COVID-19 and me

/ 13 March 2020

To give you some context around this virus and the Twin Cities, here’s what’s up with me.

I’ve been sick since February 28th with an upper respiratory infection of some sort. An illness that came on suddenly, and followed what had been a month of travel (four airports in three weeks, including Toronto and Kentucky). I’ve been coughing, ran a low grade fever, runny nose, etc.

After 14 days, still coughing, I checked in with my doctor again. When I originally got sick she recommended that I not go out until I had been three full days without symptoms. But this was taking so long, I decided to check in with her.

After a lot of back and forth on the phone, my clinic decided that I do not have a sinus infection, and I should be tested for COVID-19. The way it is currently set up here, when a doctor requests such a test (if you’re not already in the hospital) you go to a drive-in testing site. Your doctor calls them, and then they call you and arrange it.

So I awaited the phone call. When I finally connected with the drive-in testing site, they walked through the same set of questions my doctor had asked me, and then decided I was not eligible for testing.

So please note: even though the president is saying there are tests available, and even though there are drive-in test sites here in the Cities, that still doesn’t mean you can get tested.

Do I have COVID-19? Hard to say, probably not since neither Eric nor Alex are sick. Yet we also know that this is a virus that doesn’t always cause symptoms. I share this story to emphasize that we really do not know how widespread this virus is, because we really don’t have decent testing data. The best thing all of us can do is practice what they’re calling “social distancing” to slow it down, and WASH OUR HANDS.