To read Tom's fourth blog, click here.
On Tuesday 31 March (I think - I’m losing track of the days up here) I was called by the Health Team and asked to attend my first retest. Anyone who has contracted the virus needs two negative test results before being given the all clear. I was informed that my test would be the same day and I should get myself down to the temporary testing facility at 6.45pm.
I was ridiculously excited. Having been cooped up in the attic of my house for what seemed like a month, the thought of being allowed outside for a brief outing was overwhelming. I was going to see actual humans face to face!
I showered, I shaved, I doused myself in body spray in order to make myself smell like someone who interacts with other people, and I got dressed into real clothes. After washing my hands (again) I very carefully walked downstairs, through the house (making sure not to touch anything) and out of the front door.
I was (temporarily) free!!!
I was called through to the customs shed where the medical team were waiting for me - their friendly smiles just visible behind their protective visors. Again, the two ladies on duty were extremely professional and went through the short procedure very efficiently (swabs to the throat and nose). But what struck me most was their kindness. In the midst of a busy workload where they are putting themselves in a high-risk situation, they took the time to chat with me, ask me how I was doing, answer my questions and allay any worries I might have.
In fact, throughout this whole experience the kindness shown by everyone has been overwhelming.
When I wrote the first instalment of this blog I had concerns that there would be some negative feedback. I was wrong; there was an outpouring of support and messages of positivity flooded onto Facebook. Those were just the tip of the iceberg - I received kind words through instant message, WhatsApp, Slack, and even LinkedIn.
We have had close friends and family dropping off homemade cakes, cards, chocolates, and a variety of other treats (while out on other essential journeys of course).
My colleagues at Potting Shed have been constantly checking up on me (mainly to berate me for checking in on jobs and answering emails).
Clients have sent beautiful messages wishing me a speedy recovery (don’t worry guys, I’ll be chasing up those projects soon enough!)
With so much time on my hands I’ve spent a lot of it on social media and I have never seen so much community spirit being displayed and thoughtful messages being shared.
In a period of worry, uncertainty, and isolation people have come together like never before. Kindness and generosity of spirit has flowed through our little community - and the rest of the world - in a way that I haven’t seen before. This global pandemic is a scary thing to be experiencing (and we have a long way to go before it’s all over) but I truly believe that we will come out of it kinder and more thoughtful.
As I write this I’m sipping yet another cup of tea kindly delivered to me by Sarah. I’m on the road to recovery. Sarah and Joey have both had negative test results back (thank the lord - I wouldn’t be nearly as good a nurse as Sarah has been). So in our little household we are readying ourselves to get back to some sense of normality; we still won’t be able to see other people but we will at least be able to see each other.
When it comes to kindness, there are four individuals who need a special mention.
Roo, I thank you for your constant smiles over FaceTime and for texting me endlessly with random messages to keep my spirits up. When I get out of quarantine, I’m going to hug you so hard that you poop.
Joey, I thank you for being so patient and thoughtful with your sisters and your Mum. Your constant easy-going nature and help around the house has made Mum’s life so much easier.
Lottie, I thank you for sharing your bedroom with Mum and being an absolute star throughout this. You’ve been like an extra adult in the house and have juggled your own schoolwork with helping Mum to cook and look after me.
Last but not least… Sarah, I thank you for being the glue that has held this whole family together. You’ve been a Mum, teacher, cleaner, nurse, therapist, and so much more (plus you even had to put the bins out!). There aren’t enough brownies in the world for the points you have earned.
This is my last blog about my Corona experience. I thank you all for your support throughout this experience and I hope that these words have been useful to some of you. If anyone finds themselves in my position in the future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch - Sarah and I will be happy to help in any way we can.
Stay safe everyone... and keep being kind :)