On March 18, 2020, I went to the doctor to see the podiatrist for a follow-up about my most recent stress fracture and I failed the coronavirus screening to get into the building.
I had been having issues with inflammation, so I thought I was just having an RA flair. This usually includes having a sore throat and feeling completely worn down, so I thought nothing of it. But, turns out, I also had a low-grade fever.
They ruled out a bacterial infection and influenza and I was "diagnosed" with viral bronchitis. They said the flair was likely a result of the virus and the medications I was taking to help with the flair were probably keeping my fever mild.
This was only days after social restrictions were put into place here in Nebraska, so I was unable to get tested for the virus because there were only a handful of tests available, only at hospitals. But I was told to assume it was COVID-19 and to isolate until I don't have a fever or cough for at least 5 days. Over the next couple of weeks I got a bit worse but now I feel pretty good.
Here lies the paradox. Did I or did I not have COVID-19? And why does that matter?
If I had COVID-19, getting tested for it now would be pointless, because I no longer have an active infection (YAY).
Only testing severe cases isn’t providing accurate information on how the virus is spreading or your potential for exposure. Experts say knowing how many people have recovered will allow us to start moving forward. We can get a better idea of when it will be safe to end lockdowns, relax social distancing restrictions, reopen schools, etc.
2/3 of the population needs to have been infected for there to be herd immunity. How will we know when we hit that threshold if people aren’t getting tested?
Knowing how different people reacted to being infected can help with predictions for if it comes back!
Learning the true range of symptoms and severity of getting the virus starts with knowing who's been infected!
This is a novel virus. We have NO IDEA right now!
I’ll keep you posted!