• Patrick McBride

Greymouth's positive Covid connection

Confined to the studio apartment of an Abu Dhabi establishment in the United Arab Emirates, Dane Neilson confirms he's just become a Covid-19 statistic.

Dane Neilson this morning from Abu Dhabi

His family name is well known around the West Coast in mining circles, with father Les and brother Kirk having worked for the Coast's 'black gold' in the Grey district.

For Dane, an ex Greymouth High School student, he set his sights on another Coast and settled in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf. The City’s focus is on oil exports and commerce is reflected by the skyline’s modern towers and shopping mega-centers and Marina malls.

Working for a company that is responsible for the operation and maintenance of their national railway network, they took the proactive approach of testing employees.

Feeling fit and healthy last week Neilson was confident of a negative result. But with Covid-19 sweeping the globe and 14,730 people contracting the virus to date in Abu Dhabi, Neilson would soon join the rising number of positive tests.

"I didn't really have any symptoms so maybe I'm one of the ones that doesn't get to sick. I got retested this week and second time around it felt like they hit the back of my skull with the swab it was that deep." Neilson told McBride Vision.

Dane has been managing to pass time with a fix of YouTube and Netflix. The dumbbells and guitar are always within arms reach and he views the experience as a small set back. He kindly gives us a tour of the apartment he is quarantined in. See below video.

"Luckily my awesome wife managed to send me out some home cooked meals and continues to sends lots of videos of my babies (golden retrievers),” he says.

Neilson's second result has just returned negative. He now awaits a third test before getting some normality back.