(Image via the Centers for Disease Control)
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted the lives of people around the world, and with the number of confirmed cases at over 44 million worldwide many have experienced COVID-19 firsthand.
On Wednesday, Oct. 21, my roommates and I found out that we were in close contact with friends who had tested positive for COVID-19. I immediately emailed my professor who I was due to see in my only in-person class shortly after that to let her know I would be quarantined for the next 10 days at least.
I began developing symptoms on Thursday, Oct. 22, which was also the same day I was scheduled to get my COVID-19 test. My first COVID-19 test was done at drive-thru testing with CVS, where I was able to pick the time slot I wanted.
I drove up to the drive-thru window where a licensed professional instructed me on how to do my own nose swab test. I was required to wear a mask, even in the car, and I could only take it down while performing the test. I was given a clear bag with a nose swab, a container to put the nose swab in, and a napkin.
The nose swab was only 30 total seconds of my life, during which I was told to insert the swab an inch into my nose and swirl it around for 15 seconds. The nurse was the one who timed it, while I had to do the swab in both nostrils. While my eyes did water pretty heavily during it, the testing itself didn’t hurt at all. Being uncomfortable for 30 seconds is definitely worth finding out if you have COVID-19.
After swabbing, I had to put the swab in the container and then put that back into the clear bag. I was then told to use the napkin to lift the lid of the box where the samples went. After putting my sample in the box, I went home where I laid on the couch all day with body aches, chills, migraines and a sore throat.
Thursday, Oct. 22 has been the worst day during my bout with COVID-19 to date.
As my friend group and roommates all got tested, most came back positive with a few coming back negative. With most of us experiencing similar symptoms, luckily none of our symptoms have been too severe and no one has been hospitalized due to complications.
I continued experiencing mild symptoms including congestion, headaches, sore throat, decrease in sense of taste and smell and shortness of breath. My test results came back on Tuesday, Oct. 27, and I was negative. I was shocked. Most people around me were positive and I was experiencing all the symptoms.
I read my results over again and learned something I didn’t know about COVID-19 testing. Just because you test negative doesn’t mean you didn’t contract the virus. It only means that COVID-19 was under the limit of detection in the sample I gave.
Continuing to experience symptoms, I scheduled to get tested with the University Health Services this time. I called on the same day I received my results from CVS and was scheduled to test on Wednesday, Oct. 28.
They called an hour before my appointment to fill out my patient chart and informed me I would need to call upon my arrival to be let in. Once I called in, a nurse then led me to a separate seating area to fill out a short form, and then came and brought me into the clinic.
I was weighed and had my vitals tested, and all were good except my heart rate was high. My mom says that’s my body fighting off the virus. Two nurses took me to a room where they instructed me how to perform my own nose swab again. I did the swab, which was actually not timed this time so that was different.
After the swab, another nurse came in to check me out and ask me questions about my symptoms. Then I was given a sticker and released back into the wild. I went straight home where I laid in bed.
My results for my second COVID-19 test came back negative also, which was less of a shock as my symptoms were getting better every day. With the confirmed negative my quarantine/isolation period was over on Saturday, Oct. 31.
COVID-19 was not a fun virus to contract. Even the mild symptoms were annoying to deal with and the bad days were rough.
Quarantining with my roommates caused some friction too, with arguments and times when we all ignored each other, but I don’t think we would have gotten through without each other. I also got behind in my in-person class a little, but my professor has been very helpful and I should be caught up very soon.
Please wear masks and continue social distancing, because while my friends and I had mild symptoms that’s not true for everyone. People are dying from this virus. Protect others and do your part.