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Frontliner and single mum spared from COVID for two years, gets struck by virus on New Year

Gillian Rasco doing a steam therapy to try get some relief from her clogged nose and colds. In Insert photo, the single-mum video calls her 4-year-old Lily. Source: Supplied by Gillian Rasco

Aged care nurse Gillian Rasco rang the New Year in isolation, separated from her four-year-old daughter due to COVID.

The single mum from Sydney tested positive for COVID-19 on the first day of 2022.

She was asymptomatic and wasn't expecting to test positive for the virus.


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'Napakahirap pero kinakaya ko para sa anak ko': Pagpapakatatag ng isang single-mum para gumaling mula sa COVID-19
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  • Courage along with eating well are just few of the things that can help an individual to fight off the coronavirus.
  • Family and friends' emotional support make a big difference for someone facing coronavirus.
  • As of January 6, NSW has 234,066 active COVID-19 cases with 1,738 in hospital.

'It's hard but I have to be strong'

"From Day 1 I have isolated even without the result of the PCR test yet. I was just home alone. My daughter was with her dad. And good thing is, father and daughter are both negative," Gillian Rasco shares.

It was the night of January 1 when the single-mum of one did a rapid antigen test while she was at work and returned a positive result.

She immediately isolated from the other aged care staff and residents and the following morning went in for a PCR test. After two days it was confirmed that she COVID-positive.

As a single mum, being sick and separated from her only child is extremely difficult for Gillian.

"I never expected that I will be infected with COVID-19 on the first day of the New Year, and the hardest part is being away from my daughter for the next seven or days days of isolation. It can also take longer if my Day 6 PCR test result doesn't come out straight away," Gillian says in between sobbing.

Being in isolation is very difficult for me. But I have to be strong for my daughter, Lily.

The health care worker finds courage to fight her illness from the thought that when she recovers she will be able to hug her daughter, Lily.

"I have to be really strong at overcoming sadness and depression. I need to get better."

Gillian Rasco
Along with eating well, aged care nurse Gillian is doing everything to keep her sane and entertained during her isolation.
Supplied by Gillian Rasco

Emotional support

Many people's resilience and strength are continuously being tested in the ongoing pandemic as the new Omicron COVID variant spread rapidly across the world.

Aside from fighting the very symptoms of the virus, including colds and fever, Gillian struggles with the emotional challenge. And she is very grateful for the support of her family and friends even when they are far away.

"The emotional support they give me is very helpful."

Messages from friends and co-workers also help in reducing her anxiety and distress.

“I have friends and particular my family back home [in the Philippines] who always check on me over the phone.”

Gillian is not used to being just at home, isolated. She is a very active person and always on-the-go.

Although she knows that she is at risk of getting infected because of her work as a nurse, she did not expected it as she has not been sick at all during the past two years.

It's the first time the aged care nurse got sick since the pandemic began.

She hopes to be bettwe in the next 5 days so she can be with her daughter.

What may help

Currently, there are 234,066 active COVID-19 cases in New South Wales. 1,738 are in hospital as shown in the last data on January 6.

The NSW resident believes that being fully vaccinated has helped her a lot in only having mild symptoms and not severely sick.

She also thinks that her good health and daily exercises that she had been doing have contributed to her physical strength.

That's why even in isolation and while recovering from COVID-19, she continues to do her exercise regimes and eats healthy.

“I always exercise even now that I am in isolation."

She also does some home remedy to help her get rid of the illness. Gillian does steam inhalation or steam therapy from time to time to help her get better.

Steam therapy is a process of inhaling the water vapor from the hot water. It is believed to help soothe and open the nasal passages and get relief from the symptoms of a cold or sinus infection.

“Definitely drinking a lot of water helps me flush out any bad elements I have in my body. Lots of fruits and vegetable and eating well make a big difference too."

"I also took some medicine to relief the pain and fever, but only on my first and second day of isolation. I also drink lots of green and ginger tea to help reduce my itchy throat."

Gillian Rasco can't wait to get better and finally bring home her daughter and go to church.

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