During months of following the health recommendations of social distancing and education at home, a text message put my life into a spin for 48 hours.
I received information that I had been in contact with someone who was briefly exposed to a circle of contacts where someone had returned a positive test result for COVID-19.
I thought about the degrees of separation and the cross-over time spent between all the parties involved. I knew I would be highly unlikely to have contracted the coronavirus.
It still didn't change the fact panic started to set in, for a short while.
Had I compromised my community? Could I remember everywhere I had been, and the people I had seen?
Sitting in limbo, it was tough to know what to do. I had been going about my life, in the "new normal" way, following social distancing rules.
While under stress, trying to rack my brain of everywhere I had been, it occurred to me why everyone starts to panic and would want more information on where cases are located. Do we come into contact with people in the community all the time who are a-symptomatic?
Luckily for me once the panic was removed and I looked at the facts it was easy to see a clearer picture.
I believe the positive case had no symptoms while coming into to contact with any members of the public and by chance had spent more than 48 hours at home before the first sign of any illness.
Not knowing the person, personally, I have been told they have been very particular in following government regulations and were bewildered on how easy the virus was to contract.
Until I knew the results of tests, my family kept a low profile and spent time at home.
Once contact tracing began on the positive result and all other test results were returned as a negative for my contact and their known contacts, I breathed out. But it really brought home just how easily COVID-19 could spread.
When filling out the questionnaire on the government website, I was told I didn't need to be tested.
I didn't have any close contact with someone who had tested positive, I didn't have any symptoms or be near anyone who had traveled overseas.
Thinking back now, I'm not sure why there was any panic. It's a process that everyone needs to work through and like everything in life, we can't turn back the clock.
I have faith in our local health services, that we are ready and equipped to deal with cases of COVID-19.
Catching the coronavirus wasn't the most daunting thing - that was the thought of compromising the community I love, where I live and work.
I've seen some vile things on social media about positive cases and people personally attacking others. I choose to believe the best of humanity and that everyone is doing the right thing, just as I believe this person who had tested positive was doing and still is doing.
It's an unfortunate position to be in if a result comes back positive. No one wants to catch it - nor should they be begrudged for catching it.
The government has said the virus is easier to catch than the common cold.
I have never heard people get howled down for catching a cold.
For now, I know I am free to socially distance my way through the community.
But I feel we aren't just out of the woods yet.
Always look at the positives - we've done a fantastic job in keeping our community free of COVID-19 but if we were to get positive cases, we need to make sure we are supporting those people who were unfortunate enough to get a result they didn't want to hear.
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