Family hasn’t left house for 38 days over virus fears

 

This Sydney family hasn't left home since March 12 to protect their daughter from the deadly coronavirus.

That means today is their 38th day being stuck behind the same four walls.

Sydney mum Dianne Regan and her family of six decided not to leave the house because her eldest daughter is more at risk than most Aussies.

 

"My child could die, so I don't feel very safe going out," Mrs Regan told news.com.au.

Dianne Regan pictured with her asthmatic daughter Jasmine in 2009.
Dianne Regan pictured with her asthmatic daughter Jasmine in 2009.

"My eldest daughter is a severe asthmatic," Mrs Regan said. "My husband and I have lived in and out of hospitals since she was born.

"We're not risking it because it (the virus) has freaked us out."

Jasmine Regan, 23, has a low immunity and severe asthma.

Jasmine Regan, 23, is at a higher risk of dying from COVID-19.
Jasmine Regan, 23, is at a higher risk of dying from COVID-19.

 

STOCKPILING

"There's seven of us that are in lockdown in the house - my husband, my kids and my daughter's boyfriend," Mrs Regan said.

Mrs Regan's 84-year-old mum is also living with them, giving them more incentive to stay isolated.

"When you've got a lot of people you need a lot of food."

She's been stocking up since January 24, buying up hand sanitiser, non-perishable food and even vitamin pills.

"If you look at my pantry, it makes me look like some stockpiling queen," she said.

"The truth is I just have a very big family."

 

RUNNING OUT

Dianne Regan is taking extra precautions to keep her family safe.
Dianne Regan is taking extra precautions to keep her family safe.

Even with all the stockpiling, they ran out of food within a couple of weeks after they decided not to leave the house.

"We started running out of food after about two weeks (from March 12)," Mrs Regan said.

"Since we were at home 24/7 we ate more than I'd anticipated.

"Now we've learnt to control ourselves a bit more.

"We also make all our own bread and pasta."

Mrs Regan's friends have been helping her out ever since.

"One of my best friends just dropped off stuff for me just now," she said.

"All my friends, the mums, have all stepped up so incredibly to help us out."

Mrs Regan's elderly mum is also entitled to a care package, and this carer runs errands for them and leaves the much-needed supplies on their doorstep.

And the family has even figured out a way to get fresh food.

Mrs Regan started growing a veggie garden with tomatoes, lettuce, chives, mint, celery, basil and capsicum in preparation for the pandemic.

Food wasn't the only thing to run out.

"As you can imagine with seven people we go through toilet paper like crazy," Mrs Regan said with a laugh.

In the last few days before they decided to lock down for good, they couldn't find any toilet paper.

"We ran out - we had one roll left," she said.

"I wrote everyone's names in black texta on the toilet paper, one square each per person. That was all they could use.

"It really gave them a reality check."

Luckily the next day a friend swung by and dropped off a 24-pack of loo roll.

 

STAYING SANE

All things considered, Mrs Regan's family appear to be staying sane and getting along well.

"My kids are fitness freaks," she said.

"We've set up a mini F45 gym in our living room.

"We train as a family, boxing, cardio, videos off YouTube.

"We're lucky we've got a really good space to do it.

"We keep coming up with ideas of how to stay fit."

The family has also resorted to massive baking projects and even making their own pasta to fill in their spare time.

 

HATERS

Grocery aisles have been stripped bare in recent weeks, although stock is slowly returning to shelves.
Grocery aisles have been stripped bare in recent weeks, although stock is slowly returning to shelves.

Mrs Regan copped a lot of criticism for her stockpiling.

"There was so much hate," Mrs Regan said. "(I was) getting ripped to shreds. I felt shamed and embarrassed.

"The people became worse than the virus"

She called these haters "pretty disgusting".

"You don't know the circumstances," she said.

"I've always shopped at Costco, and bulk-bought. I have six kids, I always have my cupboard filled regardless.

"Australians should stop fighting against each other."

Originally published as Sydney family hasn't left house for 38 days


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