One phone call is all it takes to change your life!  

That happened to me on Saturday the 21st of March.  I had just finished a lovely ride with my friend Clare and we were in her backyard along with her partner Andrew, having coffee and keeping our social distancing.  My mobile rang with an unknown caller displayed.  Now I don’t normally answer these calls as they are usually calls trying to sell you something.  But something in my head told me to answer it.

“Hi my name is Gail and I am calling from the New South Wales Health Department.  Is this Carol Cooke?”

“Yes”, I responded.

“Were you on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney on the 14th of March, sitting in seat 9C?” – again I responded in the affirmative and I had a feeling I knew what was coming next.

“I hate to tell you that sitting within 2 rows of you was someone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19, the Coronavirus.  That means that you  have come in close contact with this person and I must tell you that you must self-isolate until at least midnight on the 28th of March.”

After more conversation and questions that I answered and I asked, I hung up, advised Clare and Andrew that I had to go, headed home, let Russ know and started a very different week than I had anticipated only hours before.  There would be no more riding outdoors (even on my own), there would be no walking the dog, no sleeping in the same room as Russ, no physical contact with Russ and even trying to stay in a different part of the house from him.  To be honest I didn’t know how we would be able to do it as our house is extremely tiny.  The worst thing was that it was our 25th wedding anniversary that week…no going out to celebrate!

It is amazing what you can do when you have to.  In fact I decided that I needed to make sure I had a routine in place so that I didn’t end up as a coach potato watching Netflix.  I was actually lucky, I was supposed to be on a Para Cycling team camp in Rockhampton that week and it had been cancelled so we were going to do it virtually.  So part of my days were going to be taken up with Zoom meetings with the entire team and of course training.

So I set myself a schedule that I am happy to say I have actually stuck to even after my quarantine.  Up at 6am to feed the dog, then I sat each morning doing any admin work I needed to attend to, a morning training session on the indoor trainer, some food, then Zoom meeting for 1.5 hours and then an afternoon training session.  I then tried to target one area of the house that I wanted to clean up in the house…my house is looking very clean!  Time for dinner and last but not least either read or watch something on the telly!

My week of isolation flew by and on Sunday I had my get out of jail card to be able to take Jack for a walk and I am happy to say that I have had no symptoms of the virus But I have continued with my schedule this week to make sure that my days keep goin!g by and successfully accomplishing tasks that I have been procrastinating about. 

Lets all keep self isolating so that we can see this terrible virus stopped in its tracks.  We have the ability to get through this if we do the right things and lets look forward to the future positively. I will now be setting new goals and putting plans in place for the Tokyo Paralympic Games that have now been postponed until next year, August 24th, 2021.

After all there are only 512 days to go!  

About the author : CarolC


  1. Shirley Amy 30/03/2020 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    So pleased that this all worked out well Carol. Best wishes with your training and stay well

    • CarolC 02/04/2020 at 4:41 am - Reply

      Thanks so much, stay safe and well yourself!

  2. LYNNETE STACKER 31/03/2020 at 4:10 am - Reply

    Hey Carol, so glad all is well & that you have come through unscathed. Looking forward to coming out the other side of this. We all have much for which to be grateful. I write down 3 things for which I am grateful every night. It has been interesting trying to set up a routine but I have plenty of books, have a very large jigsaw puzzle on the way & a whole lot of DVDs to watch after I have done my workouts. Life is good.
    Stay safe, happy & healthy

    • CarolC 02/04/2020 at 4:40 am - Reply

      Hi Lyn, glad to hear all is well with you too. I’m assuming you are super busy at work? You all do such an amazing job! Stay safe.

      • LYNNETTE STACKER 02/04/2020 at 11:38 am - Reply

        Hey Carol, thank you. We are all doing our best.
        Cheers Lyn

        • CarolC 04/04/2020 at 4:58 am - Reply

          Well a big kudos to you and all the other emergency services people! Don’t know what we would do without all of you!

  3. Cynthia Banks 03/04/2020 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    A big sigh of relief from this end too! We’re so glad you’re back to ‘normal’ social isolating 🙂 Yup, keeping a schedule, surely helps. I never thought I would say I am happy to have had such a disciplined upbringing with mom and dad – ha ha – but in my older age I appreciate being taught it so much. I know how to take responsibility to keep engaged. I love you. Talk soon

    • CarolC 04/04/2020 at 4:59 am - Reply

      Yes it certainly helped to be taught that growing up! Keeps us in good stead. Hope you and mom are doing okay, talk again soon. Love you too!

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