'Double-vaxxed the saviour': Giant opens up on COVID diagnosis

RISING Greater Western Sydney defender Georgia Garnett is grateful for being fully vaccinated after testing positive to COVID-19 earlier this week.

Garnett had some mild symptoms, but is already starting to feel better as she continues her recovery.

"I'm feeling a lot better. The first couple days were a bit [tougher], but I'm definitely coming back," Garnett told womens.afl

"I think being double-vaxxed was a saviour to be honest. I've heard people having it a lot worse who weren't double-vaxxed so I'm very grateful.

"I had a bit of a blocked-up nose, a bit of a cough, a bit fatigued, but it's been something different every day. I'm coming back to (feeling better) now."

Georgia Garnett fends away Libby Graham during training on November 15, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

The Giants players were given a mini-break last weekend, with a handful – including Garnett – opting to take advantage of the border opening between New South Wales and Victoria and catch up with family and friends.

The 20-year-old was keen to take precautions after her time away, and after returning late in the evening, opted to isolate in the granny flat in her parents' backyard (she lives out of home normally) before taking a test.

A rapid antigen test in the morning came through with the dreaded positive, before a PCR test confirmed the result. She doesn't know how she caught the virus.

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"I didn't get it through lockdown, I didn't know anyone who got it, so when I got it, it was like 'this is actually happening, it can happen to anyone, I'm not invincible'," Garnett said.

"There were a few emotions, but I'm all sweet now. Just really grateful that I've had the education and training to do the rapid after you've been somewhere high risk.

"There's also the mental aspect. There was a bit of anxiety over inconveniencing other people, someone else could have caught it from me, so there was a bit of anxiety there. 

"The girls have reassured me over the last couple of days that it's going to happen, and we're going to have to deal with it, and we have dealt with it really well."

Georgia Garnett is sprayed by teammates after a win in her debut game against the Suns. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

The Giants have delivered exercise equipment for Garnett to use when she feels up to it, and her teammates who are close contacts are isolating for seven days from the last point of exposure, per New South Wales government regulations for double-vaccinated people.

Those players were already isolating awaiting their own test results, having undergone the same precautions as Garnett.

"They're training hard on their exercise bikes, that's all they can do at the moment unfortunately," Garnett said.

"And whenever I'm feeling up to it, I'll start slowly getting back into it. I'm lucky enough that our granny flat connects directly with our backyard. I've still got a heap of gym equipment from lockdown, so I'm grateful for that. 

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"It'll be a lot of exercise bike, a few gym sessions to fill in the day. I'll probably go through some training footage as well, really anything I can do to fill in the time and keep involved.

"I've had a few UberEats deliveries from the girls, a few care packages as well from friends and teammates, so I'm very grateful for that.

"I didn't lose my sense of taste, thank god, which was interesting. Nothing like being stuck in iso and not being able to taste anything."

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AFL executive general manager of football Andrew Dillon speaks to the media about the League's COVID-19 vaccination policy

Garnett is eager to promote the benefits of vaccination, as well as returning to a sense of normality with a dash of sensibility, like taking rapid antigen tests after being in high-risk environments.

"I was happy to share this story because we're opening up now, and as long as we're double-vaxxed, I don't think we should be too worried and live our life in fear," she said.

"Speaking from experience, being double-vaxxed has made a world of difference. After a couple of days, I'm starting to feel fine. Now we're opening up, it is going to happen, so we have to be aware of it, but as long as we do the right things, we just keep on living."

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