The last person you want to hear on the other end of the phone is Timmy Lockwood

His clear voice is the signal that your life will change for at least the next two weeks

At 39 years old and dressed casually in jeans and sneakers, Lockwood may not be what you imagine NSW’s first line of defense against the deadly coronavirus

Lockwood is one of the first four contact tracers in the state to go live in March last year as COVID case numbers skyrocketed

“We basically work from seven in the morning until sometimes after midnight, and that’s seven days a week,” he tells 7NEWScomau, “I’m too busy to be scared”

“Contact tracing” is a term we all know well, but a year ago the role of COVID-19 Close Contact Tracer didn’t exist

His name came up because he worked in a similar position in an STI department, telling people’s partners that they had sexually transmitted diseases including HIV / AIDs

Lockwood considers himself a COVID-19 detective His office is littered with maps, whiteboards, and texts trying to figure out the connections between the cases

They worked blindly and there were no procedures to deal with a pandemic

Many have no health background – some are civil servants or have recently graduated from university

Some contact tracers are not needed during quieter times However, they can be called back at any time during a “rise”

Permanent staff like Lockwood monitor people who are exempt from hotel quarantine and optimize their systems on donut days

After 55 days without a local COVID-19 case, NSW contact tracers were messed up, according to a security officer who tested positive on Saturday

He had visited a number of locations in southern Sydney before realizing he was carrying the virus

First, a team of epidemiologists interview the COVID positive person and visit venues to determine whether they should classify visitors as close or casual contact

Making the dreaded phone call has four components 1) Informing the person that they have come into contact with a COVID positive case, 2) Find out who else they may have interacted with, 3) Provide the necessary health advice (ex B. Informing that they have to isolate for 14 days) and 4) support, e.g. B. financial support or opportunities to find alternative accommodation if they live in a crowded place with other people

“People are shocked (after) a random person just called you and said,” You can’t go out for two weeks “

“Enforcement is definitely not our first option,” he said. “We mostly want to work with people to achieve the goals because enforcement is not good”It’s not what we want to do to humans

“But if the public health risk is great enough, we can call in the police if necessary. But it really is a last resort”

Close contacts are made to check their calendars, photos, and messages, and remind them of where they are, among other things

“One of the soft skills of a good contact tracer is being able to intuitively tell if someone is holding back or if there is more to the story,” he explains

This included asking open-ended questions, according to Lockwood, and reassuring people that breaking the rules would not cause them problems

“We just want to get the right information to keep the community safe. And let’s make it clear to people. It is never our intention to prosecute anyone. Our only goal is to protect”

“We can see overseas what happens when contact tracing isn’t effective and COVID spreads uncontrollably in the community”

“She’s old, she’s in an elderly care facility and if she gets COVID what the consequences of that could be

“I’ve never saved lives in my career and I’m really proud of that,” he says

As a humble man, he insists that many others have helped bring Australia to where we are today

NSW covid, covid nsw

World News – AU – “I’m Too Busy To Be Afraid”: In the Life of a COVID Contact Tracer