Presumptive positive.

2020.03.25, by Marrus and Anatolij
Filed under COVID-19, Journal

[Marrus] So, I’m going to be as clear-headed and steady as I can be. Kia and Ant by themselves worry too much. We’re certain we’re infected with COVID-19.

In the last hour of the last shift Sarah [a co-worker] worked, she developed a pink eye. Conjunctivitis has been recognized as a symptom of COVID-19 by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Hospitalists and other clinical workers note the same… Maybe about two weeks ago, or three, we experienced a loss of smell and taste, a sore throat, headache, fatigue, and excessive sleeping and fatigue. We chalked it up to our own personal brain damage. But that was the same time Sarah began falling ill, and she’s gotten progressively worse… A nurse in Kansas City, Missouri, presented the same as mine, along with joint pain—I chalked up the tenderness in my right knee to fencing practice with improper form—and loss of thermoreception. I don’t know if I was less sensitive to the cold that time, but I did not feel overly warm in the office as I always do.

[Anatolij] Ansel has far too much energy for his own good. Or rather, he’s extremely negative and pugilistic. Coupled with Blast Ant’s energy… They’ve just returned from filing taxes for Joshua, at the behest of her biological father. (Not important.)

At 15:20 we were swabbed for SARS-CoV-2. The [clinic] is offering testing to the community, in partnership with the county, to those who meet CDC criteria. The RN there was sympathetic and took us seriously as soon as we mentioned the loss of smell and taste. Though we hadn’t been in contact with confirmed cases to our knowledge, she marked us as having been in contact with suspected cases due to our work in the ED.

The front of the clinic has a greeter in a mask who speak to us from two metres away. He told us the testing was being conducted on the other side of the building, where the Urgent Care part is. A line of cars, workers in yellow gowns and masks, interviewing people through their car windows, swabbing them. Tests being run at the labs owned by Quest Diagnostic, with a turn-around time of 5-10 days due to being overrun by tests. We asked for a doctor’s note for work and emailed management with a photo of it, called pager to call out for the next 5 days minimum, sent an email to employee health. Current policy is to eat into sick leave and PTO, dipping into the negative in the event that sufficient hours haven’t been accrued.

Kia is laughing maniacally at a realisation… Anyone who survives intubation will have a hefty ICU bill to deal with, along with the cost of working hours lost during and after discharge, and the cost of managing any sequelae. The thought of a million households plunged into $75,000+ debts overnight, all at the same time… He’s laughing madly at that.