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Sunday 26 December 2021

I got Covid for Christmas: Omicron strikes!

There are many things I’ve learned about the world, about those around me, and especially about myself in the past few days… that there is still a massive stigma around contracting Covid.

(And of course, with good reason… the Omicron variant is highly transmissible - and boy did I learn this!).

This lesson has come from within… as I kept the news of my Covid diagnosis private. Until now. More on that shortly.

I am… and I will cut to the chase… a statistic now. I was sent THAT dreaded message around the annual 'Festivus' we ALL wait all year for...

“Dear xx,

This is an official message from NSW Health.

You have recently tested POSITIVE for COVID-19.

If you are under 50 years of age, have had two doses of COVID-19 vaccine and do not suffer from any chronic medical illnesses (listed below) you are at low risk of serious illness and may be able to look after yourself at home. Most children under 16 years can be safely looked after at home, even if not COVID-19 vaccinated.

If this is incorrect or you are pregnant, please call 1800 960 933, so we can link you in with a health service.

If you have mild symptoms, concerns or questions, you can call your GP.

If you have a health emergency or are feeling breathless, chest pain or are fainting please call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

For all other COVID-19 related information please refer to https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/advice-for-confirmed.aspx 

*Medical risk factors include


Severe, chronic or complex medical conditions (including cardiac, respiratory, renal or neurodevelopmental)


Immunocompromised including malignancy

Severe mental illness

You are advised to isolate at home for ten days from the day of your positive test, at which time you will receive an SMS from NSW Health confirming you can be released from isolation.”


It’s the Jerry Springer equivalent of “you ARE the father.”

It’s a shit moment, and the moment when you immediately think: who have I seen? Where did I go? What did I do? Who did I kiss hello or give a hug to?

I cried as the realisation set in that I'd be not hosting, hugging, or having good food and drinks at my Christmas table, and would now only be accepting all meals via proxy, left outside my door.

Many of us have watched from afar for the past two years since this godforsaken beast entered our lives and vocabularies.

We’ve tried our hardest to suppress our taboo feelings of schadenfreude - and while in NO WAY would we wish this virus on ANYONE, and we'd do anything to turn back the clock to a time when it didn’t exist - the reality is we were always so glad to sidestep it! Who’d want covid!

Most of us haven’t got it yet (do you remember a time when people would ask on those useless Facebook polls: “But do you even KNOW anyone who has it! See, it doesn’t exist! Dear God, thankfully we’ve moved along from that).

The reality is - and give it jusssst a few weeks, even days - you’ll know someone who is not only a close contact, they’ll HAVE COVID.

It might even be you.

No wait, it’s very likely to be you too. (That early modelling where it was suggested that by the end of January it’ll be 200,000 cases daily doesn’t seem like an over exaggeration now, does it!).

And therein lies the key with Omicron, I’ve just learned… it does not matter how careful you are. You’re highly likely to contract the Omicron variant of Covid.

And because it’s a virus it’s of course highly transmissible.

Or you could use the word... contagious.

When I think of 'contagious', I think of conjunctivitis... and like hell do I want to acquire conjunctivitis from someone if I can physically see they have goo in their eye! You’d retreat and stay away, right?

That’s the thing with Covid, and especially this variant: unlike manky eye goo, you can’t see it, and you could be a carrier for up to 14 days before you even know it, OR start showing symptoms.

So that party you went to in the past few days or week where you let your guard slip and loosened that mask to have a better chat, or while cradling and occasionally sipping a champers, or chowing down on food could be THAT moment someone is giving it you, or you’re giving it to them!

Just days before I contracted Covid, I saw that a fellow publicist had just got her Covid positive confirmation. I read about it on her socials.

She was distraught, as she was finally seeing her family overseas after two years apart. Then boom.

I recall my mind going down the path of (and I know you’re thinking this about me): but where did she go? Who did she hang out with? Was she safe?

I checked myself immediately, as I KNEW she'd been safe.

Oh yeah. Don’t I know it.

I’ve no doubt I’m being judged about how I got it.

The truth is… I don’t exactly know.

But it’s not really relevant because if I didn’t get it this week, I’d get it next week. It’s almost guaranteed now.

Even Brad Hazzard, NSW Minister for Health, weighed in today:

“We would expect that pretty well everybody in NSW at some point will get Omicron … and if we’re all going to get Omicron, the best way to face it is when we have full vaccinations including our booster,” Brad Hazzard said.

“The challenge for us in the state is to make sure that our health system can cope with that oncoming virus that is so transmissible.”

Isolation has been a real mixed bag.

I am completely gutted I missed Christmas with my family at my place. (To add salt to the wound, it was a perfect pool day and I live for those, and running around and having ice cream and snacks delivered by me to my pool guests).

It REALLY, really sucks to feel like a leper, but that’s your mind playing tricks, because you absolutely do know it’s the safe and right thing to do to stay away from anyone.

I’ve accepted an external food drop off from family, and cups of honey tea, and BBQ steak at my closed bedroom doorstep. I am catching up BIG time on streaming and yesss I am loving that part!

I’ve had several 1.5 hour phone catch ups today with friends, some people calling and messaging me constantly, some showing little or zero concern, and I feel the latter comes from thinking I somehow brought this on myself (as if… I’m currently still a little immunocompromised with my vitiligo medication, and I was bloody careful everywhere, and sanitised, and masked up like mad, only taking it off from afar for those taking a photo of me).

But Omicron has been a thing for several weeks now… and I’m gonna say it has only really, truly been in our collective orbit for the past few days, hasn't it...

We think we’ve outsmarted it!

But no, our clever ways don’t determine a single thing.

Because even if you’ve been super OCD-level careful, perhaps the relative at the party you just attended hasn’t… and if they’re unwell they might have fronted up to that Christmas lunch anyway… because who wants to miss out! I certainly didn't.

Everyonnnnne thinks their family is more special than yours. Everyone! That's completely normal, and it’s intrinsic to how you view your family, and it’s how family loyalty exists! It's not a bad thing. Those bloodlines are strong, and that’s what makes family beautiful.

But Omicron does not discriminate against who it picks and chooses… I’ve learned that in the past few days.

My silver lining is that now that I’ve had it (and with antibiotics and some serious steroids I am shocked at how much I’m kicking this MF to the curb so fast, feck yes, yay for me) I know that my double vaccine has done its job to help me stay OUT of hospital annnd not take up a bed which costs $6000 per day of your tax money, and bloody hardworking nurses and doctors to sustain and look after you. 

(Nobody with any intelligence has ever suggested you cannot get Covid if you are vaxxed, of course you can... it's just that Omicron went and effed shit up good and proper, and chucked out that little rule book of having you somehow feel you can maybe, maybe sidestep it).

And, that acquiring the virus and having it taking over my body has done me more good than harm, and more good than any vaccine ever could. That's a fact! FECK YES TO JABS!

Oh, I also can’t get my booster jab now for six months… I was due to go next week. That’s not a silver lining, just the nature of the beast, it’s how it works.

Onwards to better days and getting out of my iso room (I’ve a large spare room, with a bed and an ensuite and I’m so, so, so grateful for this room in my house… I know I am luckier than most).

But no schadenfreude here… and never will!

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