COVID face mask relief

COVID face mask relief

One of the few people in East Gippsland who had to battle COVID-19 infection says she is relieved restrictions are easing.
“I agree with masks even though I hate them,” she said.
“I can’t breathe properly when wearing one, it makes me feel claustrophobic, but I’m happy to wear them for a bit longer, just to be sure we’re all safe.”
The rules changed Sunday night so that people do not have to wear masks outside, but still need to wear them inside and where physical distancing can’t be maintained.
East Gippsland got off relatively lightly during the COVID-19 pandemic as far as infections went, with just seven cases registered in the local government area, and at least three of them people who actually resided in the shire.
As of Tuesday, there were no active cases in
all of Victoria. Statewide there have been a total of
3,504,873 tests, 819 deaths, and 19,526 recovered cases.
The Bairnsdale woman, who wishes to remain anonymous due to people’s perceptions, fell sick in August, which coincided with the rapid spike in cases across the state.
In what has been a harrowing three months, she still suffers long-term effects of COVID despite since testing negative twice.
“A horrible day” is how she describes hearing the news she was COVID positive.
“I had a complete meltdown, I thought I would kill my husband who’s immuno- compromised,” she said.
“We’d been so careful, so zealous with hygiene, I was even wearing a mask at home.
“I thought how is this possible? I’d done everything right.
“It just shows how contagious it is.”
Ironically, the tracing team found the virus had come from a major Melbourne hospital.
“The stigma and the fear of the virus was huge – I don’t blame people because I had that fear too but I felt like an absolute leper,” she said.
Aged in her early 50s and fit, her symptoms have been severe and caused a lot of anguish. “COVID infection is a big deal and not to
be taken lightly,” she said. “It was the loneliest time of my life, even
though I had support, my daughter was my rock, making me eat and drink.
“I was bed-ridden and in quarantine for four weeks.”
She was off work for seven weeks and has only recently begun gradually working more
hours. Three months later she likens her lingering
symptoms as similar to chronic fatigue and is still experiencing sweats, chest pain and a high resting pulse rate, though her cough has started to come good.
She had an electrocardiogram last week and the test came back fine and has worn a heart monitor for three days this week.
“There have been lots of tears,” she said.
“Nobody understands the mental health side. It’s turned me into an anxious person.
“Once I got clearance I still couldn’t even go down the street.
“The whole experience hasn’t been good. I’m hoping that at the six-month mark I’ll be recovered.”


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