the day before he was set to return to training while on a bike ride.

“It was a crazy few days. I was looking forward to going back to training and went in for a test the day before. Then being told the next day I had tested positive was a big big shock to me, as I didn’t have any symptoms,” Mariappa said “I felt fine in myself, I felt really good actually.”


The positive diagnosis resulted in him going into isolation along with his family. He added that they have since been tested and the results were negative, but he believes that he might have caught the virus before the strict measures were enforced.

“It’s more likely they were still just lingering in my system. I must have had it before lockdown as I hadn’t gone anywhere during that time. I was strict with what I was doing,” he said. “The week after the positive test, I was tested again and it was negative.”

He made his return to the field yesterday as a substitute in Watford’s 1-1 draw with Leicester City. As has been the case during this week’s return, the players’ surnames were replaced with ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the back of their jerseys in solidarity with the global protests in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25.

Mariappa said that the discussions that have risen from this are necessary, and hopes that they will lead to lasting change.

“They’re conversations that need to be had, because this is a daily reality for black people all over the world and the daily injustices you’re fighting against. But it needs backing from everyone. It may be uncomfortable and you may not want to speak out about it, but there’s always something you can do and as long as you want to take action and support ... then I’m all for it,” he said.

Mariappa has made 49 appearances for the Reggae Boyz since making his debut in 2012. He is expected to play a vital role in the Reggae Boyz’s campaign to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.