Report from Louisiana: Our turn with Covid

By: Pat Austin

Well, it was really just a matter of time, but here we are with Covid.

Last week my husband felt really fatigued and felt “sinusy.” It didn’t get any better so he went down for a Covid test; in twenty-four hours his negative results came back. Thinking he just had a cold, and that the incessant rain and damp weather might be part of the problem, he went on about his routine.

This past Tuesday, I was at school when I noticed a dry, non-productive cough come up. I was tired. No fever. I decided to take Wednesday off and rest; but then fever started. I went to Urgent Care and got a rapid test. 

Positive.

I’ve got to say, the fella at Oschner Urgent Care was wonderful; his enthusiasm for his job was great! He was so pleasant and he asked if it was my first Covid test. 

“Yes…” I said. He could sense my panic as he held this very long swab in his gloved hand.

He explained exactly what would happen; I said okay and he did the test. 

He sent me back out to my car and said he’d call in ten minutes.

In five he called.  “You are POSITIVE for Covid-19!” like I’d won the lottery. 

“You’re kidding…” I said.

“I would NOT kid about something like that!” He gave me the stay at home directions, told me Oschner would be reaching out to check on me, and that was it.

Once my positive results came back, my husband went to Urgent Care and did a rapid test; Positive.

My son is also positive. So, here we are.

I feel like he should be on the tail end of his Covid because we both feel like he was positive last week but just tested too soon. An article in the Washington Post explains:

Early in an infection, the virus may not have reproduced enough to be detectable. The false negative rate of PCR tests on the day of exposure is 100 percent, but falls to about 38 percent five days later as symptoms usually set in, according to an analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The rate decreases further, to about 20 percent, after three more days.


My husband’s PCR test last week may have been too soon.

Our symptoms have been manageable, if certainly uncomfortable. Initially, I felt like I had a mild cold although there is a tightness or light pressure in my chest, and behind my ribs in the back. It’s weird. We are both very fatigued. I have low fever in the evening, around 99. No cough right now. I have headache but that’s not all that uncommon for me. I have unbreakable chills every night.

This is not like any flu I ever had. It is weird in that there is some odd new symptom every day. You feel okay one day and the next like a bus hit you. We lost two more people we know to Covid this week. They were otherwise both perfectly healthy. Not. The. Flu.

Neither one of us knows where we got this. I assume I got it from my husband which is crazy because I was always so certain I would get it from my classroom. There is certainly Covid in the schools. My classes are full and we are only two feet apart. I am very grateful that my students were probably not exposed. Monday and Tuesday they were working on Chromebooks writing narratives and I was able to monitor and assist from my own computer through Google classroom. I was not within six feet of any of them and I stay masked all the time.


Going forward in our quarantine, I’m trying to take it easy and let my body fight the virus. It is so hard for me to sit still, so I have to make myself leave the laundry alone, not clean out a closet or drawer, not do yardwork. I’m trying to stay in touch with my students through Google Classroom.


If you’re a praying sort, we will certainly be grateful for your prayers for a mild bout and a quick return to good health! 

Stay safe and wash your hands!

3 thoughts on “Report from Louisiana: Our turn with Covid

  1. This is the thing that gets to me. We are reminded daily that this is a deadly disease that has terrorized a nation by killing hundreds of thousands. That is always the first item on the national news, “more than a thousand died today.” It is so terrible that we have destroyed our economy.

    And yet when you get told that you have it you are simply TOLD TO GO HOME. No, you don’t need to see a doctor. You even specifically mentioned a cough but, no, a doctor doesn’t need to listen to your lungs. You have the disease, yes, the deadly disease that is terrifying everyone because it has killed half a million, but you don’t need medical care. Just go home and we’ll call later.

    This disease is serious or it’s not. If it is then when you get it you need at least cursory medical care. If it’s not, then why are we destroying the economy? Something does not add up here. The health care system’s words are one thing, but their actions to not match their words.

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