We got tested for Covid-19
With Covid-19 creeping its way across the country it's ugly presence has become something we've quickly learned how to adapt to. Masks have become our new normal and diligent yet consistent awareness is now required from each and every human as we move throughout our days. This virus has impacted so many people throughout the world and for so many of us, we've now started to see the impact on some of those closest to us in our own lives.
We had our first experience when one of our best friends called us a few weeks back to inform us that she had tested positive for Covid-19. My partner and I had been in direct contact with her and her family just a few days prior and so we felt that it was our responsibility to get tested and stay in quarantine for the next 14 days since our initial day of contact. We started looking into free testing sites but most were accessible only if you had insurance. Well, seeing that insurance was no longer an option after losing my job to Covid-19, the only option we had available in the city of Cincinnati was a single pop up site downtown. We showed up 20 minutes early to avoid long lines and once 9 am came, cars started moving and before long we realized the line was flying! Once we got close enough to the building, we were able to see that everyone was actually being turned away. One of those cars came back towards the line that was still in place to inform us that the free testing site had been cancelled for the day. So, we went home and waited for an announcement on where the new location would be the next day.
The next morning we showed up 20 minutes early and found the line already wrapped around the entire block. As those 20 minutes passed the line grew multiple blocks long to the point where it had started disrupting morning traffic. It was apparent that this was the only testing option for so many in the city. We waited about an hour and a half to initially have our brains scrapped for 20 seconds but overall it wasn't too bad. We were told that results would be back in 3-7 days and so we started played the waiting game.
We called everyone we had seen since our initial contact with Covid just to make them aware and told everyone that we would stay in touch with the results. My partner started showing mild symptoms having body aches for a couple of days, sinus issues and a constant headache for about a week. I myself had some sinus issues for a few days and a headache for about the same but overall we were in good shape. We stayed healthy and did what we could to support our immune systems. Days started passing and 3 days quickly became 7. Anyone we knew who had been tested prior to our experience had reported having to physically call in for their answer so we took their advice and called the number on our paperwork. We were told that the city's free testing was 10 days behind schedule and that it would more likely take up to 14 days for our results. With that news, she asked for my information and was unable to even located my initial paperwork on file. Fortunately, my partner's paperwork was found but did not show as having results back yet. So, we waited some more.
14 days after our initial testing day we received a voicemail late in the evening asking for a call back regarding our test results. We reached out first thing in the morning to be told that both of our results came back negative. Now I don't know how much I trust that answer seeing how my partner felt for a week but regardless today we are both healthy and free of Covid-19. Technically, we wouldn't have been contagious 5 days after symptoms 1st started but I really want to put something into perspective for those reading this. Some of the people getting tested may have just wanted the knowledge of if they've truly come across the virus but like so many, some of these people were doing their part to show they were healthy and therefore safe to continue working. Without a negative test so many are forced to stay at home without pay from their jobs and therefore their families suffer. I know so many people who are taking tests weekly and in some cases daily only to get their results within minutes up to days at the most....not weeks. A majority of these people have all had insurance and have been handled in a timely manner so they could return back to work. A lot of low income families don't have the option of insurance even with a job, so they are still having to suffer from these long wait times. So many have suffered from this virus and a lot of people in this country are just trying to navigate their way through the rest of 2020 in the safest way possible. In order to do that we need to be aware of the virus and testing is a HUGE part of that. How can we proactively fight this thing while rebuilding our nation's economy if a large portion of its workers are being forced to sit home for 14+ days in quarantine when working from home isn't an option for all professions? Heck, we don't even know if the results coming back are even accurate with so many variables at play.
I'm sure you've gathered that it's a pretty broken system but there is good news. YOU can help to fix this system by using your vote. We have a duty to not just ourselves but for the younger generations after us so if you haven't yet, please register to vote and find your voice this November!