My Personal Experience with Coronavirus (Covid-19) Antibody Testing
Why Did I Need Coronavirus covid-19 Antibody testing?
Right before the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic, I visited some friends in Nashville to celebrate my birthday—Just a week or two before lockdowns, furloughs, and face masks dominated Spring 2020. Super convenient timing to be going out of town with a large group of people within a densely populated city, right?
Sure, I’d been paying attention to the news and keeping up with the statistics. Numbers of cases were increasing, but the US seemed to be “okay” enough at this point. I brought hand sanitizer and made it a point to not drink after anyone, so I felt I was being reasonably safe and cautious.
Flash forward. We’re all back home now at this point, and isolation is enforced. And right in the midst of all the global panic and paranoia, turns out, one of my friends in the group’s boyfriend contracted Covid-19. He didn’t start showing coronavirus symptoms until after the trip. My friend took him to get tested. The test was positive.
Now, I had officially been exposed to someone who might have been carrying the virus. The news of our indirect exposure was enough to send my anxiety into hyperdrive. I went to the nearest drive-thru coronavirus testing site that same week.
What it was like?
I did my research, and this seemed to be a safe, recommended, and popular option. It wasn’t too hard to find a coronavirus antibody testing site within my area. According to GoodRx, as of May 8th, they have listed 1321 testing sites nationwide. I was surprised and impressed by this number. This seemed efficient and trustworthy.
Then, I found myself in that parking lot about 15 minutes from my house. I found myself gathered in a line full of cars all directed by traffic cones and volunteers shielded by masks and gloves and plastic aprons. It all looked a bit like a scene from a sci-fi movie. I felt at that moment, I was actually experiencing and making history.
A nurse performed the test through my rolled-down window after all the forms and paperwork were completed. She did a nasal swab. Think about a six-inch-long q-tip up the nose. It doesn’t feel amazing per se, but it wasn’t bad. I knew the quick discomfort I was experiencing at that moment would have a payoff that’s worth it. I was then told I’d receive a call or text within 4-5 days with my results.
What were my Coronavirus Symptoms?
I bet you’re wondering if I actually had any symptoms or if I just got tested out of paranoia and safeguard. The answer is both. I had enough reason to be tested because of my Nashville trip and because of my friend’s boyfriend. But, I noticed some changes going on within myself during that time. Ah yes, how lovely of my body to behave in this way during such a time!
What’s scary about coronavirus symptoms is that they can mimic or mirror other common ailments. For me, I had headaches, body aches, fatigue, and a sore throat. I had been staying up later than normal due to a heavier workload. I figured that could be causing these feelings.
Coronavirus symptoms are described most specifically as a dry cough and shortness of breath. I hadn’t been feeling any respiratory changes, so that was comforting. But still, all the what if’s in my head were enough to make me take action. I was scared and confused. No one really knows too much about this virus right now anyway, so I was better safe than sorry.
According to the CDC, the symptoms look like this:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Here’s my coronavirus update
Four days after my test, I was told the news. Negative. I tested negative! I quickly passed this information along to my worried friends and family. We all breathed a sigh of relief. Being tested gave me peace of mind like no other.
Now, after my scare, I better understand the seriousness of this pandemic. I hope you join me and many others in taking maximum precautions during this time. And if you ever have any sort of worry, no matter how big or small it may seem, please don’t hesitate to get tested. A quick search on the Internet can make all the difference.
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