The following line has got a few spins around the track here over the years, each of them justified. What you will read hereafter is like nothing that has appeared in this space previously. Now read on…
Yes we’re on the Covid-19 trail once more. Again, let it be admitted here that at times one’s reaction to the pandemic has been far less than what I’d expect of myself, never mind anybody else. All too well is it known that I am not the only one effected by what the rotten thing has done to the world.
However, a contention aired here most recently is steadfastly believed in. Everybody’s Covid-19 story is different. Each one profound and unique. In an arena where there could be no right or wrong. Everyone’s experience important and well worth recording.
For my part, no secret has been made of the fact that being unable to attend sporting events – and horse racing in particular – combined with being removed from the local farming scene, completely outside of my control.
Aside, obviously, from having Susie by my side, the other saving grace for my sanity for the better part of the last year has been the ability to attend the local RehabCare centre. Even on scaled down basis. The place has become a second home to me and the people therein – both staff and fellow ‘customers’ – extensions to our family.
Unfortunately, here is where the lyrics of Big Yellow Taxi are required. Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone… Right, it’s only temporary, but that’s not the point here. Not by a country mile.
One phone call, an overheard one at that. Thank the Lord that while other parts of the body here have seen better days, the ears are still better than a lot of satelite dishes. Hopefully you are sitting down as you try to digest the following:
Office staff (to carer) Did you work with (Carer A) yesterday?
Carer B: Yes, why?
OS: He has tested Positive for Covid-19. Therefore, you are considered a close contact of (Carer A) and will have to be tested.
Carer B: But we both wore PPE, he couldn’t have it.
Carer B hamgs up the phone, at which point I ask them did I hear that correctly.
Carer B: They (OS) said that (Carer A) has tested positive for Covid-19.
At this point, somewhere between terrified and stunned, I tell Susie. Though shocked, angry and worried by the bombshell I’ve just had to fire at her, she is still comprehending it all better than I.
Susie proceeds to ring OS but there’s been a shift change in between all the calls and those who have taken over haven’t been briefed as to what has gone on. Eventually, Susie gets hold of Company Director. Here’s where the story develops into something ideal for the X-Files.
At this stage, factor in that Carer A attended my three calls the day before. It gets worse. They knew from 8pm that night they were POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 YET STILL TURNED UP FOR MY NIGHT CALL AT 9.30pm. Which prompts the following plethora of questions:
- Did CARER A tell the company they had gone for a Covid-19 test?
- If CARER A did, why did they keep working?
- Why did CARER A only tell CD about the Positive test at 10pm?
- If the company knew from 10pm on Saturday night, why had they not contacted myself or Susie to inform us?
- If Susie hadn’t rang the OS were they going tell us at all?
- It’s almost 2p.m. on Tuesday, why has CD still not contacted me?
- Are they going to?
- How many other clients – perhaps more vulnerable and less fortunate than I – did Carer A visit while waiting on or after getting Covid results?
- What, if any, recourse is there available to anyone effected?
The last query, mind you, is moot. Nobody in such a situation would be overly concerned by redress. Personally speaking, upset, fear and downright anger have enveloped me since the shock discovery around lunchtime on Sunday.
Upset at having to miss out on going over to Rehab for two weeks owing to the selfish idiocy of somebody else. Anger at the aforementioned, but also (a) the company possibly allowing Carer A continue working after undergoing a Covid-19 test. (b) that Carer A still came and tended to my needs after testing Positive, (c) that Carer A didn’t inform CD of his being infected with Covid-19 until AFTER he had completed my last call on Saturday night, (d) that, having been informed of their employee’s Positive test on Saturday night, CD has still not contacted me, and (e) the fact that not only did the incident put me in danger but also my 80-year-old mother and 91-year-old father (who is himself still recovering having being hospitalised with Covid-19 for 17 days)
The fear, naturally, is all of the above but also the mere fact that I am currently sitting around waiting to be tested, again. Not knowing if I have the damn virus myself now or, as a knock-on of same, if I have, God forbid, infected Susie or mam or dad if I have contracted it myself. Rather than be labelled a hypocrite I will openly admit that the restrictions have caused me upset, frustration and mental health difficulties which have been extensively documented here since a bat in Wuhan, China put the world into a tailspin.
However, difficult though it unquestionably has been – and I fear will be for a good while yet – without wanting to sound smug, it would be hoped there would be an acceptance that I’ve been doing OK dealing with the upheaval. Have I been perfect? Not in a month of Sundays. My navigating the choppy waters only made possible by being able to pop over to the ladies and gents in the RehabCare
Now though, the greatest feeling is of total betrayal.In so far as can be done, in my case at least, people the world over have been doing their bit – often making incalculable sacrifices in the process – to stop the corrosive spread of this rampant killer. Yet the one group of people in whom greatest trust should have been able to be placed didn’t so much let the side down as give the opposition the ball straight in front of an open goal.
Then again, the really scary thing is that, while I am fortunate enough to be aware of what’s going on around me and being able to react to and articulate my feelings thereon, there are many depending on carers who are not so fortunate.