So COVID is well and truly here, it’s in WA and it’s entrenched itself in the Mid West. It’s in the schools, our workplaces and in the community. We have avoided it for years but there is no getting away from it now. Last week I wrote about my isolation experience and how I felt it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Although not an experience I would want to go through multiple times, being locked away with great TV options and family for a week wasn’t the worst thing to ever happen to us. But that was before the virus hit my house hard. Let me tell you something, there is nothing appealing about a sore throat, constant cough and a headache so bad you think your temples might just explode. I guess everyone’s experience with this is going to be different, but all things considered I felt very lucky to go through it the way I did. The main reason being, I was prepared, my entire house was prepared. We knew it was coming and made sure we braced for it. So, I would like to share some things that worked, hoping this may in turn help others to take the edge off this horrible experience. First and foremost, get your COVID kit stocked. Ibuprofen, paracetamol, lozenges, ice packs and decongestants were our staples. Make sure you have plenty to last the full week and more in reserve. It was vital for me to take the edge off, especially to get a decent night’s sleep. Food supplies and basics. We knew this was around the corner so we didn’t need to panic but we had plenty of staples — loo roll, pasta, eggs and the like. But you would always be surprised what you run out of. Have a thorough inventory and figure out what would make your life extra hard if you ran out and couldn’t get to the shops for a while. But by far and away the biggest thing was my family and my support network. What do you do when you are so unwell, you can’t cook? Can’t clean? Can’t do some of the more basic tasks? You have to rely on others or you phone the ‘help line’. I am forever blessed with a loving and caring wife and I know that others will have to go through this alone — I just can’t imagine having to do that. To not have someone to care for me when the chips are down, to cook, clean, get me ice and water? I literally don’t know how I would cope to be honest. I hope I reciprocate as well, but I don’t think I ever could. But what I would say is don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help — from family, friends or one of the volunteer organisations we have in our region. We shouldn’t have to go through this alone. I am glad we have had it and come out unscathed. I know it’s far from over but it’s a relief to experience it and realise we can cope. I know people will get it much, much worse than I. I know there are people suffering and dying with this virus. I also know there are people well and truly alone and not able to cope like I did. But I can only talk from my own experience, as we all can. So I hope this Easter time was a peaceful time, and one of reflection and healing for everyone. From a very relieved and grateful Pom in Oz.