In the third week of March, I received my results from a COVID-19 test. It was positive. I wanted to write about my story with coronavirus from the very beginning, including initial symptoms and testing. Currently, I reside in the state of Arizona in the United States. Testing is limited within this part of the country, and obtaining approval to get tested was a big challenge.
Where did I get COVID-19?
This is the first question I everyone asks as soon as they know I got coronavirus. Well, I do not know. With a maximum incubation period of 14 days, it could have been anywhere. The symptoms started in mid-March. Therefore, I could have gotten the virus anytime, starting from the beginning of the month. Since I wasn’t quarantining those weeks, I had contact with hundreds of people. Either at work, grocery shopping, and even in a few airports for a university program. Some people know they have been in contact with a COVID-19 positive case, and they can track their symptoms back to contact with that individual. For me, that was impossible.
When my sickness started, I experience three clear symptoms: a dry cough, fever, and chest pain. As soon as I felt the initial symptoms, I quarantined and alerted my family and work. A few days later, I was still experiencing a strong dry cough and intermittent fever. The symptoms got worst.
As a young adult with no serious medical issues, I wasn’t overly worried about my status. But I was concerned about spreading a very contagious disease.
After quarantining for 48 hours and experiencing increasing symptoms, I decided to get tested. In just a few words: it was very complicated. I hope this guide will help people experiencing symptoms to either get diagnosed for other types of flu or get tested for COVID-19.
I had three doctor visits before finally getting approved for testing. The first visit was a televised doctor. Unfortunately, they couldn’t make an accurate diagnosis over the video chat. Then, I ended up setting up a second appointment—this time in person. The doctor tested me for influenza A and influenza B, and both tests came up negative. Once the doctor confirmed the negative results, then they told me I could have coronavirus.
Influenza A and B tests are meant to test you for the most common flu types and some occasional strains. If any of the tests were to come back positive, then it is good news. You have some other kind of virus, not the coronavirus.
Even though I tested negative for both influenza tests, I still couldn’t have access to a COVID-19 test. At the moment, testing in Arizona was very stringent. The only way to get tested was by entering an emergency room due to respiratory issues. As a student at a large Arizona university, the doctor recommended going to the University hospital.
He referred me to the university hospital, and I had an appointment that same day. The doctors were again very hesitant to give me a test, but they had test kits available. Finally, they approved me for testing and proceeded by taking a sample.
The COVID-19 test results were not immediate. I continued quarantining for a few more days and waited for the results. Until finally, I received a phone call. The test confirmed my symptoms were due to coronavirus.
Now, it was time to take a lot more precautions. I started taking some prescribed medication to alleviate the symptoms and isolated in an area of my home. Since then, I avoided contact with everyone on the exterior, and even with my family to prevent spreading.
Recovery and Next Steps
Over a week after receiving the results and two weeks from the initial symptoms, I am feeling much better. Yet, I haven’t fully recovered. This virus is very strong and contagious. I am still experiencing a cough and shortness of breath just from walking indoors. As a young and healthy individual, I am recovering, but COVID-19 can be extremely dangerous or even lethal for at-risk individuals.
I hope this article gave you some useful information about coronavirus and COVID-19 testing. Remember, it is crucial to isolate and practice social distancing. People’s lives are at risk with the spread of this virus.