Geelong nurse reveals coronavirus battle



A Geelong nurse has gone public with her coronavirus diagnosis in a bid to shed light on the realities of the pandemic.

Nurse Kristen Bainbridge said she only had a "scratchy throat" when she decided to get tested after someone at her son's childcare centre tested positive to the illness despite not being considered a close contact.

Nurse Kristen Bainbridge has started an online blog about her experiences with coronoavirus.
Nurse Kristen Bainbridge has started an online blog about her experiences with coronoavirus.

"I called to organise a test and was met with resistance because I didn't have direct contact or any of the symptoms," she said.

"I decided to get tested anyway."

None of her other close contacts, family or friends have since tested positive for the virus.

After a social media post generated a tonne of interest, Ms Bainbridge decided to set up a Facebook page to document her diagnosis and isolation journey.

Despite initial apprehensions about sharing her story, the online response had been largely positive.

"It's generated a lot of interest," she said.

"There aren't a lot of people coming out and talking about their experiences after receiving a positive test."




Ms Bainbridge claimed contact tracing was carried out for 48 hours prior to her COVID-19 test, but not further back as it was assumed she'd contracted it from the daycare centre. "I don't know where I picked up the virus because I feel like my tracing wasn't done properly," she said.

"It was initially assumed I picked it up from someone at the childcare centre but no one else has tested positive, including the two people I had contact with."

Now in isolation at a Melbourne motel - an option offered to healthcare workers unable to quarantine alone - she feels there is a lot the public is yet to understand.




"A lot of people have been turned away because they don't have symptoms," she sad.

"If you need to get tested, please do it. I was lucky I didn't listen."

Despite nine days passing since her diagnosis, Ms Bainbridge and her partner - who has also been in quarantine - still haven't heard about their applications for the state government's worker support payments.

"You feel very alone and in the dark once you get a positive test," she said. "I put in a form online last week, but I still haven't heard anything about it."




Originally published as Geelong nurse reveals coronavirus battle