I wanted to describe our recent experience of the Coronavirus world.
On Monday 21st September our youngest started with a cold. After months of barely coming into contact with anyone, it was inevitable that we all would catch colds. We thought nothing of it. That evening our daughter started with a cold as well – again we thought nothing of it.
The following day our daughter was sent home from school because she wasn’t looking well. As her mum works at the school she took her temperature and it was high. Mum, and two children were both sent home straightaway as there were coronavirus symptoms. I phoned and I had to leave work as well. It was time to go into self-isolation until we received a negative result.
It took around six hours before we could finally book a test. The test was the next day in Warrington. Quite a way to travel, but that was the nearer slot. The test is not pleasant. You have to rub the swab on the tonsils right at the back of the throat for 10-15 seconds. You then use the same swab to put up a nostril and swab the inside of the nose for 10-15 seconds as well. You pop the swab into a tube, seal it all and hand it back.
The test took place in a car park. Someone directs you and guides you through the process. It’s all a bit surreal really. But the car park was very quiet and there were maybe 10-20 cars there.
The children’s results came through the next day, in exactly 24 hours. Our daughter’s was negative but our son’s was positive! We were in shock. What we presumed was just a cold was actually the virus. We had to notify the schools where we work, as well as anyone who he had come into contact with at the weekend. Later in the day Test and Trace contacted us and, over a long phone call, they took the details of everyone formally and any places where we had spent time over the eating, e.g. eating out. He had also had a haircut so we had to pass over their details.
The children were doing ok but we could not get their temperatures to stay down, although their cold symptoms gradually began to fade.
My wife’s school asked her to do a test which she did using a postal kit. She received a negative result in three days.
At last weekend I started with a cold and feeling rough and a high temperature started. So I booked another test for Monday. This one was to be in Runcorn. Once again, it was in a car park. There were literally two other cars in there. I received a negative result in 18 hours.
As I am asthmatic, my cold, like typical, started to aggravate my chest and I started with a cough. So a couple of days later I went for a second test – this time in Deeside. (This test centre was something more permanent and so it was like arriving at the scene of a movie.) I was also able to see a doctor but had to drive to the local hospital to do this which was also surreal. I was prescribed steroids and antibiotics. Another negative result arrived later that evening.
So here we are on day 11 of self-isolation. We have had one positive test and the rest of us are negative. The child with a positive test had very mild symptoms. I have had worse symptoms but have tested negative twice. Two schools have been disrupted as we haven’t been able to go into work. Two classes (50 children) at the children’s school were sent home for two weeks and their families were disrupted. One of my son’s friends had to close half of his business down as they needed to take it in turns to stay at home to keep their son at home. My mum, brother, two sisters-in-law, one with a boyfriend and baby all had to stay at home. Friends have been able to do things like shopping and running errands for us. Although I first thought that I might save some money on petrol, I have driven to Warrington, Runcorn, Deeside and Leighton – over 140 miles – for tests and to see a doctor. Massive disruption to our lives and also to our friends’ and family’s lives. We are confused, shocked, fed up, feeling useless and anxious. What a couple of weeks it has been.
We finally get to move back on with our lives on Wednesday.