After almost all the restrictions for COVID were relaxed earlier this year, we tried our best to remain COVID-free. We wore masks everywhere, stayed away from large social gatherings, and disinfected and sanitised everything coming in to our house.
Toward the end of last month, I received my 5th dose of the COVID vaccine. Because I'm a transplant recipient on a lot of immune suppressants, as per the government medical advice, I had 3 vaccine doses for my primary course as well as two booster shots (one at 4 months, and another for winter).
Despite our best efforts, there was always one vector that was going to be our biggest risk and was largely out of our control: our kids and their schooling. To be honest, I'm surprised we lasted this long, but it looks like the path of COVID into our house was Zoe and her kindy.
A few weeks ago, Des and Zoe tested positive first on a Thursday, and although we tried quarantining myself in a separate part of the house, I was likely already exposed and also tested positive on Sunday.
I was extremely impressed with the healthcare response that I received. I notified the transplant ward in my hospital of the result around midday, and by 4pm the same day (I have to repeat, on a Sunday), I had:
- Spoken to a transplant doctor about my symptoms and what treatment I would get.
- Been admitted into the 'Hospital in the Home' system, where I'm an admitted hospital patient but can look after myself at home.
- A pelican case delivered to my house, with the kit containing a smart tablet, thermometer, SpO2 monitor, and blood pressure machine.
- An appointment booked at the hospital for 8am the next day for an infusion of sotrovimab, a monoclonal antibody COVID treatment for high-risk patients.
The 'Hospital in the Home' kit was really great. I could take my own obs, and each device automatically communicated the readings back to the tablet via bluetooth. The tablet then uploaded the results to the hospital via a 4G mobile connection.
Every day I would have a video chat on the tablet with someone from the hospital who would check my reported obs, ask me about my symptoms, and make sure I was ok.
My symptoms were like a bad cold, and at the end of the week, I was 'discharged'. I still have a cough and a lot of fatigue, but I'm grateful that we are all on the other side.