WEAR A MASK! WEAR A MASK! WEAR A MASK (and wash your hands & social distance)

I thought it worth sharing my weekend experience that I spent 10 hours in the local hospital’s COVID ward over the weekend and it was one of the scariest episodes of my life.

I cannot stress enough to my friends, family and followers…..

WEAR A MASK!

WASH YOUR HANDS (regularly outdoors, indoors and everywhere in between)!

SOCIAL DISTANCE (and stay at home when the lockdown is in place and keep your distance when out shopping, working, exercising or anywhere else when in public)! 

So the story behind my hospital stay is…..

I’ve had a temperature on/off over the last 2 weeks….. and at night in bed…… trouble breathing and a wee bit of a cough (when lying flat) and more tired than usual, but in general, nothing serious.  No big deal.

I’d spoken to my GP over the phone twice and on hearing on Friday that I still had a temperature and was a little unwell, she emailed me a COVID test referral.

In the meantime, I hurt my shoulder early on…….which got worse……and I ended up calling an ambulance late Saturday around midnight (although I really only needed a taxi to get it checked out at the local E.R.).

The ambulance guys checked my temperature before taking me downstairs and on finding it high, rang ahead to warn the hospital and then did the mandatory trip direct to the COVID ward!

In the ward, the atmosphere was spooky.   Eerie.   Surreal.

YOU DON’T WANT TO GO THERE!

I was very nervous about being in that ward.    I couldn’t help but look around at the other patients with some interest.  Some of them were very unwell/ill.   I was just fine (in comparison).

The room was filled with tension and my heart went out to the nurses, doctors and hospital staff who cleaned the cubicles – floors, beds, equipment, walls & ceilings every time a patient was discharged, or moved on to ICU etc.  They all had full protective gowns, masks, plastic head shields (for the nurses) and gloves (and they changed gloves and sanitised their hands every time they moved from patient to patient doing observations).

Yes, every patient was touched with a fresh set of gloves.   If you pressed the Nurse buzzer on your bed, the nurse had to change gloves and sanitise when she came to attend to you.   You weren’t allowed to go to the corridor toilets/rest room.

Commodes are a funny thing.   More like a King/Queen sitting on a throne.   I kept drinking water with my sore/dry throat and then of course………kept needing to pee  😀

Even the ceilings and walls were cleaned after each patient was moved.

I was a wee bit breathless and uncomfortable breathing in the ward initially as I’m allergic to bleach or strong chemicals, perfumes and strongly scented body products.

The scent of serious illness is not one I like to wear.   I’ve had enough over the last 25 years.

But I seemed to finally get used to the strong odour of chemicals and started to breathe more easily.   I’d held my nose and breathed through my mouth enough for one night.

YOU DON’T WANT TO GO THERE!  (if you’ve been in a COVID ward you’ll know what I’m talking about).

The sound of someone struggling to breathe for hours and hours is something I’d like to unhear.

I felt so much compassion for the suffering of the bed occupants.  

We were all put in the same Coronavirus ward if you had a temperature and weren’t allowed into the ordinary E.R. (Emergency Room).

After an Xray of my shoulder (and my chest, as I’d told them I was having issues with breathing when lying flat in bed which I’d attributed to my worsening heart condition), they did a COVID test.

My bloodwork and Xrays were all fine and they wrote out a referral for my GP to send me off for a shoulder ultrasound in case I’d torn something.   They did a COVID test.  Because I had a high temperature they wouldn’t let me go home in a taxi, so rang and booked a St John’s Ambulance driver to take me home and carry my bags upstairs to my 1st floor apartment and ensure I was safely ‘tucked indoors’ in my apartment.  I was told not to leave it until I had the COVID test result which would take 48 hours to be processed.   I waited just on 4 hours in a chair in my cubicle as the ambulance driver already had a list of people to transport.

9.00a.m. this morning my mobile phone sounded with a text message.

COVID test was NEGATIVE.   HURRAY!   WHOOPEE!

So, on waking with a sorer throat, coughing a wee bit and an ongoing temperature, it appears my body is fighting an ordinary virus or throat infection.

No big deal.   A little of my favourite remedy of homemade chicken soup with lots of fresh ginger and a whole bulb of garlic (about a dozen or so ‘cloves’) will be my personal treatment.   Lots of hot lemon juice and honey will be on my drink menu.

PHEW!

So I implore all of you, in an urban environment especially, WEAR A MASK outside your home and in the community.   If you live in another state or country, wear a mask when you can’t socially distance.

Foggy glasses and muffled voices are a small price to pay for wearing a (correctly adjusted) facial mask and avoiding possibly contracting The Virus.

The news revealed there were only 116 new virus cases in my state of Victoria in the last 24 hours, but sadly, 15 more deaths – all of those in the old age sector – men and women in their 80s, 90s AND over 100).

So, Melbourne and regional areas of my state are winning the battle against the second wave of COVID 19, but this morning our Premier has proposed that Melbourne would continue with a state of emergency for the next 12 months, if no vaccine is found.   Obviously, the 6-week lockdown was not going to be the end of it.

We are winning with the strict lock-down and night-time curfew in Melbourne, but don’t be complacent.   Don’t think it ‘can’t happen to you’.

It could have happened to me and I have been mainly stuck indoors over the last 18months and have obviously caught some ordinary virus despite face mask, hand sanitiser and so on when I did go out to the pharmacy/shops.

This ordinary virus might have been the extraordinary COVID VIRUS.

IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU.   DON’T TELL ME you’re young, fit and healthy and never get sick.

I’M NOT TRYING TO BE  an ALARMIST, OVER-CAUTIOUS or CREATE SOME PANIC.   I’M USING SOME COMMON SENSE now that this current CORONAVIRUS has touched over 9,000,000 million people around the world (and probably more, as there’s bound to be some asymptomatic folk out there not tested).   To be honest, I’m getting a bit sick of it filling the news on TV, but on the other hand, don’t want to miss any new development or new rules that have arisen overnight, so watch a bit each day.   But I do have the option of turning the TV and computer OFF I suppose.

Take a little time to consider how you’re going to adjust to the new ‘normal’.   Consider how you’re going to adjust to your new lifestyle.  Take the time, not to wait for the VIRUS to go away……but perhaps started thinking about where you might take your next holiday.   Perhaps consider how you’re going to work or earn your living in the future.

Start thinking about some local trips and short holidays.   Explore your immediate area once the Lockdown has lifted (and I’m sure Melbourne’s lockdown will eventually be lifted).  Consider some new hobbies, sport or exercise routine.

Living in Nature doesn’t have to be Overseas.

There’s a wealth of local parks, gardens, nature reserves, hills, mountains, coastal beaches and country destinations you can look forward to.

Take the time to ‘SMELL THE ROSEs’……locally…….and care for your community.

 

This sun came out from behind the clouds earlier today and the House Sparrows came to the birdbath for a drink and play in the water.  I missed capturing the male Superb Fairy-wren when he came to visit a bit later within the lens frame.

Enjoy your day.

Live each day Mindully, fully appreciating what you have, not worrying about what you have not.

I’m way behind with blog reading, but my YouTube addiction got extended to funny babies and toddlers yesterday afternoon when I got home and I laughed myself silly.   Truly, a good belly laugh is the best medicine.

Try it.

33 thoughts on “WEAR A MASK! WEAR A MASK! WEAR A MASK (and wash your hands & social distance)

    1. I really didn’t think I had the COVID virus, just hurt my shoulder. I don’t get high temperatures normally. I have very low body temp. but that element of doubt did creep in.
      Yes, feel free to email it to someone who has doubts about the whole seriousness of the state this world is in, but don’t scare anyone who is usually prone to be overly pessimistic about every little thing either. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This was a scary read, Vicki, but I am so glad you are out of the hospital and you tested negative! Everybody has to respect this virus, but they are not. The police are breaking up illegal raves here, and parties, because a certain section of the community are not taking covid serious enough. In the first wave here we had a neighbour die within 24 hours of being admitted to hopsital with coronavirus.

    I really hope your shoulder heals quickly, and that you recover from your virus quickly, too. You were very brave, and thank you so much for sharing as more people need to understand and take covid more seriously.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It was a scary few hours (for me), Pete, and I am not exaggerating. I am used to chronic ill-health, pain and hospital E.R. trips, but this experience reinforced how important is it to follow the new restrictions.

      We had the night curfew put in place because, like your country, too many young folk were partying at home with a few friends etc.

      I gave a lot of thought as to whether to share or not, but I hope it did ‘press home’ the seriousness of this situation.

      I appreciate that Australia has a small population but it really is worth our strict lockdown to try and reduce new cases and the spread.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Glad it turned out you were ok, but yrs, I can imagine being on that ward scary and feeling the tension etc..
    Any medical setting. Even just for a check up I am avoiding when I can. I just don’t want to be in any medical setting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just dislike E.R. rooms and specialist consultations in general, Liz. Its so tedious repeating the same old story over and over in the E.R. – often it’s triage, nurse, doctor and then,depending on reason, waiting for a specialist consult too. Then there is the call centre’s questions if you want an ambulance, then the ambulance staff questions).
      I used to waste so much time going to specialists too (as I can’t predict travel time so leave home much earlier than req’d and it seems to waste a whole afternoon).
      There comes a time in life when chronic health issues are a real pain in the……
      I well understand why you don’t like check-ups either.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, for chronic health conditions, going through repetitive questions and having the afternoon wasted, is draining, on top of your condition that can make you feel drained. So I can imagine being glad to get out and be home.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Totally shocked until I read that your test result was negative. I always wear a mask. Social distancing and washing hands was already my way of living before corona. I think you deserve some calm days and get healthy soon. Sending smiles and greetings to the other side of this world. Reinhold & Boomer 🐶

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Calm days coming up, thankyou Reinhold.(and Boomer). I’m a bit of a recluse and very solitary these days, so even sitting or lying in a hospital ward (of any kind) is a bit hard for me. I can’t sleep with the noise and the artificial bright lights are really hard on me (with my health).
      I need daylight and some nature to keep me happy. I need some peace and quiet too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You did the right thing in preparing and sending this out, Vicki. What a riveting account of your scare and the ordeal. Although we are only at Level 3 (at least through this coming Sunday), I’m the one who does our grocery shopping, and I always put my mask on before leaving the car and don’t take it off again until I close the door on myself again. I still see people in the grocery shore not wearing masks, and that still amazes and confounds me. I’ll echo Cindy and say thank God you’re OK!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Gary.

      As a high-risk person with several chronic health conditions (including severe HCM), I find it annoying to say the least to see people ignoring the rules which are set in place to protect the whole community. It’s so easy to wear a mask.

      But I did think a lot before uploading my experience, Seeing the TV news and a few YouTubes is not the same as hearing a ‘first-hand’ account of being in that ward even if it was for only a few hours, which guided my decision to share.
      It was a real eye-opener in appreciating the amazing courage it takes to be a health care professional in these COVID days. We are so lucky to live in a western city with modern medical facilities, but all the care in the world doesn’t necessarily give you a good outcome if you contract COVID..

      Some folk are putting their heads in the sand if they think the Health Experts are exaggerating OR the Premier is too strict in the lockdown. Write now, we need rules until we can work out a new normal and what is the best way forward. I’m a little unsure about a vaccine that might, or might not, be tried and tested (with no evidence of long term effects). I’m allergic or highly reactive to many antibiotics and drugs. Patients have such differnt outcomes and there’s no way to predict what will work for everyone.

      It’s just like there’s no such thing as the Perfect Diet. There’s only the right diet for you at this time in your life. Do they have any evidence of how individual genes come into play? How can they decide on a ‘one size fits all’ type of vaccine?

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Arlene. I’m definitely being careful, but hope we don’t have to have severe restrictions forever. Hopefully. we’ll find a way forward to both protect everyone and allow people to find jobs and earn a living agin.. I genuinely think people in urban areas (in particular) need to start thinking about a new normal and how to live with potential outbreaks. Not everyone can be vaccinated. I’m allergic to so many drugs myself that I’m not feeling optimistic as to a vaccine ‘one size fits all’ approach.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree with you, This pandemic won’t surely leave us in just a year. I dread to think what will happen to our economy and to those millions of people who lost their jobs. Keep safe always.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! Where should I begin. First and foremost, I’m glad that you’re ok and hope that your shoulder and cold will get better soon. I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate you sharing this. While reading it, I was rooting for you and hoping that this was going to have a happy ending (and I’m glad it does and that you’re fine…as in safe from Covid). I hope your post gets to be read by as many people as possible. It should be!

    Also, thanks for giving those of us not living in Australia a glimpse into what’s happening there. It seems that you guys have it so much more under control! Good for you! (I wish we were in a better situation here, too, but…[sigh].)

    Again, thanks so much for sharing! I’m really glad you’re ok and hope you feel better soon. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Alina.
      Our state (Melbourne and surrounds) has gone from 725 new cases a day (and rising) 3 weeks ago to 116 new cases in the last 24 hours, but 4 country cities have now got active cases. It may not sound much to you over in the U.S. but this was an explosion of COVID in what was a relatively benign state of affairs, in an extremely short time, (for our small population).

      I think N.Z. are having the same thing happen at present. One day 1 case and the next day 52 cases (when they had no cases for something like 100 days prior to that outbreak. This virus spreads like wildfire.

      I caught the terrible flu in the epidemic in 2004, and while people die from many other causes (more than the current pandemic) each year, those health conditions do not spread with such speed and kill so quickly. There are only 25 million people in the enormous continent of Australia.

      I feel sad that other countries are placing economy and keeping popular with the general populace above strict mask-wearing, social distancing and lockdown in an effort to slow the spread. Its hard, but someone has to make those difficult decisions.

      Disastrous for small businesses and those that have lost their jobs in Australia, but in the long run, its giving society a chance to adjust to a new normal and consider what the new world might be like. There is a lot of mental stress in the current lockdown, but also there is a lot of support and more funds being put into the negative effects of this lockdown in assistance and health care.

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  6. How scary. I would like to caution you. The test results have been a bit dodgy. I suggest you get tested for Covid-19 antibodies in a month or two from now. You may have had a mild case like we did. See if you notice unusual tiredness and other symptoms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your suggestion, Sherry, but with chronic pain/fatigue and many symptoms for so many years, it was only the raised temperature that gave me a clue I was unwell. Funnily enough, back in my working day when I was so fit and did so much exercise, it was only when I felt cold at work (in that overheated office) that I knew I was getting a cold/cough/virus thing. With chronic inflammation and pain, a less knowledgeable person might mistake many symptoms for COVID.
      I am tired most of the time and sleep 10-12 hours, but then am often awake at night in pain and with tachycardia/high BP from food intolerance reactions. Occasionally I am awake all night.
      Secondly, I have a serious heart condition and the breathlessness, difficulty breathing lying in bed and swollen ankles are signs of heart failure (as much as difficulty breathing might be COVID).
      I would like to have a repeat test anyway, but my next visit to my HCM Cardiologist might be more revealing.

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    1. Mask wearing is just so easy to do (to protect our family, friends and members of the broader community). There are so many fabulous colours, patterns and styles too – it’s a real fashion statement these days (apart from the protection).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Vicki,
    Thank you so much for sharing your luscious photos after having experienced such a tough weekend.
    You are amazing! 💖
    The delight you take in sharing such beautiful images of tiny birds and delicate flowers is such a tonic for me and for many others, I suspect. 🌺🌸🌺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was terribly nervous lying in that bed with COVID cases only 10-15 feet away, Timo, but they weren’t the most serious cases in ICU – only the COVID emergency department or short stay ward. If they got worse, they would be transferred to ICU. I could hear someone struggling to breath/wheezing for hours and I think they were only 5 beds away (with solid cubicle walls between each patient. but open at the front with only a curtain.
      I felt so sorry for the nurses (and doctors). The nurse who looked after me had bad rashes on her nose and forehead from the PPE and she admitted the perspiration in all that gear and rubber gloves was very uncomfortable.

      I can only imagine how scary it would be if I had really contracted COVID (with my severe heart and other conditions).
      I already have a chronic inflammatory condition and wouldn’t like my lungs to be further inflamed. I have already had bad symptoms lying flat in bed but seem to be much better with my new high pillow. My ‘virus’ which was causing my temperature and wheezing seems to be much better now.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Glad your test was negative, sounds like you had a tough night in hospital. What a scary scene that must have been. We mustn’t take anything for granted, but live with gratitude for each new day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Eliza. Yes, we certainly should be grateful. I still don’t think people (the world over???) realize how contagious this virus is or how unpredictably it affects everyone, whether they be young, fit & healthy OR older and with multiple serious health problems (like myself).
      Perhaps young folk might learn some lessons from this period in their lives.

      Like

  9. How frightening, Vicki. Glad you are okay and hope you stay that way after your visit to the covid ward. That does sound like an infection control nightmare to have covid-suspected patients in a covid ward.
    Thank you for the rose photos. They are just beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes, I thought so too. These days any raised temperature (and other symptoms) means you’re treated like a suspect COVID. Actually, my Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms i.e. muscle pain etc is also a symptom of COVID. So I had an ordinary virus. I wonder how many others in that special COVID emergency dept ward were like me and had nothing to do with COVID but some of the symptoms?

    I was there for my injured shoulder, nothing else.

    Glad you enjoyed the rose photos 🙂

    Like

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