If you listen to the experts, we are under testing the public for Covid19. While it is true that we are doing more tests than ever in the USA, it is also true that many countries have handled the outbreak much better than we have in the USA.
Initially, we were just testing those with symptoms however now, it is being suggested we test everyone since there is a latency stage where the virus can be transmitted when the person has no symptoms. It is also true that many people may have little or no symptoms, while the ones we heard about in the media became very ill and required hospitalization.
My story begins with my son having a strange cough a few weeks ago and being a healthcare provider, we scheduled him to get tested for Covid19 and had him quarantined for two weeks as the current protocol suggests. Also, as the protocol suggested at the time, I closed down my office and then decided to call to get a test performed at Kean University. I had the test and then on the following Friday, got results that I was positive even though I had no symptoms whatsoever.
I notified those I had come in contact with and continued to stay closed as recommended by medical specialists in the community until this past Wednesday when I returned to work. I had never had any symptoms and over the weekend, got the results from an antibody test that was negative which I thought was strange. An infected person, even asymptomatic should show immune system activity from the virus. This was not a great way to spend my anniversary as I had to sleep in another room while sheltering in place.
After my first day back at work, I again got tested for Covid19. Since my antibody test was negative, I had thought that I may have had a false positive all along which had me quarantine and limit contact with those in my family.
My second Covid19 test was negative. I have spoken to numerous people who had the Covi19 19 virus and their symptoms were typically flu-like or very mild, and many had symptoms that lasted for either a few days or a little over a week.
While I am thrilled that this was the outcome, a positive test for someone who has no symptoms can be a frustrating experience, especially since in my case, I had to personally notify people I was in contact with when my test came back positive.
Still not sure if I was just an asymptomatic case, I waited more than four weeks to retake the antibody test which alas, was again negative. Ironically, our entire family got tested and all but my son’s test was negative. I later found out that my son’s work supervisor came into work ill and infected half of those he worked with.
A false positive
My assumption at this point is that the public test I originally had at Kean University in late April was either a false positive or tainted. Ironically, current information is suggesting that people who have A-type blood are more prone to have a more difficult time with the virus. I am A+.
Six weeks later, the scientific community is beginning to understand that this virus is highly contagious in its early stages, and that it is transmitted through aspiration meaning that if someone spits, or sprays or sneezes, you are more likely to contract the virus. You are unlikely going to get the virus from touching things, your clothes or even the food you guy from the supermarket as many of us were worried about previously.
Also, we are now beginning to understand that by merely wearing a mask and by distancing oneself from others, we significantly reduce the likelihood of giving it to others. Also, it is now known that the amount of the virus you get may determine if you get ill.
The stories from the hospital front line were scary and many of us who are risk-averse are very concerned about contracting it. While most people do just fine after contracting Covid19, simply wearing a mask protects both you and those who are near you from something you cannot see or feel.
The good news is, the governor has been moving into phase 2 of reopening and we are going to soon get haircuts and going out for dinner again.
This pandemic is one to tell the grandchildren about. There is relief in finding normal.
Find out more about the changes in what we know about Covid19 by visiting our Covid19 blog. It has the latest information for both you and your family.