COVID-19: My turn

So, a few weeks back, COVID-19 went through my office at Milton. I had been at work just one day a week — basically I was working in the office on a Wednesday and working from home all other days of the week unless there was a special reason for me to do otherwise.

On the 3rd of July (Sunday), one of my colleagues reported he had tested positive on a rapid antigen test (RAT) after suffering symptoms, and would begin isolation. 2 days later (on the following Tuesday), another colleague reported he too, “had a bit of a cough”. I made the decision to not come in on the Wednesday, on the advice that it was likely better I work from home.

Over the coming days, more reported symptoms, but so far I was safe. Yes, my father and I were regularly going to the local cafés for dinner Monday-Thursday nights, but I was not exposing myself to the office cluster at this point.

I figured that, with all the cases now isolating, and a few days later, it’d be safe on the 13th of this month to work in the office… and so I did so. I think that was my big mistake. Sunday afternoon (17th), a cough started, and on the following Monday, this was the result:

Yes, the “C” is a bit weak but still present, the “T” is unmistakeable!

Some might quibble and say this one is inconclusive because the “T” marker (test result) is way stronger than the “C” marker (control result), but the fact of the matter is, both lines are there, so reason enough to count this as a positive.

A later one done on Wednesday showed more even shading of the lines, so clearly I still have the blasted virus. Even today, I’m a little on the snuffly side and coughing intermittently.

Personal risk factors

It’s worth noting that I’ve had issues with Asthma since the late 80s. My body also has a nasty positive-feedback loop: if I cough, it tends to make my nose run (the vigorous coughing causes bruising of the tissues in my nose)… that has a habit of running down into my lungs, making me cough more, and possibly developing into bronchitis. On one occasion in 2005, that developed further into pneumonia.

Unvented masks for me are bad news too because they seem to trigger my lungs into a coughing fit, which then triggers the above symptoms. Yet, everyone around me insisted that I return to working in the office and generally getting out-and-about.

Vaccination status

I have had two initial shots of the AstraZenica COVID-19 vaccine as well as a shot of the Moderna as a booster. I was looking to get a second booster, but the earliest I could book was on the 27th of July: too late for that now!

So yeah, ATAGI/Australian Health Department/Queensland Health — you can end your age discrimination on COVID-19 vaccination now — #1 undocumented policy goal: “get Stuart Longland infected” can be scratched off your list, and if some of the over 50s have never gotten their first shot by now, they probably never will! Time to stop playing around and just let all the adult population make their own decisions from now on.

China Communist Party (who won’t be able to see this without a VPN but anyway): Fuck you and the horse you rode on. COVID-19 is not the first virus to have jumped from bats via some intermediate animal to humans, won’t be the last, but somehow you managed to ensure that everyone got a share of something none of us want. Donald Trump might actually have a point calling it the “China” virus, I personally would rather call it the Wuhan virus since that’s where COVID-19 was first discovered.

Anyone who’s worked with horses already knows of another member of the Orthornavirae extended family: Hendra virus. The suburb of Hendra still seems to be flourishing, so the name hasn’t been all doom-and-gloom, but we don’t try to hide it. Furthermore, we managed to contain it in the 90s when DNA testing technology wasn’t even available in this country, yet China with far more sophisticated technology in 2019 let this “horse” bolt right out the gate!

Suffice to say, I’m not doing much in the way of development work right now. Software development needs a clear head not a stuffy one, and the bed’s the best place for me to stay warm.

Contact tracing

Well, here’s where I’ve been in the time both before and after infection. This is captured via the GPS logger on my tablet, not the most accurate device for positioning… but since the Queensland Government isn’t doing contact tracing anymore, it’s the best I can offer now.

For the sake of those who I might have come into contact with, here’s where I’ve been (all times are Brisbane Local UTC+10):

Overview of all locations… widely-spaced dots indicate I was mobile (private transport)

Ashgrove Central area

2022-06-28 (20 days before positive test)

  • 18:30 ~ 18:35: Coles Ashgrove, likely a cat food run
  • 18:42 ~ 19:24: Café Tutto, Ashgrove

2022-07-04 (14 days before positive test)

  • 17:47 ~ 18:36: Taj Bengal, Ashgrove

2022-07-05 (13 days before positive test)

  • 18:00 ~ 18:03: Coles Ashgrove
  • 18:20 ~ 18:54: Café Tutto, Ashgrove

2022-07-12 (6 days before positive test)

  • 17:30 ~ 18:33: Taj Bengal, Ashgrove

Ashgrove West area

2022-06-29 (19 days before positive test)

  • 19:05 ~ 19:54: Smokin’ Joe’s, Ashgrove

2022-06-30 (18 days before positive test)

  • 17:43 ~ 18:38: Osaka, Ashgrove

2022-07-07 (11 days before positive test)

  • 17:52 ~ 18:57: Osaka, Ashgrove

2022-07-13 (5 days before positive test)

  • 19:03 ~ 20:04: Osaka, Ashgrove

Keperra area

2022-07-06 (12 days before positive test)

  • 19:27 ~ 20:03: Finnigans Chin, Keperra

Redcliffe Area

2022-07-17 (the day before positive test!)

  • 10:58 ~ 14:40: Moreton Bay Boat Club, Scarborough

Redlands Area

2022-07-17 (the day before positive test!)

  • 16:55 ~ 17:28: Ormiston Dog Park (Small dogs area), Ormiston

Milton Area

2022-06-29 (19 days before positive test)

  • 11:10 ~ 11:12: Makya, Milton

2022-07-13 (5 days before positive test)

  • 11:08 ~ 11:15: Bagel Boys, Milton

The Gap area

2022-07-08 (10 days before positive test)

  • 18:04 ~ 18:22: Siam Garden, The Gap / The Gap Friendly Grocer

2022-07-09 (9 days before positive test)

  • 12:05 ~ 12:13: The Gap Village, The Gap
  • 12:16 ~ 12:21: Brumby’s Bakery, The Gap

2022-07-15 (3 days before positive test)

  • 19:53 ~ 19:59: The Gap Canteen, The Gap

I clearly walked past The Gap Friendly Grocer, but not sure if I went in or not… timestamps suggest probably not.

2022-07-16 (2 days before positive test)

  • 16:51 ~ 16:56: The Gap Friendly Grocer, The Gap

My actions now

So… I’m considering myself in hard lock-down until at least the 26th. That is, no visitors, no deliveries (unless already pending and I’m unable to reschedule them), no leaving the property for any reason.

I’ll be staying put. My father’s left on a big trip through Central Queensland (having tested negative to COVID-19), so I’m home alone, just me and Sam. I won’t be answering the door, for the safety of anyone who knocks. I do not want to spread this to anyone. Hard lock-down for me will be retained until all symptoms have cleared up.

If my symptoms clear up by the 26th, I will remain in soft lock-down until the 1st August: still no leaving the property or any visitors, but I may have some groceries delivered — the local shopping centre delivers for a nominal fee (seriously, you’d spend more in fuel doing it yourself), and I can meet the delivery person on the drive-way (maintaining 3m distance). They can drop the groceries down near the gutter, and when they’ve gone, I’ll go pick them up. Same with dinner deliveries: deliver to the end of the driveway, I’ll pick it up from there.

I will not leave the property until after the 8th August at the very earliest (except for very special circumstances), and there will be no dine-in until at least the 15th. Maybe after the 22nd, I’ll consider whether I resume workplace visits and other activities.