Ali Clarke: My Confusing COVID Christmas

Our new regular columnist But Clarke received the worst Christmas present when she, her husband and three children all tested positive for COVID. What happened next deeply concerned her about the state’s handling of pandemic communications.

Considering how many years I have spent dreaming of seeing a pink stripe on a test while trying to have children, it seemed pretty kinky that the first positive result I ever got was on a test. rapid antigen for COVID.

But it was there – and at the same instant my stomach and my mind went.

I felt like I wanted to throw up trying to cheat myself into thinking it had to be a mistake. Surely they can be inaccurate, surely that is not foolproof?

I felt good. I had done all the things I was told to do. I was wearing a mask and believed in the QR code so much that when I forgot to do it at a gas station one morning while intoxicated while chasing a burger, I drove my husband back in the car the next day to complete the form.

Bugger, bugger, bugger, was the resounding answer, and then, the questions: And now? Who else could I have given it to? Where could I have got it? And damn it, are our unvaccinated kids we fought so hard for going to make it?

In the end, there was nothing more to it than getting tested and making it a family outing given that we all lived in each other’s (and luckily nobody’s) pockets. other) before Christmas.

Of course everyone was trying to do the same, so while monitoring a Facebook page that relied on people rather than the system, we figured Vic Park seemed like the best bet, but when the commissioner of the traffic told us that there was at least a five-hour wait, we hit the road again.

Something’s wrong when it’s faster to drive an hour to Tailem Bend, take 20 minutes to get tested and make the trip back, and always come home before even that our peers have not reached the corner of the rostrum, but this government will have to respond to their apparent non-preparation in the months to come.

Likewise, will they once again have to explain their decision to go ahead with opening the borders after November 23 – albeit Omicron (or the “game changer” as the talking heads are now calling him) or a known problem.

In terms of mental health support, well, that happened three hours before we got out of isolation.

As foreigners whose Christmas was ruined, it was easy enough to draw the line between a gap in health advice, inked firmly by pressure from hotel and business groups, with The Ashes as the last push to hold on, even though the COVID terrain had changed.

As for us ? We have all five of it.

And man, were we lucky.

None of us had any real symptoms other than a hoarse voice and a few sniffles.

In fact, if I hadn’t been so vigilant there would have been a great chance that we never knew and went to give it to everyone during the Christmas season.

Worse. Gift. Never.

Let me be clear. Every person from SA Health we spoke to was absolutely wonderful and you could hear their surprise and relief when I started a call with, “It’s okay, but how are you really doing?” “

Sadly, however, much of their incredible work during this difficult time is undone when communication is poor, erroneous, or in some cases non-existent.

We didn’t have any contact tracers to contact us so we got confused on our own and although we had five cases in the same house they weren’t tied to a computer. Health with our information so that they can do the required wellness checks.

What a waste of time the system has not had to give.

Our SA Health pack was delivered by courier to the neighbors back door and it was only luck that it found us. And in terms of mental health support, well, that happened three hours before we got out of isolation.

Ali Clarke with her husband Matt, a Crows AFL and AFLW coach, and their children, on set for SALIFE magazine in 2020. Photo: Haley Renee

Then there was the quality of the information provided by SA Health. When I finally got access to the hotline they gave us “positives” (it rang twice) the information we were given about the length of the required isolation was wrong. Then there was no update as the landscape changed.

Generous people can, of course, understand the strain that is placed on the system and those within it, but when your emotional well-being and that of your children is inextricably linked with the people delivering the messages, you become rather ruthless.

Weak points included confusion over what close contact is in this state, with the Prime Minister raising our hopes by saying the isolation would be for seven days; to the Prime Minister saying, “It’s simple, make an appointment and get tested” although none have been available for days, to a deaf Facebook post in his name asking people for their favorite place to spending vacations, when so many of us were locked away positive or locked in lines trying to prove that we weren’t.

I believed in science and will continue to believe in it because it is what helped our family through this ordeal. Again, I am awfully aware of the heartache and stress that others face after losing a loved one or seeing them struggle to breathe.

In the end, what we went through were very small bikkies.

But that’s what makes the clear communication of what we all need to do all the more important because, after going through the whole process, I’m more confused than ever.

Ali Clarke is a radio host from Adelaide. She will be a regular columnist for InDaily this year.

Local news issues

Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it, and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to help InDaily continue to get the facts.

Donate today

Powered by
Press Boss

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *