As more health care workers are testing positive for coronavirus nationally, many self-isolating housemates and family in WA are scared of being increasingly at risk.
Olivia Waston lives with her brother and his girlfriend, both frontline ICU healthcare workers, at a major public teaching hospital.
Ms Watson says with patients arriving from The Artania cruise ship currently docked in Fremantle, their risk of exposure is increasing.
“It’s the anticipation of what’s to come,” she says.
“I’ve been dealing with them having the anxiety of what’s coming.”
Ms Watson says she made early changes to her lifestyle, being more cautious with those around her before government regulations were enforced.
“I’ve been staying at home pretty much full time,” she says.
“I’ve left a couple of times to go to the park for a walk and go to the shops with a mask on.
“I haven’t seen people for over three weeks.”
However, despite these precautions she is still concerned for the future.
“It’s really scary to know that even if I do everything right, I could get this just because I live with people who are exposed to this on the daily,” she says.
Registered Nurse Brianna East says the higher risk of contracting the virus is especially stressful due to living with her immunocompromised partner.
“I worry every day that I may catch COVID at work and bring it home with me and pass it onto him,” she says.
Much like Ms Watson, Ms East says she has put extra precautions in place to protect those around her.
“I have a bucket of bleach at the front door to clean my shoes,” she says.
“I have a high strength soap to use in the shower as soon as I get home, as well as de-clothing before I even walk in the door and washing my scrubs as soon as possible.”
Ms Watson says hearing about what is happening in the hospitals, with things like equipment shortages, and seeing the effects on her housemates makes her feel anxious.
“In some ways I wish that I didn’t know about it,” she says.
“It’s scary to know how serious everything is.
“The fact that they are so scared about it as healthcare workers and frontline workers in the ICU, it’s scary to know how nervous they are.”
Ms East says despite being concerned, others in her situation should be careful, wear the correct PPE at work and seriously listen to government recommendations.
“Focus on the good things and appreciate the small wins!”
If you or anyone you know needs help contact:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
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