Think you have COVID-19? Here are the steps to take.

Engin Akyurt Fboavuidgzu Unsplash

Photo by Engin Akyurt, courtesy of Unsplash

You’ve got symptoms. Now what?

So you woke up with a fever, a cough, and/or shortness of breath. Or, you came into contact with someone who tested positive. Let’s agree that this is goddamned stupid that this disease has all the same symptoms as anxiety and allergies at the beginning, so it’s just a real neat time to have any illness at all because “what if?” Regardless, don’t be an ass—stay home. Stay away from anyone and everyone, including your housemates. Wash your hands, wear a mask, quit touching your face, and get to cleaning surfaces as soon as you can.

Let’s get tested.

Get into contact with your doctor. A medical professional will be of much more assistance than a visit to WebMD (and will probably spook you less). If your doctor refers you to get tested, you’ll need to schedule a test through your state’s respective Department of Health. For Missouri, call 311. For Kansas, call 866-534-3463. They can set you up with an appointment at a drive-thru testing site available around the metro area. 

What next?

Simply put: wait and see. You’ll likely get your results within a week of testing, so until then, stay away from everyone else and monitor your symptoms. Stay in contact with your doctor if they worsen. Keep an eye out for emergency signs, like trouble breathing, chest pain, or confusion. Again, we’re aware that these are symptoms of too many other medical complications, but make sure you don’t write off the signs just because of this.

I’m feeling better…

You are considered safe after three days with no fever and improved symptoms 10 days after first appearing. If you were asymptomatic, having no symptoms for 10 days post-test is the goal point. Communicate with your doctor as a follow-up test may be in order. A possible follow-up that some are engaging with includes going to local private clinics and testing centers like Quest Diagnostics. Not only are they offering COVID-19 tests for reasonable prices with exceptionally fast turn around, they’re also capable of providing antibody tests. The data on whether antibodies are going to protect from reinfection is up in the air, but if you have proof that you’ve had it, that’s valuable information in a war where every piece of information could save live

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