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Why we stay home when we are sick!

So, this is something I have wanted to type about since the whole COVID-19 thing actually started to get very real in our region, but getting very sick when immune-compromised means something to me.

Nine years ago, I attended a meeting in Newcastle. I was approximately 17/18 weeks pregnant with my second child. I drove there in my car. I arrived at the meeting a little late as I had travelled from the Hills District of Sydney. The only seat left at the meeting was next to a man who was sick. He had a cold. I asked him during the meeting if should be at work? His response: if he didn’t come to work, then he couldn’t play his afternoon sport or attend his evening university class. At the time, I didn’t think too much of it. Apart from some terrible morning sickness, I was pretty healthy.

That changed very quickly. About a week later I wasn’t feeling well. Like I had a cold.

Within 12 hours I was terrible. My husband was in a very stressful role for his job, and I distinctly remember asking him if he could come home to pick up our eldest from day care later in the afternoon. He grumbled.

I had to ring my neighbour to ask if she could help me get my daughter ready for day care. She could not as she was already busily kid-wrangling herself.

At last, after much stress, crying and despair, I got my eldest to childcare.

I came home, laid on the couch, grabbed my phone and the remote to the TV. I could barely move. I was so short of breath and exhausted. I rang my GP. I asked if I could make an appointment… His receptionist realised I was not well and squeezed me in.

I turned on the TV and waited until my appointment two hours later…

After reviewing me, my GP asked how I got to the clinic? I told him I drove… He then informed me I had pneumonia, he was going to call an ambulance and have me driven to hospital. He would put me on a drip. My husband was about to be notified….

At 18/19 weeks pregnant my husband was beside himself, my obstetrician horrified, my employer worried yet super amazing, I spent 9 days in hospital, three days of which were in ICU. I was very sick. Seriously sick. I was very fortunate to not lose my second child… I dare not think of what else could have been lost.

The moral of this story is simple: If you are sick, stay home. No job, or sport, or university degree is worth risking the life of others.

The Australian Government is urging people to be responsible during this time, and I support the measures; no one is a hero going to work sick. Think twice before leaving the house if you have a sniffle… and wash your hands!!!!

Stay safe everyone. It is imperative we do.

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