Coronavirus: What it’s like to be in quarantine

Hollie-Rae Brader, editor of Travel Weekly’s sister title Aspire, found herself quarantined at home after a brush with coronavirus. Here’s a personal account of her ordeal.

It’s been hard for any of us to avoid the coronavirus, after all it’s on the news day in, day out. But I never imagined I’d find myself being part of the story.

I’d been under the weather for a couple of days; suffering from a fever, a cough, achiness and fatigue. Coronavirus didn’t come into my mind once, that was until I discovered a link between me and a confirmed case of the virus. I’d travelled on the same easyJet flight as the ’super spreader’ 12 days earlier on January 28.

Neither the airline nor the British authorities had been in touch, but the French ministry of health contacted me to advise that I’d also been on the same coach between Sallanches in the French Alps to Geneva airport as someone confirmed as having the virus.

Podcast: Coronavirus: how serious is it and what impact will it have long term?

From that point onwards everything changed, with Public Health England and NHS 111 advising that my husband and I were to self-quarantine and not leave our flat until we had both been tested.

The week got weirder,  as did I, (not leaving the house had a strange effect). Paramedics in hazmat suits arrived at 2am one day to whisk us to hospital. All tests were done in the ambulance to avoid risk of spreading, should we be confirmed.

I passed the time working remotely, eating leftovers, playing Scrabble and watching Netflix. By day three, cabin fever had set in, and my husband was sick of me whinging about wanting to go outside. By day five, we’d run out of tea and juice, and resorted to wine (we could have drunk water, but wine made quarantine more bearable).

Days passed – it felt like an eternity. The hospital would call every day to make sure we were both OK.

On day six, we got the all clear – and I ran out of the house faster than I’ve ever moved in my life.

I wasn’t actually worried about having coronavirus myself, I was more concerned about all the people I’d been in contact with. I didn’t want to become the ‘super spreader’ of the travel industry.

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