Shepparton News

Haircut leads to heartache

MERRIGUM DAIRY FARMING FAMILY FIGHTS VIRUS

- By Darren Linton

Daniel Beattie is isolating at home on a Merrigum dairy farm, so too are his partner Rachel Rowe and their three children Ava, 4, Blake, 3, and seven-month-old Max who have all tested positive to COVID-19.

It is Ava’s birthday today.

It was a simple, everyday task that led to Rachel testing positive, a haircut.

Daniel said within the house, it spread, infecting the whole family as well as his parents, who often look after the children.

“We have all tested positive, it is very worrying, almost overwhelmi­ng,” he said.

Daniel has been given dispensati­on by authoritie­s to continue to get the cows to milking every day, but he can’t have any contact with seven other workers, or go inside the milking shed, which is disinfecte­d after every milking.

Nobody else can touch the quad bike he uses, and his only contact with co-workers is by phone.

“Everyone in our house got it, and everyone who came to our house got it, there was no hiding from it,” he said.

On the farm the workers already had a COVID-safe plan — and so far they have all tested negative.

Daniel said his partner was quite ill, but everyone else had mild or no symptoms. He was most concerned about his parents.

“It is just as scary having your parents get it because they are older and more at risk,” he said.

It is a fear shared by many, but Daniel said he wanted to use their experience to encourage more people to get vaccinated. They were booked in for a first dose two days after getting the first positive test result.

“I am a bigger advocate for the vaccine, just to try and stop the spread and so we can get back to some normality,” he said.

 ??  ?? Staying positive: Daniel Beattie has spoken about his whole family testing positive to COVID-19.
Staying positive: Daniel Beattie has spoken about his whole family testing positive to COVID-19.

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