It started with a headache last week. I chalked it up to stress, and as the week progressed, I noticed that I was progressively getting more and more tired. But again, I chalked it up to the stress of everything going on – working full-time and parenting two toddlers during a pandemic is no joke.
On Friday, I commented to my brother that my glands were swollen and I didn’t feel well. By Saturday evening I was really aching and didn’t feel like I could move. Our mom is a nurse at a local hospital, so I called her. After listening to me describe my symptoms, she immediately said to contact the COVID-19 hotline. After googling “COVID-19” and “hotline”, I saw that they now recommend that people complete a survey to see if one should get tested (for Utah, that link is testutah.com). Within a few minutes, I completed the survey, inputting information about my symptoms. After answering all of the survey questions, my results popped up almost immediately: I was approved to get tested as soon as possible.
The soonest possible I could get tested was Monday morning first thing (at 7:30 am). The survey process is actually put together by a local group called Silicon Slopes that I have worked with before; the survey itself is powered by another local company, Qualtrics. From my perspective, a somewhat panicked respondent, this was a quick and efficient process. Not only did the survey tell me that I should get tested, but I also received an email and text messages with instructions and next steps that guided me through the rest of the testing process.
For me, the nearest testing was done via drive-through at a hospital about 25 minutes away. When I arrived at the hospital Monday morning, I showed the QR code I received via text upon booking my appointment along with my government ID. I would only be able to to get tested if everything matched my registration. The testing process was very simple: I drove up, rolled down my window, listened to a nurse describe the test, and then I was tested. The test itself was uncomfortable and painful for a few moments. Warned by my mother about the test, I had mentally prepared for it to be awful, but the nurse had me breath through my mouth as she put the swab really far up each nostril. I focused on my breathing, and the test was over in less than 15 seconds.
At this point, I have up to three business days until I get my results. The unknown is killing me. I can’t stop thinking about how, when, and where I could have picked it up. Worse, I can’t stop thinking about who I may have already spread the virus to – my kids or my brother who helps to take care of my kids. I feel ashamed that I may have it and was spreading it, unaware. Deeper, too, is also these feelings I can’t exactly identify – but I feel like I am weaker for getting it, like I should have had a better immune system or been more careful. Of course, I don’t know for sure I have it. I was saying to my best friend yesterday that this whole situation (the pandemic in general) is a lesson in letting go of what we can’t control. And I need to repeat that over and over until I get my results.