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Casual Contact

Organic Mama

Posted on March 11 2020

On Monday afternoon, just before I left to get my kids from school, a notice came through on our school app that made my stomach drop:

It has come to our attention that we have 4 families, inclusive of staff and students, who were on board Qantas Flight QF94 that landed in Melbourne on Friday, in which there has been a confirmed case of Coronavirus.

"Okay, stay cool" I told myself as I stuffed my panic down and put on a big smile.  I casually asked if any of their classmates had just returned from overseas in an attempt to ascertain how close to this virus we were and was met with:

"Yes, Sarah just came back today and she brought candy for the class from America!" Said my nine year old continuing "But she left for a doctors appointment at like 10:30 and didn't come back."

"Yah," echoed my 6 year old, "Jessica also just came back today but Mr. Jackson came to class and said she needed to come with him right away to find her dad."

Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap.

Jessica and Sarah are sisters.  And they are each in my daughters classes.

Casual Contact--that's what they're calling it.  A casual contact is someone who has been face-to-face for less than 15 minutes with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or been in the same closed space for less than 2 hours, when that person was potentially infectious. Being a casual contact means there may be a risk of becoming infected with novel coronavirus.

The follow up school email said the families were being tested students wouldn't be returning until they had a negative test, and that the premises would be thoroughly disinfected each night this week.

 The second email, said that unfortunately one of the parents had tested positive (the father of the girls in my daughters classes) and that the rest of the tests were pending. School was cancelled for the day.

They asked us to abide by a voluntary quarantine until the virus could be tracked and possible exposure understood better.  My husband had a work conference which he didn't go to.  We all stayed in pajamas and just took it as a low key day.  I always try to make things an adventure and kept things as light as I could, despite my daughters growing anxiety and fear over the virus.

Working closely with the DHHS, the school then decided to cancel for the rest of the week pending the rest of the test results, and a thorough cleaning to ensure the safety of the students and staff.

It's scary, and I'm scared.  I know that doesn't help, and I know that more productive than my fear is doing what I can to protect my family through good hand hygiene, and avoiding crowded public places.

I'm expecting us to be quarantined for 14 days.  I wish I had stocked up on more arts and crafts while I was at Kmart last week, but the truth is, we can always find something to do!

My thoughts and prayers go out to the effected families and my best wishes that we all stay safe and healthy.

With love,

Organic Mama xo

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