I tested positive for the COVID-19 on Wednesday 18 March. In order to try and bring some rational thinking to the boards, here is my story with some of my personal details obscured.
I am a 49 year old male who lives in a large SE US City.
I run 25/30 miles a week and also lift weights 3x week.
Normal Blood pressure 110:70. Normal Resting HR 49
I have Asthma and suffer from infrequent attacks.
At the End Of February, I had to go to UK and Switzerland for work. At the time the Italy meltdown had not happened yet and there was 1 confirmed case in Geneva. Therefore, no travel warning or ban in place.
Returned to US on Friday 6 March. The only question I was asked was what countries I visited, when I responded truthfully, they let me through no questions asked. I flew DIRECT from London to my home city (no transit through JFK, etc).
Late Sunday night 8 March, started to feel Body Aches and what could have been the beginnings of a fever. Did not suffer from cough at that moment. From there, the aches intensified and I developed a low grade fever (99.5). By Tuesday Morning, I felt bad enough to go to the Urgent Care and drove myself to one that is affiliated with a large hospital in the city where I live. I immediately alerted the staff I was having symptoms and that I had just returned from overseas. They responded they couldn't test me for COVID because I had not been to China, S Korea, Japan, or Iran and at that point CDC was only authorizing tests from those origins. Doctor then proceeded to diagnose me with an URI and sent me home strong cough syrup and a Zpack with instructions to only take it if necessary.
Thursday 12 March my wheezing started to get bad along with the cough. At this point, I returned to same Urgent Care and explained I had been there 2 days previous. Doctor took blood work and a chest x-ray. Blood work came back totally normal and Chest Xray showed no signs of an infection. Doctor concluded I suffered an asthma attack and gave me prednisone. I again asked about the testing and mentioned again my trip to Switzerland and UK. Response was they are still not authorized to test for it and Doctor told me they saw people who fit the symptoms but they had to send home without testing them so the conventional thought was that the COVID was already present in the community. They felt somewhat powerless to stop what they thought was about to become a big issue.
By Saturday 14 March, my fever spiked to 101.5 and the coughing was getting very bad. I got into my car and drove myself straight to the ER that is affiliated with the same Urgent Care. When I arrived I told them what was going on and I had them bring me in through a different entrance to an isolation unit of the ER. The ran a ct scan of my chest and concluded I had viral pneumonia. Because I was also under suspicion of having an asthma attack, I was admitted to the hospital. That was when things really went surreal.
The doctors identified me as a possible COVID case and everyone who came in to look at me wore a hazmat suit. I am trying not to freak out in all of this but is is very difficult because I am wheezing from pneumonia and asthma. They FINALLY decide to give the COVID-19 test and they stick a cotton swab all the way up my nose (very uncomfortable but it is only a temporary feeling). I am then told the results will take 48-72 hours. By now- it is 3am on Sunday morning and I am exhausted and scared and I just want to try and sleep and breathe normally again.
My condition starts to improve on the overnight but I am hooked up to a machine reading all my Vitals, I notice my O2 saturation had gone from 99 on Thursday to 94 in the hospital on Saturday night. However, the Doctor told me they were releasing me because my condition started to improve.
I went home and IMMEDIATELY went into self quarantine. Very scary situation because I am married with a young child. They are staying in another part of the house and my wife will prepare meals and leave them in front of the door for me to collect. We are all wearing facemasks even though we havent seen each other (except for Face Time) since Saturday. So far they have not developed symptoms.
Wednesday 18 March I was informed I had COVID. Strangely enough my quarantine ends on 23 March as they are counting 14 days from the moment I actually started showing symptoms AND if I have 3 consecutive days of no fever without taking meds. My family is mandatory home isolation until the 29th because apparently for them it applies as 14 days from when I was given the covid test.
This experience has been very scary as I thought when they admitted me to hospital, I might be staying a long time. Also having pneumonia with Asthma is very disconcerting because there were times I literally thought I wasnt going to be able to breathe. Luckily, I turned the corner in a positive way on Wednesday and I am getting my strength back gradually.
Please minimize your exposure to others. Just by slowing down the rate of interactions we have with others, we are buying precious time to contain this Virus. I realize many of you on these boards are Invincible. But, the fact is that we can inadvertently pass this disease to others who are in the more vulnerable category.
Best of Luck and God Bless.
LRC Note: We've spoken to the OP and confirmed his identity. His story is here: https://www.letsrun.com/news/2020/03/whats-it-like-to-have-covid-19-a-letsrun-com-visitor-shares-his-story-of-being-infected-with-the-coronavirus/