Herman Chalupsky, a Covid-19 survivor, was among the first 20 people who tested positive in SA after a skiing trip to Italy. On March 9 last year, Chalupsky and his friends Garth Loudon, Russell Hampson, Howard Schwegmann and Richard Philips went into isolation at a farmhouse in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands after returning from Italy. While in isolation the group tested positive for the virus. Chalupsky said the hardest part was dealing with the anxiety and seeing the devastation the pandemic caused. “In the beginning it was very nice. We thought we’re going to get another two-week holiday. But we soon realised after three days it wasn’t for us. The symptoms weren’t that [severe] but your mind keeps telling you it’s a bad disease, and you’re looking at CNN and you see all these people dying everywhere in Italy and in Wuhan, so the panic sets in.” He received the green light from his doctor after the two-week quarantine and now spends his days canoeing in his pool. Chalupsky is in Knysna training for national downwind surski championships which will be held in Durban on April 9 and 10.