Riverine Herald

Yes, I have coronavirus, Echuca woman says

By Ivy Jensen

JUDY Magdziarz has a message for the people of Echuca-Moama.

Yes, I have tested positive for coronavirus.

Yes, I did go shopping in town.

But no, none of you seem to understand why I was doing that.

The Echuca woman and her daughter Summar sailed on the Ovation of the Sea Caribbean Cruise from March 12-18 and between a storm at New Caledonia and New Zealand closing its borders, the ship's only landfall was departure and arrival at Sydney.

As all passengers disembarked, they were told by the ship's captain that as they had not visited anywhere they would not need to go into isolation.

So the 68-year-old flew back to Melbourne and stayed overnight at an airport hotel before driving to Echuca on Thursday last week. 

On Thursday, March 19, Judy went to Aldi to get some groceries about 2pm and on Friday, March 20, she went to Bunnings about 9.30am and Coles about 10.30am.

Judy then received an email on Saturday, March 21, confirming a Canadian passenger on the cruise tested positive to COVID-19.

"By then, I was going to get tested because I had a bit of a cough, sore shoulders and aching hands," she said.

Judy went to Echuca Regional Health on Saturday where she was tested for the virus.

"I did the right thing and stayed isolated until I got the diagnosis yesterday (Monday)," she said.

"I have been living in my motorhome at the back of my property because there are builders in my house. I have stayed my distance, but I believe they are now worried they are going to get it. I understand they're scared but I am nowhere near them.

"I have let everyone I had contact with know about my diagnosis."

Minutes after the Riv posted a story about our second positive test, people opened fire on social media and started accusing the family of doing the wrong thing, not adhering to the COVID-19 restrictions and worse.

"Someone has gone out and told people it was me. That was my privacy," she said.

"It's a small town I guess and word spreads quickly. But people started saying things that were untrue and saying it was my daughter Summar who had the virus.

"She's been vilified. People need to get their facts straight before they start bullying and calling her and making her life a misery.

"This is scaremongering and we won't be bullied."

Judy said Summar had taken her children out of school as soon as she arrived home and had been self isolating ever since.

She said her daughter asked to be tested but was told that would only be necessary if she exhibited symptoms.

As for Judy, she will spend at least the next two weeks in isolation before being tested again.

Which is fine by her.

"I'm feeling really good at the moment," she said.

"My temperature is normal and so is my blood pressure.

"I'm in a beautiful spot and have enough books and DVDs to keep me entertained and I enjoy digging in the garden. It's like heaven."