COVID-19 DIARY – FOURTH TIMES A CHARM

December 16

Tuesday night I finished work, went home, had dinner and started to feel a little sore in my throat.

I didn’t think I had it.

But I thought about other people who had displayed gone to work and how unlikely it was at the time they found out they were positive.

Where I work we had been keeping to only 50% staff working in the office but we were going into a busy period with my team in particular.

If one of us got COVID, contaminated the rest that would severely impact our ability to carry out work having to quarantine for 14 days. 

But far more importantly than that.

It would mean people I work with had been put at risk, their loved ones had been put at risk.

I had the capability and the support to get tested and to not have my income affected in any way.

It was a simple decision.

So on Wednesday morning I called my supervisor who agreed it was better to be safe than sorry. I would work from home and I would go and get tested. 

Since Karen has to isolate at home with me too until we got the results I decided I would get tested early in the day in the hope the results would get back sooner. Last time they had come back early the next morning which was very fast.

I packed a bag with all my work stuff to take to the office and back every day. I had done these for several weeks every day. But on Tuesday I was tired and the bag was heavy and I just decided I would leave it there, after all I’d be back in the next day. 

It had the masks my sister in law had made for me.

So instead I took the one she had made for Karen. Karen’s mask had received some modifications from her – there was a pipe cleaner in one side instead of elastic string.

The COVID-19 Fever Clinic at the Prince Charles was open from 9am.

I drove over and went to the buildings where the Fever Clinic had previously been but clearly things were now different. 

I asked a staff member who advised me it was now in the Emergency Department. 

So I as a potential COVID carrier walked and the entered the Emergency Department of the hospital.

I followed the signs and went down a long corridor away from the ward. 

Finally In entered the new clinic, there was a Christmas tree on the desk. A series of row of chairs off to the side and I sat down on one. 

I was alone. No one was there. 

The test no longer involved a nasal swab. Just my mouth.

It was painless.

By the time I left two people had entered and were seated or at the front desk.

I left the ward. 

I was in and out of the ward between 0943Hrs and 0957Hrs.

I went home. 

At 10:00pm I received a text message advising my test result was negative.

For the rest of the week I worked from home.

It was Karen who told me that someone had tested positive at the same clinic that week.

A woman travelling from Sydney on a Virgin flight attended The Glen Hotel near where I grew up on the southside of Brisbane. She had a rental car and drove up to the Sunshine Coast. On Thursday December 17 after a friend told her about the growing cluster in Sydney she got tested at the Prince Charles Hospital COVID-19 Fever Clinic at 1019Hrs – 1026Hrs. She was already back in New South Wales when her test came back positive.

The call went out for people to get tested and quarantine for 14 days if they had been “Passengers from rows 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11 on Virgin flight VA925 on Wednesday, December 16 and Close contacts from the restaurant at the Glen Hotel – 24 Gaskell Street, Eight Mile Plains – on December 16.

On Friday Dr Young said of the Sydney woman in her 50s, “The individual did go to that restaurant after 11.30am and at that stage she didn’t realise she was potentially at risk. There is a risk there at the Glen Hotel – it’s small, but we just want to make sure we’re contact-tracing every single person who possibly could have been exposed to the virus.

-Lloyd Marken

COVID-19 DIARY – I GOT A FEVER AND THE ONLY PRESCRIPTION IS A FEVER CLINIC!

20200525_133306
At the entrance to the Fever Clinic at the Education Centre of the Prince Charles Hospital. Copyright Lloyd Marken.

 

25 May

From the 25th to the 29th of May I worked from home as a precaution.

I also went into a Fever Clinic at the Prince Charles Hospital to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to work.

Because I was confident I just had the cold attending the clinic took on the form of a matter of curiosity.

The reality for many is it is a very anxious time where isolating before the test results means less paid work at best and at worst real concern that they have the virus and they have passed it on to others. I felt very fortunate that I was getting tested out of an abundance of caution for flu like symptoms.

But of course many people have felt this way and received some bad news.

It took 90 minutes all up. I was taken into one room and filled out a form and had my temperature taken.

I noticed a wardie came in and wiped everything down once somebody had left a seat to wait in. There were masks on each seat to put on.

I was then taken to another room to wait.

 

 

 

Then a swab went down my throat on the left and right hand side then down a nostril.

I coughed at the last bit and apologised. The nurse assured me that’s why she had on the full face mask and gown.

Out of curiosity beforehand I asked her the length of the swab and I think she took it easy it with me thinking I was worried about the swab. I was really just interested for you gentle reader.

All throughout Queensland school students of all ages returned to school.

The World Health Organisation reported on the 25th of May there were 7,109 confirmed cases in Australia with a daily increase of three. There were 102 deaths.

-Lloyd Marken