It’s been an emotional roller coaster ride.
My sore throat last week suddenly morphed into a fever and cough. After barely sleeping, at 6am, I thought, as best one can with a fever, “is this it”?
Since everyone I’ve told has wanted to know, I thought you might want to too…
This is what happens when you’re tested for Covid-19
My local GP clinic sent a text saying, anything Covid-19, keep away. Call the national hotline. So I did. First option was call 000 (our 911). But I wasn’t a 000 case, so the recorded message said to call Nurse on Call. The message said it’d be about 20 minutes on hold. One long hour and seven minutes later I was woken up by a lovely nurse saying, “hello, hello, hello”. I’d fallen asleep. She said they persist because they know the wait time is long.
She asked all about my symptoms and said you need to get tested within the next two hours. Wowsers! The nurse said to wear a mask, or a scarf in my case because I didn’t have a mask. The closest test clinic opened at 8am and it was 7:26am. I got myself together and down to the clinic for my next queue.
Have you ever tried standing for about half an hour with a fever? It’s a challenge. I couldn’t help but wonder why all the people in the queue didn’t have a mask or scarf situation. At least half of them didn’t. Seriously?
Finally, I got to my point in the queue to be triaged by this suited up doctor. There were taped up squares on the ground on the last stretch to make sure we all kept a safe distance. She said, I think it’s highly unlikely but you meet the criteria. That’s a fever over 37.5. At least, that’s what it was then. Who knows now. Everything keeps changing.
I was given a mask, and it was just like going to vote. There were booths where they took your name, address and phone number. You were given a certificate to say you’d attended the clinic, a swab packet and told to go to the other side of the plastic covered petitions. There, I was pointed to another booth with a rubbish bin, by another suited up person. I was told to open up my swab packet and do it – one for the throat and one for the nose and stick it in the tube. Throw everything else out and then hand in the swab near the exit.
Of course, I had a fever and the simplest of instructions were beyond me. I used the throat swab in the nose and they had to get me another one. I didn’t realise my mistake. The person watching me did. They were so kind and patient. I was so grateful, and felt so vulnerable.
Mostly, though, I was overwhelmed thinking how these suited up health workers, complete strangers, are putting their lives at risk. For me.
Then I went home and self-isolated. Waiting. They said, you’ll get a text if you’re clear, a call if you’re not.
I got the text. What a relief. I couldn’t stop smiling. Just some kind of flu, I assume.
That’s it. Kind of an anticlimax. I’ve kept the mask.
Since then, I’ve been thinking about how to be helpful. I’ve been hearing about how the anxiety and fear is manifesting at work – from flight to fight to freeze. The emotions are across the board and on a roller coaster ride all of their own.
So, I’m making something for you. Stay tuned for that next week. It’ll be free and informative, and hopefully make life in the time of corona just a little bit easier.
PS. I’ve also pulled together a Covid-19 Care Package for organisations. Why? Because workplaces need their leaders (you) now, more than ever. You, and your HR Director, can learn more here.