I didn’t think my Christmas post would be another Covid Chronicles update.
However, our planned family Christmas gathering at our holiday home in the mountains quickly went pear-shaped on Christmas Eve when B21 woke up feeling unwell. A rapid antigen test (RAT) came up positive. He went off to a private clinic to try and get a faster test result. Faster that is than the 4 hour wait-to-get-tested lines at the public clinics, followed by a 2-3 day wait to get your results back.
In the meantime Mr Books and I had tested negative with a RAT test – a new Covid-19 skill added to our repertoire – self-administering the nasal swab! But it meant we all Christmas-ed apart. B21 at home, us in our mountains home with a fridge full of food for 6, and B24 and GF with her family instead.
When B21’s polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test came back positive yesterday, it was confirmed that Mr Books and I were indeed close contacts and therefore required to self-isolate for 7 days. Our one and only hope for dodging the virus this time, is that we have barely seen B21 during the week thanks to our various work schedules and his spending time with his GF.
B21 has had a good dose of the flu with fever, aches and pains, sore throat and headaches. He is double-vaxxed. We have no idea where he caught it, but given how rampant Omicron is in Sydney right now, it could have been anywhere from work, the gym, the supermarket or a dinner out during the week.
We zoomed and have had regular calls and text messages with both boys over the past two days, but it’s not the same.
It’s curious how we have gone from only knowing about 2-3 people with Covid over the past 2 years, to suddenly knowing almost a dozen in a week. My inner west Sydney suburb is dropping like flies at the moment, either positive cases or close contacts. A LOT of people will not be able to work this week. Many local restaurants have already posted that they are closed for the next 2 weeks due to staff shortages.
The truly trying part though are the lines to get a PCR test. Every state except Victoria, requires NSW travellers to have a negative PCR test up to 72 hours before they travel. It’s the same requirement for any overseas travel. We decided to get a PCR test today to (hopefully) confirm our negative RAT, but the line was already 4-hrs long when we got there 20 mins before the clinic opened. The clinic is only open for 3 hrs today. I asked if there was any fast-tracking available for people who were close contacts or with symptoms – no!
We decided that given we were still symptom-free, the RAT test was enough peace of mind for now.
Fortunately, our mountains home is on a very private block, at a distance from neighbours. In the mornings we are able to spend some time in the garden, before the summer rains and mist sets in after lunch. We have plenty of books and streaming services and there are always odd-jobs to do around the house. But we were meant to spend this week with the boys, bush walking, playing games and hanging out together. We’ve had to cancel the dinner reservations we had made a couple of weeks ago for this week, as well as the day trip to visit my family and a couple of catch-ups with friends.
In the scheme of things, it’s more disappointing than anything else. There are many more worse things that could have happened and are happening to others.
B21’s symptoms appear to be relatively mild, although it’s a long time since he was sick for three days. Spending a quiet week in the mountains is not a chore by any means either. But…it’s hard not to be paranoid any time one of us coughs or sneezes!
I hope this finds you all well & safe wherever you are & however you observe this time of year.
Take care; take heart.
- The Covid Chronicles #1
- The Covid Chronicles #2
- The Covid Chronicles #3
- The Covid Chronicles #4
- The Covid Chronicles #5
- The Covid Chronicles #6
- The Covid Chronicles #7
- The Covid Chronicles #8
- The Covid Chronicles #9
- The Covid Chronicles #10
- The Covid Chronicles #11
- The Covid Chronicles #12
- The Covid Chronicles #13
- The Covid Chronicles #14
- The Covid Chronicles #15
- This post was written in the area we now call the Blue Mountains within the Ngurra [country] of the Dharug and Gundungurra peoples.