Yesterday was probably the most anxious I have felt since March or April last year. I acknowledge my privilege in writing this, because I’m sure many of you reading this have experienced a lot more than this.
I’d only just come home and finished my lunch when the phone rang, with my sister telling me to turn on the TV as West Australian Premier Mark McGowan had called an emergency COVID19 press conference. I knew it could only mean one thing.
For anyone who has been listening to the Premier over the past year, yesterday’s snap lockdown announcement in response to a positive COVID19 case in the community would come as no surprise. Looking to recent outbreaks in Queensland and South Australia, I had a fair idea of how this would be managed.
Yet still, nothing could prepare me for the shock of learning that there had been a positive COVID19 case out in our community for the first time in ten months. Hearing suburbs and extensive venues visited by this positive case that I not only recognised, but were so close to home, really hit home. As well as realising just how terrible the situation is overseas that this virus was able to escape Australia’s strict quarantine hotels.
So, we are being asked to stay at home for the next five days. Limiting our movements gives the contact tracers some breathing space to isolate close contacts of this positive case, as well as close contacts of close contacts. Hopefully this quick, decisive action will allow us to quickly stamp out the virus and we can go back to how things were much sooner.
Back in March, I think I was definitely a little more blasé about the whole thing. I didn’t mind going to work, given I can’t work from home. I thought people were overreacting by wearing a mask in the supermarkets. I definitely didn’t think back then, that we would still be living with this virus today.
I spent some time yesterday debating whether to message my boss. This time around, I really didn’t feel comfortable leaving the house. At least not until I know how much further this has spread, and whether this positive case was carrying the more infectious UK strain.
Fortunately, I had plenty of personal leave accrued and my boss was extremely understanding. While this might not completely come from a place of living with diabetes, that is definitely the reason I have used not to go to work.
Stay home, and stay safe this week, WA. We’ve got this.