Day 5: Tests

Today, our president told governors on a phone call that he “hasn’t heard about testing in weeks,” presumably because lack of tests and delivery of test results is no longer a problem.

As with so many things over these last three, excruciatingly long years, Mr. President, you are wrong again. Only this time, for me, it’s not theoretical. My family and I live every day with the consequences of this administration’s dilly-dallying and cavalier attitude towards mapping and diagnosing coronavirus infections.

As I’ve written before, I got tested for the coronavirus on Monday, March 23. Eight days later, I still don’t have a result. The latest word I heard is 10 days out from testing, which would have the answer landing in my inbox on Wednesday. But then again, I just heard of a guy who tested in mid-March, and is still awaiting results.

Meanwhile, I’m getting better. By the time I actually hear whether I had COVID-19 on March 23, 2020, I may be completely healed and back to my online Bar Method workouts and two mile dog walks. But still, it matters.

It matters because I’ve spent the last week and a half going, Do I have it? Don’t I have it? Inspecting my symptoms. Second-guessing myself.

It matters because at first it seemed so implausible that I was sick with this famed illness that, even after I tested, my family and I took the notion half-seriously. I mostly stayed in my room. I mostly wore a mask when I ventured into the rest of the house. My daughter lay down next to me on the bed and rolled her eyes when I ordered her to get up. My husband continued to sleep next to me until my coughing at midnight sufficiently freaked him out enough to switch rooms.

Then on Saturday, our daughter and younger son both got sick, her with a hacking cough and minor fever, him with dizziness, coughing, fatigue and vomiting. Even the oldest kid had a sore throat. By today, 48 hours later, the younger two are healing and the oldest completed a 27-mile bike ride. Only my husband has remained symptom-free — and freaked out, wondering if it’s still coming for him, and if so, how badly?

My husband got tested the day after me, and received his negative result 16 hours later, because as a healthcare worker, he went to the front of the line. But that only means he didn’t have it on March 24.

If my test result was back, and I tested negative, then he would know I hadn’t exposed him to the coronavirus. If the test wasn’t so precious, and the kids could get tested, too, then we’d know whether we’ve all had the same thing, or one or more of us has yet to face down COVID-19.

It’s not much. Only peace of mind. Thanks to the bungling of this administration, it’s not to be had around here.