How Our Family Survived COVID (& Quarantine!)Mar 02, 2022
With borders opened in Australia, and lockdowns lifted, COVID-19 is making its way through households. Like many of you, our family was hit a couple of weeks ago. I put up a few “quarantine” posts on social media, and have since had a lot of people asking me about our experience, and tips for getting through COVID (and quarantine!). So here it is, the full write-up!
But first, let me just say that I am fully aware that everyone experiences COVID differently. Fortunately, we got through it ‘mildly’, but I am very conscious that some people don’t. My thoughts go out to those who have experienced loss due to COVID, and to those experiencing the debilitating effects of long-haul COVID.
Mumma went down first! I was exposed to COVID on a Friday (I believe this was the time of exposure, but it really could’ve been before or after that). I showed up positive the next Wednesday. I felt fine over the weekend, and on the Monday. Tuesday I felt mostly fine, just a bit tired, and with a slightly irritated throat. The kids were headed back to school the next day, so I did a covid RAT test to make sure we weren’t infected, all of which came back negative. I woke up the next day, Wednesday, feeling fine. The kids went to school as per normal, and I started my day of work. Then around lunchtime, I got smashed with a wave of fatigue, achiness, hot and cold fevers. It was crazy how quickly I fell ill. I struggled to get off the couch and had no appetite. I could only stand on my feet for 5 minutes, before crashing on the bed again. I did another RAT test later that afternoon, and sure enough, I was COVID positive. I tested all the kids again, and Chris - they were all showing up negative. The fever, fatigue, achiness, and chills continued that night, and when I woke the next morning my energy was (miraculously, it felt) back! I really only had congestion in the chest and throat after that. But let me just say, I have never been more grateful for ENERGY in all my life. I have so much more empathy for our clients struggling with ongoing fatigue.
Oh, and another thing for me. My cycle went cray-cray after having COVID! My period came 10 days early (arrived the day after I tested positive). This is really strange for me, as usually my period would be delayed if my body was under a big physical stressor. My skin also broke out something shocking with big white pimples. Another sign of hormonal disruption.
Chris went down next. He started getting a bit of a cough on the Wednesday. After two negative RAT tests, he showed up with a positive RAT test on Friday. His symptoms were a bit different. Very tired on the Friday, but he didn’t get the achiness and chills like me. Instead, he had a lot of vertigo and brain fog. It was hilarious watching him try to form a sentence, when he’s usually pretty articulate, lol.
Knowing that quarantine for the kids could be prolonged (if they tested positive at the end of Chris and my quarantines) I started testing them every day or two. They were asymptomatic, full of energy (and sass!) as ever. Elsie finally showed up with a positive RAT test on the Sunday (she had a slight, random cough - not sure if it was COVID related). And Poppy showed positive with a RAT test on the following Tuesday (she said she felt a bit tired on that day, and I noticed her eyes were a bit bloodshot). Overall, the girls got off pretty symptom-free.
A note ‘mild’ COVID: ‘mild’ COVID doesn’t mean just a little sniffle or cough. In medical terms, it means you’re not dying or in need of emergency medical attention. ‘Mild’ COVID can feel pretty terrible - debilitating fatigue, horrible aches, headaches, migraines, loose stools, and more. And for some people ‘mild’ COVID continues past the 7-days of quarantine. This is important to know because you might have ‘mild’ COVID but feel like death. This is a great interview with a doctor about the language around ‘mild’ COVID.
What We Did To Support Recovery
Rest, rest, rest! Anyone who has had COVID will probably agree with me that rest is the best medicine. It was not a good time to get COVID (is it ever?! Lol). We were in the process of cleaning up our house to sell, and I had a massive list to get through. I had also started a Book Building course to write my book (“Healthy, Happy Mum: How To End Body Burnout…For Good” - working title!) in 60 days. As well as run our business as usual. It was a busy time, but I did the bare minimum. And I actually got a good head-start on my book, because it was something I could do that didn’t exert a lot of physical energy.
I made sure I was in bed and asleep before 10 pm (my usual routine), and allowed myself to sleep into whatever time my body needed. Sometimes between 8 am - 9 am - I felt like a teenager again!
Chris is better at resting than me. He was happy to nap when needed. And did a lot of ‘vegging-out’ stuff (aka Xbox….Mumma’s pet hate, lol!).
I got onto higher, therapeutic dosages of most of the immune-supporting supplements from my COVID course. When I first felt terrible, I kept thinking: “Gotta start those supps, Filly!” But I felt so fatigued and had no appetite, that the thought of swallowing pills was not appealing at all. By the end of the night, I got my act together and took the supps. Now, I don’t know if it was just the natural duration of the infection, but I did feel a shift in my inflammation and fatigue levels shortly after taking the supps.
Maybe this is why I jumped out of bed the next day with my energy restored?
The main things Chris and I took to help with COVID recovery were:
- Vitamin C
- Natto bacilli culture
- Neuofen (I tried to hold out on this as much as possible, to let my body bake the virus, but the first night I could not get to sleep at all due to the fever and the chills…Sleep was high on my ‘medicine’ list, so I chose sleep over staying awake all night tossing and turning and sweating).
I gave our girls some of the supps, but I wasn’t anal with the dosages, as they were feeling fine.
If you want the full protocol, including dosages for adults and kids, you can access this in my COVID course.
We were very blessed to have amazing family support during quarantine. My amazing Mumma made us a delicious chicken and vegetable soup. And my parents’ friends also gave us chicken and vegetable curry. These lovely, nourishing, warming meals were definitely what my body needed.
I was also craving kombucha like nothing else. I downed a bottle or two a day. It was refreshing and cold, and also filled our bellies with good immune-modulating bugs.
And my super-star mum also gave us 2-litres of an immune-boosting home-brew. I shared a pic of this brew on socials and had a lot of people asking for the recipe. Mum said she threw a bunch of stuff together. Below are the “approximate” (lol) measurements.
Boil all ingredients in a pot and store in the fridge:
- 2 litres water
- 8 bags Roobois tea
- 3 lemons - juice & pulp
- ½ - ¾ raw honey (to taste)
- ¼ cup ground ginger
- ¼ cup cinnamon
- ¼ cup cloves
- 4cm root ginger, peeled and sliced into small cubes
Studies show exercise can increase ACE Receptor serum which helps fight off covid and the attachment of spike proteins. Now, you don’t want to go out and do a full-on workout. But keeping your body slowly moving (if your energy levels allow it), can be helpful to speed up recovery.
I used my Calm Mama Yoga membership to do at-home yoga flows. I also got the kids involved in this. Chris also did stretching and yoga daily, as well as dedicated breath-work.
My body was YEARNING to go for a walk, especially when my energy levels returned. But there are only so many laps you can do of your backyard before you go a bit nutty, haha! So I used the time in quarantine to do a big spring clean of the house - scrubbed walls, windows, furniture, etc. That expended my cabin-fever energy, without overdoing it.
How We Got Through Quarantine
Let me just say, this was tougher than lockdown (at least in comparison to our Tassie lockdown, which I know was a lot easier than what our NSW and Victoria friends went through). But boy, not being able to get out into nature, or go for a walk down our bush track or to the beach really played with my mental health. I felt like I was in home detention/prison. The kids (and the puppy!) were pretty ratty and feral after a couple of days of no nature time or walks or swims at the beach. But we got through. My first walk on my own after my 7-days quarantine was a spiritual experience - like seriously, I cried and got all goose-bumpy as I walked our dog, Mindy, around the Don reserve.
There was waaaaay too much screen time for the kids. There were moments I beat myself up about it - thinking I could be a better mum. But at the end of the day, I knew it would only be for a short time, and it kept them entertained when I needed time to work on the business (or to keep sane!). So if you’re like me, and getting through the quarantine with the TV on, to stay sane, or because you feel too ill to entertain the kids, I think you’re doing ok, Mumma ;)
Chris set up a tent for the kids to go ‘camping’ at the end of quarantine, to change things up. They had lots of fun. And my sister kindly dropped off new books and art supplies to keep the kids entertained. I let go of my need to have a ‘clean house’ and let them go crazy with the craft all over the house.
So that’s that. I did my 7-days of quarantine and laid low while the rest of the family finished up their quarantine. Poppy, in the end, did a full 2-weeks. She was very ready (or Mummy was very ready for her) to go back to school by the end of it ;)
I’d love to know, how was your family’s experience with COVID and quarantine? How did you get through it?
p.s. If you missed my COVID Course link earlier in the blog, you can access that here.
Filipa Bellette is Co-Founder of Chris & Filly Functional Medicine. She is an accredited Clinical Nutritionist & Functional Medicine Practitioner. She is also a Ph.D. thought-leader, award-winning writer, and regularly published as a guest blogger & in the media. Together with her husband Chris Bellette, Filipa has worked with over 2,000+ busy, burnout clients in the last 10+ years, and specialises in producing healthy, balanced, and happy Mums & Dads...or as she calls it, a Power Parent! Filipa’s own passion for producing high-performance Power Parents came from her own personal experience of Mummy Burnout, after having babies and juggling the demands of business, family, and her failing health.
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