Michael Rosen ‘very poorly but stable’ after night in intensive care

Michael Rosen’s family has said that the poet, broadcaster and author, who is suffering from suspected coronavirus, is “very poorly at the moment” but is stable and alert after a night in intensive care.

Rosen, the author of beloved children’s books from We’re Going on a Bear Hunt to Little Rabbit Foo Foo, has been charting his illness on Twitter in recent weeks.

“Can’t stop my thermostat from crashing: icy hands, hot head. Freezing cold sweats. Under the covers for bed-breaking shakes. Image of war hero biting on a hankie, while best mate plunges live charcoal into the wound to cauterise it,” he wrote on 22 March.

The next day, he was wondering if he was suffering from a heavy flu rather than coronavirus: “Have had no chest pains. No persistent cough. So all along it could have been a heavy flu and not corona. Today the fevers are ebbing. In their place a deep muscle exhaustion. In every corner.”

On Monday, his family tweeted: “Michael is very poorly at the moment. Having spent a night in ICU, he is now doing ‘OK, stable, alert’ and was able to go to a ward yesterday.”

As the hashtag #GetWellSoonMichael began to trend on Twitter on Monday night and Tuesday morning, his wife Emma-Louise Williams thanked the thousands of readers who had wished him well.

Cressida Cowell, the current children’s laureate and author of the How to Train Your Dragon books, was one famous fan sending her support to her predecessor, along with fellow authors including Philip Pullman, Malorie Blackman and Mary Beard.


Inspired by Rosen children’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, teddy bears and other cuddly toys are popping up in windows across New Zealand to give children something to look forward to on their neighbourhood walks during the lockdown.

A mother and child spot a teddy bear in Christchurch, New Zealand. Inspired by Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, the toys have been put out to give children something to look forward to during the lockdown. Photograph: Kai Schwörer/Getty Images

“SO MUCH LOVE to Michael and to all of you, he is such a wonderful man who does so much good, I am fiercely willing for his swift recovery, and am delighted to hear he has moved from ICU on to a ward,” Cowell wrote on Twitter. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also sent his best wishes, writing: “Michael our dear friend. Get well quickly please and thank our NHS for caring for us all!”

Families on lockdown around the world have been finding inspiration in Rosen’s children’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, by putting teddy bears in their windows for children to spot on their daily walks and drawing comfort from the line: “We’re not scared.”

Rosen, loved by children and teachers around the UK for poems including Chocolate Cake and Don’t, is also the author of the poem These Are the Hands, written for the 60th anniversary of the NHS. “These are the hands / That touch us first / Feel your head / Find the pulse / And make your bed,” it opens. The poem lends its title to a new anthology of poetry by NHS workers that is raising money for NHS Charities Together’s urgent Covid-19 appeal. Rosen wrote a foreword for the collection, which was published last week, in which he described the NHS as “a perfect symbol of how we can care for each other across a whole society”.

The Guardian

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