72 Hours

by Jonah

My boss wants me to come back to work, but I haven’t been allowed to because no one can with any cold or flu symptoms. I’ve had a sore throat and a runny nose every morning. Maybe I always do and I have never really thought about much it. So my boss talked to the COO, and he told me he got a waiver yesterday for me to come back to work as long as my primary care provider doesn’t think I shouldn’t. Since I don’t know what my PCP thinks, I called my doctor’s office, but the phones were down until 4 p.m. I finally got through and talked to an RN, who said I should just get tested for COVID-19. She said she could put in for an order, but it would probably just be faster if I went to a local testing center.

Teller County offers testing to residents, but not until Wednesday. So I drove down to Memorial Central this morning and waited in a line of cars until it was my turn. One person took down my name, birth date, and info on my insurance card. At Memorial, testing is free even if you don’t have insurance. Another person told me to pull forward into a tent erected in an extra parking lot. Then Grace, wearing full protective gear, came up to my open car window and told me to take off my mask. I had heard that getting tested is pretty terrible, that it feels like someone is jabbing a Q-tip up your nose all the way to your brain. But Grace was very gentle. She slowly stuck a swab up one nostril, stopping right before it ran into anything. She swirled it around for ten seconds, then pulled it out and did the other nostril with the same precision, stopping right before it jabbed into anything. It did make my eyes water and make me feel like I was about to uncontrollably sneeze. But I didn’t, and then she was finished. She stuck my swab in a tube and told me I was all done.

They say I should get my results within 72 hours. Of course, the results will just say if I currently have COVID-19. It won’t tell me if I had it.

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