Was it covid-19? Or a head cold? My experience with getting tested...
If it was any other year I would have automatically assumed I picked up a cold somewhere.
It started with fatigue, then a headache, one morning my temperature reached 39.7°C, then sore throat, stuffy sinuses, and just feeling yucky.
I had a Tarot-reading evening booked with a few ladies so I called the day before to let them know I was a bit under the weather.
But it was just a cold.
We rescheduled, and I tucked inside for a few days to rest and let this virus run its course.
And then one night when I laid in bed it felt like my lungs were filling up and I couldn't catch my breath. I had to get as comfortable as I could with pillows lifting up my torso so I could breathe.
But the coughing started, and I coughed all night and into the next day.
Unproductive tickling coughs that left my ribs sore and my body really tired.
By the end of the weekend I wasn't feeling much better, and at my husband's insistence I did an online assessment, and was given the option to book a test.
I must have backed out and re-assessed a dozen times before I finally decided that I probably should just book the test and take one for the team. Most of my family had these cold symptoms. We were all stuffy, and tired, some of us were coughing, all of us had a sore throat.
It started from school we assume, or daycare, because the youngest were unwell before the others.
But it was just a cold right?
The online booking was simple, and I was able to book any test time for the same day. They were in 10 minute intervals until supper time. I chose after lunch, that gave me a little while to shower and figure out exactly who I've been in contact with, if by some freak of nature I actually tested positive for covid-19.
I was embarrassed with my contacts. I followed protocols, no large gatherings, hand washing, distancing and I didn't go anywhere that I didn't need to.
But when I started thinking of my son's birthday supper attending by our family, and how each of us would have potentially been in contact with dozens of other people I understood how quickly a virus like this could spread within a small community.
It was a bit scary.
I showed up at the assessment center to a full parking lot. At first I was shocked, then hopeful that most of them were employees, and then I thought that if that many people actually needed a test (based on my similar symptoms) I almost felt relief believing that there must be a cold or flu traveling through our community.
The assessment center was so careful.
Everyone had to sanitize multiple times. Replace masks with sterile ones provided, register behind glass and then be ushered to a cubicle where the two ladies that were handling me were wearing so much PPE that I had a flashback to watching E.T. in 1983.
The swab itself was like a little soft bristled cone shaped pipe cleaner.
I was asked to pull down the mask from my nose and the swab was inserted and brushed for 5 seconds.
There was no pain.
Just a feeling like I was going to sneeze.
If she had to brush for one second longer I'm confident I would have sneezed all over the poor girl.
I was taken out a separate entrance than the one I entered, given a pamphlet and instructions to isolate until my results came. It would be 24 to 72 hours, if they were negative I'd get an email, positive would be a phone call.
I was SURE it was just a cold.
I would have bet money on it.
I went home to isolate. Thinking it would be 3 days before I was legally permitted to leave my house.
I like my house. I like my jammies. I like cheesy Christmas movies on Netflix.
I was good.
It only took 8 hours to get my results.
I received an email, so I knew it was good news.
The email had instructions for how to login to get the results.
I KNEW it was just a cold. And I was never so thankful to fail a test in my life.
The results were negative, but the symptoms overlapped covid so I wanted to be sure. If I tested negative then my loved ones who shared my symptoms were most likely negative too.
And all of those people at the assessment center also tested negative because our zone had no positive tests for days.
It really made me aware of how the choices I make about who I share time with are really important. I couldn't imagine what it would feel like to be the point of origin for a virus that could impact people in such a horrible way.
I'm not afraid.
And I don't know who all these wimpy people are that are crying about how bad the swab feels, because it was unremarkable.
If you have symptoms, you should be assessed. It's nothing to fear, and it's a big relief when you find out that you haven't shared it with anyone.
And you should really be aware of your social circle. Many could work in health care or with the public as my circle does. And it's really eye opening when you actually make a list of who you've seen in the past 14 days.
I wish you all health.