Gregory Porter ‘devastated’ due to Covid loss – ‘It was unfair’

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The two-time Grammy winner has enjoyed success at the top of the charts, and his “signature” Kangol Summer Spitfire and modified strap that covers his ears and his chin, has become part of his brand. But last year, the singer bravely opened up about losing his brother to Covid. Talking to the Metro, Gregory revealed that it was in May last year that his brother sadly passed away, recalling his loss as “devastating”.

The singer said: “I lost my brother, Lloyd, to Covid, which was devastating. He was a year older than me and full of life.

“It was unfair how the whole thing unfolded. I wasn’t allowed to see him before he went to the hospital or in the hospital and then he just disappeared.”

Due to the difficulty of Covid restrictions, the loss of Gregory’s brother was made even tougher.

The star continued to say: “In those early days you weren’t even allowed to have the body. He was cremated and went away. We had an online memorial, which was beautiful, but I couldn’t believe he was gone.

“We were very close and he was on his way to moving back to California, where I am. We had plans. It has changed all of our lives.”

The sobering experience made the dangers of Covid feel all too real for Gregory, and he admitted that although he took lockdown seriously from the very beginning, some of his friends were unaware of the damaging effects the virus had.

“I was serious about it from the beginning. I was on tour in Germany and during the intermission they informed me that after the show I had to pack up and go home because the tour was cancelled. They changed my flight and I wrapped up my nose and mouth in a scarf and flew home,” Gregory elaborated.

“But if people haven’t been touched by it, sometimes they don’t get it. I still have friends who are like, ‘Oh man, come on, let me come by and let’s hang out.’ I say, ‘It’s not that kind of party. We can hang out in the yard, six feet is fine but I need a little more room than that.’”

Reflecting on lockdown, and daring to think of what life will be like as we all emerge, Gregory commented on how he thinks the music industry should change.

He told the PA news agency that like other industries, music has to adapt to the new conditions created by the virus, and that some music is no longer “appropriate”.

Gregory said: “If the restaurant business has to learn some new things and what we are and who we will be going forward, so does the music industry. I think soulful, real stories will be important going forward.

“Messages of togetherness I think will be important, messages of renewal, all these things we are going through will be important.

“There’s some music that happened before the pandemic that’s not appropriate now because there’s been so much lost and so we have to adjust, just like everybody else.”

When returning back to the stage, Gregory felt emotional, saying that he had missed everybody and was so thankful to see fans gathered in a “gorgeous” venue like the Royal Albert Hall, London.

Despite being allowed to perform once again, England is still not clear of Covid yet. In fact, Covid infections were recorded to be at their highest ever level according to new research.

Findings from the REACT-1 study, show the increase is driven by high rates among school-aged children, with one in 17 children infected between 19 October and 29 October. This has prompted researchers to call the 10 days following the end of the school half term as “critical”.

Sky News reported that across England, the overall prevalence of the virus was 1.72 percent compared with 0.83 percent in September, with the highest prevalence in the South West of England.

Director of the React programme, Professor Paul Elliott, from Imperial College London said: “We do know that we saw a very, very similar pattern … at the same time last year, where over the half-term period the rates dropped and then actually they rebounded and went up again. So I think watching what happens in the next week, ten days, is going to be really critical.”

The NHS explains that the main symptoms of Covid are still a high temperature, a continuous cough and a change or loss of smell and taste.

If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms it is important to self-isolate and get a PCR test straight away. If someone you live with has symptoms of COVID-19, or has tested positive for COVID-19, you will not need to self-isolate if any of the following apply:

  • You’re fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine given by the NHS
  • You’re under 18 years, 6 months old
  • You’re taking part or have taken part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • You’re not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons.

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