• Cass Lau

I'm absolutely positive!

Updated: Feb 9

For COVID-19 that is.


Yep. You heard that right. I finally got it! A little late to the game, especially since I was already telling people that if we had to do a yearly booster for this, I'm not sure how sustainable it would be, and also living in constant fear that the call would be made to shut down our facility was always lingering.


When I saw the first line appear on my test, I swore perhaps a little more than my mother would allow. It was 4AM in the morning and I could not sleep that night, tossing and turning with a recurring nightmare that I would test positive on the ART.


Lo and behold, I was right.


I played a variety of scenes in my head. Should I keep this to myself? I didnt want to alarm anyone, and god knows what my mother would say and do when she found out. Should I just pretend this was all just a bad dream and prep for the 6:30AM class? After all, where would I find a replacement at this time?


But of course that was being highly irresponsible. I had to tell the people I had come into contact with.


I quickly prepped a message to ask Alvin if he could standby to take my class, but diverted that message to the management chat instead -- maybe CK was awake?


And he was.. at 4:30AM in the morning!


The poor guy had to cover for his COVID-inflicted employee and had not yet gone to bed. I owe you one CK.


I tapped my sister awake to tell her in a raspy voice... " i got COVID". (We have that voice recording because she was using a sleep app to track her sleep 🤦🏻‍♀️) She quickly packed up her stuff and slept outside.


I could not go back to sleep that morning. So I stayed up informing my classmates and athletes in the class that I coached the night before was terrifying, especially since I had to tell them an "anonymous member" tested positive and they would have to be careful and test negative too.


I slowly started sending messages to the family group chat and my church friends, and whoever else i came into contact with over the Chinese New Year period, dreading the barrage of "are you ok?" messages that would come in.

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Surprisingly mum was quite chill. She and my sister had some fun pretending that they were room service, donning a mask and sliding the tray we would serve drinks on through my door, and collecting the dishes the same way. I just had to be careful to keep my 86 year-old grandfather safe from myself.


Our domestic helper also had to leave town for a little bit. She could not afford to test positive at this time!


Self-isolation

This was hard to do. I felt like I was on the tail-end of the virus and I had a bunch of meetings and a dinner that I had to get to. I kept checking in with my friends whom I was in contact with if they were alright -- I'd hate to have passed anyone anything.


I got bored on day one and joked with my sister (from afar with masks on), acting like a zombie as I emerged from my room to get to the toilet.

These past few days I understood what it felt like to be a social pariah. Being avoided like the plague in my own household (not that I blame any of them), or reading hesitation in the messages that were sent to me to wish me well.

Hints of oh my gawd I was in the same class as you, why am I so suay? (Read: unlucky)


Incidences like this reminded me that:

(1) As someone who had felt the symptoms early on, I should have been more socially responsible to stay away.

(2) If someone else was sick, be it from COVID or anything else, I should do well to exercise empathy for them too.


Which is why I do not understand why we are reverting to a culture that shames people for wanting to "take a break" if they are not feeling well. Just over the weekend I read an account of a friend who called in sick for work, and was accused of informing them too late and threatened to have her pay deducted instead. (For the record, she informed them a day in advance, as soon as she knew, but they only replied the night before the shift.) Doesn't the risk of a cluster at your café mean anything?


Deep Cleaning

There were so many cases popping up in the community and Kylie suggested that we should consider closing the box for deep cleaning. Jackie did the research and we quickly got a team scheduled to come in.


It was a hefty amount but luckily we had budgeted this necessity if we were to keep the gym a safe training space for our athletes.


I had to watch this all remotely of course.






The Road to Recovery

By day 2 I knew I was getting better because I felt way more rested than I did in the previous nights. My WHOOP app showed a flash of green. I quickly took the test and held my breath as I saw the clear liquid pass through the 'T" indicator without showing a line.


YES.


The "T" line started showing 10 minutes after the test though, but it was faint. I was certain I'd be out by Monday.


I had some really lovely care packages sent over too.


Only THE BEST bakes from town! Burnt Ends Bakery's amazing bakes, and only the best bolo bun in Singapore, Champion.

They were such pleasant surprises from my friends ❤️


Stuck in the room all day without any workout clocked in... I had to do something to earn these treats.


Justin, the king of international hotel WODs advised me to do 150 burpees. I started off pretty well, until i felt like my toes were going to blister. I stopped at 100. Still wasn't breathing well, but felt okay otherwise. And that would have to do.


WHOOP data

Having listened to a WHOOP podcast on the omicron variant, I used my device to track if I seemed to be having the common signs of the virus.


I was testing negative, but my daily health readings were pretty okay... that is until Wednesday night.


My RHR (resting heart rate) and HRV (heart rate variability) showed a slightly larger deviation than normal. So I tested, but was still showing as a negative. Of course, this was just a day before my result showed a clear positive line.


Looking back at the sleep data, I should've known. I had weeks of recovery in the green, which plummeted on Monday night. Disturbed sleep like this usually only happens when I'm unwell. A tell-tale sign of the virus.


Well, it's been an experience.


I only hope that my loved ones are safe through all this, even though I do think it's a matter of time before everyone gets wind of it.


------


Timeline:

31 January, Monday (CNY Eve) - Started developing a sore throat

01 February, Tuesday (CNY Day 1) - Sore throat got worse, body felt tired

02 February, Wednesday (CNY Day 2) - Sore throat got better, started coughing, had headaches (ART AG-ve*)

03 February, Thursday - No more sore throat, wet cough, lethargic (ART AG-ve)

04 February, Friday - No more sore throat, slight cough, lethargic (ART AG+ve, self-isolation Day 1)

05 February, Saturday - No more sore throat, slight cough, lethargic (ART AG+ve, self-isolation Day 2)

05 February, Sunday - Clearer cough, felt 90% (ART AG+ve, self-isolation Day 3)

06 February, Monday - Slight cough (ART AG-ve, 72 hours later!)


*learned some COVID-19 jargon from my aunt who works as a swabber.

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