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Australia The late-night COVID text that made me maintain the cage

00:37  09 april  2020
00:37  09 april  2020 Source:   theage.com.au

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The late-night text message scared the crap out of me. I was about to get into bed when I noticed it on my mobile, along with the word "urgent". It said I had been in close contact with someone who had COVID-19 while on a flight the week before and I needed to self-isolate.

I knew I was likely to be exposed to the virus sooner or later. But quite frankly, I was hoping for later. I'd been exhausted a few moments ago. Now I was wide-eyed and awake. What would I tell my partner, who has respiratory issues and was sleeping in the next room? Would she have to move into an Airbnb or hotel?

I found myself muttering and moaning, trying to figure out which person on the flight had exposed me. Was it the guy in the next aisle, who had taken off his mask after the first 10 minutes of the four-hour flight and seemed to delight in wildly sneezing all over the cabin while keeping his hands steadily on the tablet in front of him instead of containing his high-velocity nose droplets? Was it the guy behind me who had kept coughing but had assured me it was merely asthma? I didn't trust any of the shifty-eyed buggers.

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The mining industry might make wealth and power for a few men and women. But the many would always be smashed and battered beneath its giant treads. 7. It is the moon that makes you talk to yourself in that silly way. (emphatic IT) Это луна заставляет говорить с собой так глупо.

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The coronavirus and the infection it causes, COVID-19, has rapidly spread to countries and territories all over the world. This family of viruses is not new. Other types, or strains, of coronavirus are common in animals and have been known to cause common cold-like symptoms in people. However, this particular strain of coronavirus, is new. When the first cases were reported in 2019 in Wuhan, China, it had not been seen previously, making it a novel virus. So far, the coronavirus has infected approximately 110,000 people, killing more than 3,800, according to Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering map. These numbers are likely to rise, according to Dr Alexea Gaffney-Adams, a specialist in infectious diseases. “There is no population immunity, which means everyone is susceptible,” she says. “Also, little is known about how long patients without symptoms are contagious, which makes the infection difficult to contain.” As a result, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern. But how worried should you actually be—and what are your chances of getting the coronavirus? There’s a lot of mixed messages and plenty of fallacies surrounding the hows, whys, and whats of the coronavirus. We asked medical experts to set the record straight by helping debunk these popular coronavirus myths.

The next morning I told my partner and we both freaked out together in a non-calm, non-civilised manner. Then we pretended to be calm and civilised and my partner half-packed a suitcase while reading as many medical articles as she could.

"Do you still have your sense of smell?" she asked. Yes, I could smell the cigarette smoke wafting through the window from one of my neighbours, while also imagining it creating cell receptors in my lungs that would make me more vulnerable to COVID-19.

"Can you still taste?" she asked, and no, I won't make a bad joke about the taste of bitterness.

The self-isolation period for me was 14 days from the date of the flight - and at this point eight days had passed. By now, more than 90 percent of people with COVID-19 would show symptoms and yet I didn't have any.

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How can I make sure the older Californians in my life are safe and healthy during the stay home order? Everyone has the responsibility to “Flatten the COVID -19 Curve at Parks” by maintaining a social distance of 6 feet or more when recreating in the outdoors, and staying home if they are sick.

My partner decided to stay home, provided I took self-isolation to a new level by remaining largely in my bedroom, which we renamed "the cage". Stuck with my scenic view of a carpark and the smokers who always congregate in it, I began to wish she'd moved into an Airbnb.

I never showed any symptoms and neither, thankfully, did my partner. Still, I can't help wondering if - or how many more times - this will happen again.

Dan Kaufman is a writer and editor.

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