to quarantine or not?

So last week was audit at work, again. The same procedure as the year before. We all wore masks though, that was a bit different. It was lucky we did though, because on Wednesday we heard that 2 of our colleagues had tested positive, our office closed, and the audit continued from home office. On Friday we had the closing meeting, we told the auditors that people who had been in contact with the 2 colleagues were testing negative, there was very little risk for them. 20 minutes after the meeting ended, one of the auditors called me back. He had tested positive, he had picked it up from his girlfriend.

So this meant that our office closed for a further week, there was a deep clean carried out, which was being done anyway. I had to have a test, I did not go to Church, as I was waiting for the result. Fortunately my result was negative, and so I can carry on with my life. However there is still that knowledge that a negative test now, can become positive if I had had the test too early. Honestly speaking I am pretty sure it will not turn positive, but nevertheless, I need to take care. I wear a mask, keep my distance, and try and stay home. However I am in a play, we premier on Saturday. One other has also had a negative test, we want to do the play. By the premier I and this other person will have been 10 days with no known contact to anyone positive. I think that is long enough. However, are we being irresponsible? Some people seem to think so. The law says we only need to quarantine if we are ordered to by the authorities. Others think that after any contact, even with a negative test, one should self quarantine for 10 days. The information is confusing. If we all did that, then society would stop to be honest. There are enough people already being ordered to quarantine, without symptoms or with a negative result. If we start including all those who have not been ordered to, but have had a contact for more than 15 minutes with someone who is positive, where do we stop?

My friend lives in a shared house. 2 of her flatmates tested positive, she and another tested negative. She was not ordered to quarantine, her doctor told her that she just had to follow the hygiene rules, the positive flatmates had to stay in their rooms, and use one of the toilets for them. They only shower and eat at 2am, when the others are asleep, and clean the kitchen after every use. It seems to work, but when some people heard about it, and her living situation, they became nervous. Our vicar asked her to stay away from Church for a couple of weeks, because of the risk group people we have there. She was offended by this, feeling that others did not trust her, thinking she is banned. She is one who needs people, and needs to be liked, she does not like to be excluded. I told her it is not personal. I also cannot go to Church for another Sunday, just to be sure, to protect the vulnerable. I can accept it, she can not.

This is the new way of living, we need to find ways of dealing with the virus and still carrying on with our lives taking sensible precautions. But on the other hand, cases are rising again, clearly we are doing something wrong, if people stayed home after any contact, then probably the cases would not be rising as they are. As church warden I have offered to try and draw up some guidelines, with a couple of people who have more knowledge of virus control, so that we can advise people of what we expect if they have had positive contacts, whatever the test result. With a positive test it is clear, with a negative that could become positive , then it is not. I will work on it soon, so that people like my friend will see that it is not personal, just sensible. But it will upset some people for sure, whatever we do. And that is what governments the world over are trying to balance, what business leaders are trying to balance, and what we all try to balance. We can but try, and adapt, and find the best way eventually to live with this virus.

3 thoughts on “to quarantine or not?

  1. Such a sensible approach, but also asking the difficult questions for which there is no clear-cut answer. I’d love to see your guidelines when you’ve done them, if I may.

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  2. Oh gosh, how stressful for everyone. When everyone was on full lockdown it was straightforward but the new rules are so flexible and individual and open to misinterpretation by others. All you can really do is what your conscience tells you to. Good luck with the play.

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