DTH: Have you been quarantining since then?
Student: Yes. My parents dropped a car for me at the airport and I'm lucky enough to have — my grandparents have a rental property, and so I've been staying there. So I've had like no contact with anyone since I got back. The health department was really happy about that.
DTH: When did you get your test back?
Student: I got my test back positive (Friday) night. I got tested on Monday. It was originally supposed to take 24 to 72 hours but due to the high influx of tests, it took a little bit longer. I honestly wasn’t surprised because I definitely had been exposed. But I don't really have bad symptoms, so I kind of was hoping it would be negative.
DTH: How did you go about getting tested? What did that process look like?
Student: I wish I could explain it better because it was my mom that actually did it because I just was just going to quarantine for 14 days, and I don't really have bad symptoms. I thought, 'I feel like I have allergies,' which I have anyway, and I can literally see pollen outside. So I was like, 'I just have allergies.'
I wasn't even going to get tested but my mom wanted me to and so she made all the phone calls to make it happen, which I'm really grateful for. But apparently it was kind of a wild goose chase and there were people telling her to call people that she'd already called, and they told her to call different people, and so it was kind of difficult to find a clinic. But eventually we found a clinic at an urgent care in Carteret County.
And they tested me and I had to call ahead and everything, and I made an appointment. And they came out to my car — they didn't want me to go in. They told me to come around to the back of the urgent care. I was parked in the back of the urgent care, and they came out and gave me a mask before I went in. And they took me to this like back room. And I washed my hands, put gloves on and everything, and they just did swabs up my nose.
Yeah, and that was it. I know that people are having a really hard time getting tests, but I had been in Italy 14 days ago as of the day of testing... And I had a cough and mild fever. So I think those factors contributed to my ability to get tested when I did.
DTH: What symptoms have you been experiencing since then?
Student: I have a mild cough, mild fever, mild headache, mild body aches and congestion. But I don't know what of that is from allergies and what's not. I'm also — I Googled this, and it wasn't clear if this is a symptom — but I'm literally so thirsty. So thirsty. I drink so much water.
DTH: Going forward, did they tell you what needs to happen — how long you need to quarantine and anything you could do to take care of yourself?
Student: Yeah, they were really glad that I was in complete isolation, hadn't made contact with anyone in North Carolina aside from at the airport. And they said, I've heard mixed things. One nurse told me 14 days after the day I was tested. But another nurse told me 72 hours after I stopped having symptoms, and then that same nurse just called me and told me 72 hours after I saw improvement in symptoms. So there's mixed information, I think, and I think it's really hard because there's not enough information, and research is still ongoing. But I think what I'm going to end up doing is just waiting the 14 days after testing because that seems like the safest bet.
DTH: How’s your family reacting?
Student: Honestly, really well. Like, really well. I think because I'm so healthy, fortunately, they're not freaking out. They're worried about me, but I'm really healthy, and I keep trying to reassure them that I don't really feel sick. So they’re doing really well.
DTH: Is there anything that you wish you could tell people who are scared about coronavirus or who are wondering what this virus looks like?
Student: The thing I've been telling my friends who I've told about it, is to call their health department and if they qualify for testing to get tested — but they've all been in London.
So I think — I don't know, just stay inside. Everyone just needs to stay inside. You don’t know who has it. You don’t know where people have been. It’s really frustrating to see people still out.
DTH: And why is that frustrating for you?
Student: Just because it's so serious, and it's way more serious than people realize. And I think I personally made the mistake of — I was taking it seriously, but I was still, you know, going out in central London. And I think that if I had not done that, then I might not have coronavirus.