I’m a social worker located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On Sunday August 2nd, my husband and I were tested for Coronavirus/Covid-19, and we now know we are positive for that illness. I have been systematically video logging reactions, symptoms, and experiences since that day in hopes that it might be helpful, reassuring, or entertaining for anyone who is following. When I experienced my first symptom I was relentlessly googling and searching for solid information on what I had and what might be causing my odd little cluster of experiences. This post will include videos of me exclusively, and my personal commentary. All of these videos are available on Youtube as well.
Some important facts to note before watching the videos:
-We do not know how we contracted the virus. We did not have a proven exposure.
-We have done minimal risk activities. Avoided all large group activities, maintained social distancing, and in public spaces have always worn a mask, and continuously washed hands.
-We both work in jobs that deal with the public and have been required to be in person. Myself since Mid-May, and my husband returned to partial employment at the end of June.
My husband lost his health insurance at the end of July which covered both him and my son. This goes into the health and testing decisions we made based on that and some of my feelings on that. He now has healthcare exchange insurance at an increased cost to us of around $300 per month. To put him or my son on my work insurance plan, we would have to pay the full premium which would average out to $700-$800 typically. We similarly cannot afford the cost of Cobra with a diminished income and the loss of the additional $600 stipend that helped make us whole.
Mostly just some sort of funny videos of me smelling/tasting various things for my own entertainment and how that felt. Important: Squash is not advised.
This is actually an important video. This is the cough that developed by midnight that night and what it sounded like. I am trying to record my cough as it changes so those who may develop a similar symptom will know what it sounds like. This felt like a bronchitis cough. My airways were clear but that’s what it felt like was contracting when I coughed.
Symptoms are mostly unchanged. Biggest change not mentioned was loss of appetite and a slightly elevated temperature from my “norm”.
Trying some hot sauce.
And had a change of heart on that hot sauce. Also, can’t taste Dr. Pepper? What lunacy is this?!
This next video is toward the evening and my thoughts as well as some of the precautions and risks we took. I had pneumonia twice in 2012 and a lot of the symptoms are similar, particularly chills, bone aches, and exhaustion/brain fog.
My reaction to selling personal items online. I was starting to feel a little punchy and nervous.
The body aches started to get a little worse as the evening wore on, and I tried to describe what was happening in my body. Also a record of my cough on Day 2. It’s a little tighter and drier at this point.
This video describes some of the brain fog and dizziness I was experiencing by the time I went to bed that night.
Some additional symptom updates and thoughts around Midnight on Monday Night, Day 2 and how my health and history is particularly affected and some comparisons. I have a history of high blood pressure that began in pregnancy and has been treated since then. I am starting to also experience depression and anxiety as well as frustration little more acutely here and struggled probably the deepest with these on this night.
2am Symptom record on Day 2-3. Tingling is also associated with anxiety, however, the tingling is what originally woke me up after having fallen asleep for about an hour. Later this night it woke me up again between 4am-5am because it had moved into my nose and mouth.
One of the positives of using Med Express is that they do their testing with a company called Labcorp in my city. Despite the fact that we had to bill through insurance this two day result is the FASTEST I’ve heard of in my area. We were able to sign up for an account to see our test results online pretty much first thing in the morning. I called my Dad to interpret them, as he is a lab manager for hospital in the major conglomerate in our city that runs Covid 19 tests to ensure I was reading that I was positive correctly. We received a phone call a few hours after this.
My reaction is about what I could muster here. I maintain its hilarity.
We spent most of the day on Tuesday doing our own contact tracing and letting our jobs know the situation. We have not been contacted by the health department or contact tracers at this point. Upon getting the results my own anxiety and aggressive guilt spun out of control. We saw an outpouring of support to a somewhat silly Covid declaration on Facebook. I decided to do this because we took the recommended precautions in ALL situations. We were, in fact, careful and STILL got it. Other than work, my parents, sister, and hairstylist were all the most recent people to have contact with us during a potentially risky period. We wore masks in all situations except for with my parents. We had another family (who we have had regular playdates with since our state moved out of the Red phase) in our house approximately 11 days ago. These were our only contacts. No big group events, we went out for groceries, and in every situation wore a mask, washed hands, and took all precautions. We haven’t eaten out at all and any restaurant food was no contact delivered or we picked it up following all social distancing protocols.
Symptom video update I took at the end of the day. Most significant symptom is the elevation of my temperature.
This is the last video I took of the day. I had both a doctor’s appointment with a clinician from the practice and a therapy appointment to work on resourcing and skills.
The most important piece I will highlight here in this below video, and let me be clear, is that I had to reassure my 6-year-old that I wasn’t going to die. I had to hold his hand because he was convinced I was dying and asked who was going to take care of him. It didn’t have to be this way. I didn’t have to do this. Our government is messing up. Our response isn’t enough. I have a lot of things to say but watch this. Don’t leave your house, please take more precautions than you are.
And this is my most raw true feeling. Tonight my husband and I discussed that we need a will. There is no money, our savings is nearly gone because of Covid, but I have a preventable illness that kills people at a high rate (even healthy people) and I have a child that will need care. We didn’t need to still have so many infections in August. This could have been prevented. We are in the line of fire and the match has been struck for my family.
So, when I figure out how to write that will tomorrow I am hoping they will let me include that my final wish, God forbid, is this: I want my dead infected ass to be launched, preferably by cannon, directly into Donald Trump’s lap.