11 days into total self-isolation: 'My parents leave meals at the bottom of my stairs'

Katie Drea is a former DCU student who has been told to self-isolate for suspected coronavirus. Here's her story. 

"My journey with Covid-19 started a couple of days before the country went into full panic. Fourteen of my friends and I travelled to Berlin for the weekend two weeks ago.

Unfortunately, I spent 90% of the time in bed with cold/flu symptoms. When I arrived home, I immediately made an appointment with my GP, who was able to see me in isolated settings which was excellent.

I was diagnosed with a sinus infection and cold and was told to isolate myself for seven days, checking on my symptoms. That was Monday, 11 days ago.

On Friday of that week, a friend contacted me to say that we may have been exposed to a confirmed case. At the same time, my flu just was not budging so I decided to call public health to be tested.

I was tested on Saturday in the car park at Tallaght stadium by the incredible doctors and paramedics who made the process stress free. It is now Thursday, and I am 11 days in isolation from my friends and family.

I am lucky to live at home. I have an attic ensuite bedroom which separates me from the rest of the house; this means my family has been able to leave my meals at the bottom of the stairs, where I can collect them with minimal contamination.

I disinfect any areas I use in my room twice a day, in the morning and at night. Currently, I am working from home as a communications executive for a charity, but times are uncertain which adds to the pressure.

Although I am feeling a whole lot better, I am still in isolation until I get my results, which is very frustrating but is the only thing I can do to help stop the spread right now

I have begun to do yoga every day in my room. I put a yin yoga class on YouTube and try to shut myself off from all that is going on in the world right now.

I have also started keeping a journal of gratitude. Every evening I write down my morning gratitude, what I am learning from my challenges, the people I am grateful for and the best part of my day.

I also have consciously been trying to limit my caffeine intake, which has been difficult. Going from working in a busy role to being stuck in my room, I have realised that your health both mentally and physically, is the only thing that really matters.

I am also very grateful for my family at this time as they have kept me from going hungry and insane. I am so very thankful for technology and being able to stay in touch with friends, colleagues and family wherever they may be.

There have also been unexpected sides to isolation. It has brought me closer to friends living in Philadelphia and Chile, and those I haven't spoken to in years. (And to binge-watch all the TV series I have been meaning to watch).

It made me realise that fashion trends come and go, and trivial things are actually very trivial against the background of what is going on in the world.

The positives I am taking from this experience is that it has given me time to slow down, to stand back and to tap into what is truly important. Be kind to everyone, keep in contact with family and friends and allow yourself to breathe.

I'd like to think that on the other side of this pandemic, people will have shown themselves that we had the confidence to look after ourselves and one another a lot better.”

Image via unsplash.com 
Read more: Coronavirus Diary: The Cork yoga teacher worried about her mother

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