Bettina’s two children, Charlotte, five, and Frederick, three, suddenly had high temperatures – fevers over 40 degrees.
Even with medication, their temperatures didn’t go down. Not only was it peculiar that they both got sick at the exact same time, Bettina remembers thinking, but it was also odd that even with medication, their fevers did not decrease.
Then the dry cough began.
They knew about the coronavirus pandemic; of course they did. And they had been taking all the necessary precautions to socially distance themselves.
“We live a healthy life and the kids are very active. We haven’t travelled or had contact with anyone ill,” Bettina, who is from Bavaria in Germany, tells Mamamia.
But as their symptoms worsened, Bettina knew her kids should be tested for COVID-19, which at the time of reporting has infected over 750,000 people worldwide.
The results for her children came back: positive. Both of them.
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“For us as parents, it was a shock to hear a positive result with the children. We live in a small town, and we live on a farm. We have no idea how the children got this,” she said.
“It was very disappointing and frustrating that we did not understand how and when they got it.”
Since the diagnosis, they have tried to trace back where the children could have caught the infectious illness, but they still have no answers.
“We definitely thought we would have been the last people to get this virus. It just shows everybody can get it.”
On day three of their symptoms persisting, Bettina and her partner took their kids straight to the hospital.
Indeed, this was nothing “like a cold”, despite the common messaging around COVID-19 that kids would have only mild symptoms.
Charlotte and Frederick were badly sick.
“I was worried as a mother. The lack of information, lack of understanding and the lack of cure or medication makes it difficult,” Bettina said.
In the hospital, Bettina wasn’t able to socially distance herself from her children. As their mother, she needed to look after them when the nurses and doctors couldn’t.