When COVID Hit Home
Last updated: September 2022
I once survived a Louis Tomlinson show, and that's saying something considering people who didn't have epilepsy were going down like flies in a bug zapper light. Let me know if you want me to write about the problems the music industry is creating by trying to go with a "more is better" approach to staging, because I could write for hours on that topic, but that's not today's topic...
Today we're talking about being a COVID-19 "close contact" which at this very point in time, here in Queensland, Australia, means "somebody who is living with a COVID-positive person."
Being a "close contact" of someone with COVID
I live with my mum and a friend/part-time support worker, Nate, and the morning after going to the Louis Tomlinson show, I wake up to only see my mum in the kitchen. This was unusual but I didn't say anything at first. Later mum asked me if I "noticed anybody missing today." Instantly I asked if Nate has COVID-19. Indeed, he does.
My high-risk status
It's mid-2022 and this is the first time somebody in our house has caught COVID because even before we moved in with Nate and were just visiting, we were all taking every precaution, as I'm high risk due to my epilepsy and some of my other conditions, so we were trying to avoid me catching it.
Nate now lives in isolation with occasional socially distanced time with us outside during the day. Thankfully, this is a dual bathroom house so that's one less stress during this process. But boy, is it stressful. Nate wears gloves and uses disinfectant wipes whenever he leaves his room and mum disinfects every possible surface and the air regularly throughout the day. I am down a support worker, though.
Mum is somewhat acting as a shield in the way she makes sure everything is safe for both of us, but me in particular. However, this puts her at higher risk of catching it from Nate and if she does catch it from him it puts me at an even higher rate of catching it. Because there are just some things I can't do without my mum's help. That's just part of being disabled.
Missing medical appointments, testing regularly
As I write this, we're on day 5 of the initial isolation period for Nate, which, while technically unnecessary, has turned into a bit of an isolation period for me and mum as well. We can't attend my medical appointments while we're "close contacts," my photographer for my modelling projects and my trainer are also keeping their distance during this period.
We're testing regularly and mum and I are still negative even on day 5, which is such a blessing and a testament to the household's dedication to keeping a high-risk patient safe. And while still testing negative this far in is a good sign, we can't start to relax and start slacking off with our hygiene regime just yet. That's when bad things happen.
My fears of getting COVID with epilepsy
Testing negative now brings me such relief as the complications I can face with COVID while being high risk scare me to no end, but it also stresses me. Every day that I test for COVID, I stress until the final result shows I'm negative. And even then, I still stress that I won’t test negative tomorrow.
Each day we get further into isolation is another day I've been around this virus and have further potential to test positive.
It's a long, stress-filled process, but thankfully my household keeps me in mind and is doing their best to keep me safe. For that I'm extremely grateful, and I want to acknowledge how blessed I am to be in such a situation as too many others around the world aren't.
Since being diagnosed with epilepsy, has your memory been impacted?