Sunday night a family member complained of a scratchy throat. No problems. He had not been anywhere for quite a few days and was otherwise healthy. Fortunately I had some Rapid Antigen Tests here so, for peace of mind, he did one and it was negative.
Fast forward to Monday night. The family member now had a raging fever, night sweats, congested chest and very low blood pressure. This RAT came back positive within 3 minutes.
Seeing that line develop felt like a kick in the guts. I did not know what to do. I paused. I may have shed a tear or two. I checked the test several times. I was gutted.
All my family member could do was apologies which upset me even more. He had taken all the usual precautions. He was double vaccinated. He always wore a mask. It was not his fault but yet he felt he was to blame. He felt dirty and he felt he had put the rest of the family at risk.
Then I went into action. The reason I could…..I have been planning COVID strategies for the last 2 years.
Here is what I did….
The positive case is confined to his room with the door closed and the windows open.
Every person in the house has a labelled N95 to wear whenever they leave their room and they are all well practiced in how to do their own fit test and how to put it on and off.
I have a good supply of N95s for all of us that will get us through.
I have hand sanitizer in every room (and have done for 2 years).
Every window and door in the house is open and it will stay that way for the foreseeable future.
I restocked all my medication in the last few days. I have treatments for sore throats, a good supply of paracetamol and ibuprofen and assorted vitamins.
I was lucky enough to have a pack of 5 RATs at home. That was enough for him to get a confirmed positive and for us to have some left for the rest of the family if necessary.
I was aware of all of the local testing facilities. They were not an option as my family member is quite unwell. Luckily I already had the details of the local respiratory clinic. Because he had respiratory symptoms, I knew that he was eligible to be seen there. I booked online and he was tested was able to be tested within 3 hours of the positive RAT.
I was able to source a pulse oximeter. I’ve been meaning to do this for awhile but never got around to it. I wish I’d had it on hand last night, but the local pharmacy is delivering it today so I will at least have it here if anyone else becomes symptomatic.
I have a BP monitor. Better to have it and not need it than not have it and need it.
I have a list of phone numbers that I might need. Work, pharmacy, GP, Nurse on call, COVID hotline. Save the grief of searching for them.
I have a well stocked freezer so those of us that are isolating aren’t short of food (or alcohol!) and I have a network of friends on standby for incidental deliveries if required.
I am constantly up to date on the state isolation requirements so I am not waiting on a call from DHS that may not actually come through until we are all out of isolation.
The biggest things I am grateful for right now….
Thanks to the advice from AMT to up my game, I have been wearing N95s for the last few weeks. I haven’t been in my clinic since last Friday, but I did work in my job of Community Aged Care. The company I work for require us to wear surgical masks when with clients. I ignored their advice and wore N95, so, on the small chance I turn out positive, I know I have done everything to protect my clients.
I had my booster vaccination on the day I became eligible. I am now 2 weeks post booster so my immunity should be at it’s peak.
What I wished I had done before…. had a pulse oximeter at home for when I really needed it in the middle of the night.
Had more Rapid Antigen Tests available. There are 3 of us isolating and we only have 3 tests left which we will all need on day 6.
Had an air purifier at home, although I do know the ventilation is pretty good, it would give me an extra level of protection.
PS. We intially thought the exposure was from a visitor to our home on New Years Eve and was here for a maximum of 10 minutes and then became positive a few days ago. In the last 24 hours though, we have heard of 9 others that our family have had various levels of contact with that are now confirmed cases. It is everywhere around us!
Please don't be complacent. None of us are immune no matter how on point your protocols are.
Wear your mask EVERYWHERE even when visiting family and friends in their home and have a plan in place.