A couple of
years months have passed since the initial COVID-19 lock down, and my personal bout with the illness. Now the darkest timeline has moved on to protesting, I thought I would put down my thoughts about my experience before moving on to something more important, like how Black Lives Matter.
Looking back on the events, I don’t think that our healthcare system was prepared for what happened to us. It was impossible for me to get tested for COVID, even with the help of a doctor. I was very fortunate to be able to keep working. Having served in the Ohio Army National Guard, I did some disaster relief work in Nicaragua. There I experienced both tropical disease and life in a failed state. My COVID-19 experience was eerily similar on both fronts.
My Daughter Probably Had COVID-19 A Month Before Anyone Took It Seriously
On February 17th, my 7 year old daughter became extremely ill. She had flu symptoms, including extremely high fevers, but she tested negative for the flu. She was admitted to the hospital on the 24th of February, when her temperature hit 105 degrees Fahrenheit. She remained there for 4 days. She was ultimately treated for pneumonia and given two different rounds of antibiotics. She came home late on the 27th. This was two days before the first confirmed U.S. Corona Virus death in Seattle. The story is that it concentrated in the New York City area, but we live in Cincinnati.
I took most of the week off of work to help keep an eye on my daughter at the hospital. In our family, we have a “no one stays in the hospital alone” policy. My 2 year old son went to school the whole time, but we kept him home the Friday after my daughter came home from the hospital.
The first week of March, my daughter returned to school, and on the 12th of March, my wife and I decided to keep the kids home from school for the rest of the week because of all the school closings. On March 15th, the schools officially shut down. That day, I started feeling ill. The kids have yet to return to school.
I Got Turned Away From The ER With A High Fever
The week of March 15th, my son and I were pretty sick. I was completely exhausted, I had a cough, and I kept getting fevers. Whenever I took Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen, I would get these terrible sweats, followed by intense chills. By Thursday, March 19th, my wife took my son to the ER. Later that night, my temp hit nearly 104 degrees Fahrenheit and I went to the ER as well. I was triaged in a tent in the parking lot, and I sat in a bed for 20 minutes before a doctor told me I probably had it, but they couldn’t test me. Like, get the fuck out basically. That visit cost me $800 after my insurance, BTW.
I was sent home with an information packet about Corona Virus, and told to quarantine for 2 weeks. Then next 15 or so days were awful. I would get these coughing fits where I couldn’t
catch my breath. Everything smelled and tasted awful. My son was on an intense antibiotic that gave him diarrhea, and changing his diapers would make me gag and dry heave. Once my fever cleared up, was still exhausted and I still had a horrible cough. At one point, we had groceries delivered to our front door. I carried them to the kitchen and I got so out of breath that I started vomiting. It felt like times that I had overdone it while sprinting or weight lifting.
My wife, my son, and I all got sick in within two weeks of my daughter’s return home from the hospital. My daughter did not get sick again. It would appear that we had whatever she had, and that she had some sort of immunity.
I began working from home on the 15th of March, and I didn’t go into the office again until mid April, out of sheer necessity. I had to oversee a fiber optic network install for a new office.
I never got a COVID test; my antibody test came back negative
One of my trips into the office, I got a prescription for COVID-19 testing. I saw a testing place near Dayton, but it was always closed down when I went by. I tried calling the Ohio Board of Health about where to go, or how to schedule. They didn’t answer the phone. When they called me back they referred me to the Butler county board of health, who also did not answer. When they called be back, they didn’t know where testing was happening.
Meanwhile, a convicted rapist and a tiger at The Bronx Zoo was able to get a COVID test. This whole situation felt like a massive failure on all levels of the government and healthcare system. And I came through relatively unscathed. I was incredibly fortunate. So many other are not.
Two weeks ago, I got an antibody test that came back negative. My family doctor is thoroughly convinced that my daughter had COVID-19, and that the rest of us probably did too.
It probably won’t go away, and if it does, it will probably come back stronger
Between the botched response to the pandemic and the pressure to reopen the economy, I think we are virtually guaranteed to see either low to no decrease in new cases, and/or a second wave of infections. If the Spanish Flu was any indication, the second wave is probably going to be even worse. Between the 100k+ deaths so far in the US, the economic collapse, and the absolute cash grab by corporations following the bailout, I can’t help but feel like the United States has descended into a failed third-world state like Brazil or Venezuela. Oh, yeah, and during all of this, the two presidential candidates with plans for healthcare reform got pushed out of the primary. FANTASTIC.
Also, those 100k+ deaths are disproportionately affecting poor people and people of color. Of course it does. That has to be the most American thing that I have ever heard.
With the death toll in the U.S. ratcheting up past 100,000 and the estimated mortality rate of somewhere between 1% and 3%, that means that somewhere between ten and thirty million people have gotten the virus. Those numbers are staggering. Somewhere close to the number of seasonal Flu cases each year. Flu is so prevalent that there is a major push each year for people to get the annual vaccine, and sometimes I get the flu anyway. Right now, there is no COVID19 vaccine.
That was my COVID19 experience, which was basically reliving a bout with a disease in a Third World country, only this time it was the US. The only thing missing from this occasion is the leftist guerrillas.