Give my early Covid story

Woman holding plasma bag, wearing T-shirt "Had Covid-19/ Donated Plasma/ Saved Lives"
Woman donating plasma, laying under blanket on chair in room with equipment
Woman holding three plasma bags

I contracted the Covid-19 virus the first week of March 2020, most likely while working as a poll worker at the primary election in Arlington County (VA) on March 3.

In our county, we had a couple of cases at the time, but no one was masked-up; we were advised to keep hands away from the face and wash hands often.  I started getting sick the morning of Saturday, March 14:  fever, shaking chills, fatigue and a chest-crushing cough.  I made an appointment with Kaiser Permanente and was seen Saturday-Sunday at the critical decision care center, with blood tests and chest x-ray (all tests negative).  I was then rushed to the overnight room at the center; after an IV, I was diagnosed with the flu and given Tamiflu.  Covid-19 was ruled out at that time because I didn't have the required "contacts":  I wasn't on a Nile cruise, I didn't go to the CPAC Convention at National Harbor, MD, and I didn't attend Christ Church in Georgetown Washington, DC, the previous Sunday.

 After being sent home that evening and gradually growing sicker and sicker, on Wednesday morning, March 18, my doctor called early am to say I met the criteria to get the Covid-19 test.

I was the first to get the test at the Kaiser Permanente rooftop parking lot; I was met with fully-protectively-geared medical workers.  As the brisk March wind blew in my face, a masked nurse inserted a long bristle brush into my nasal canal, tearing my eyes from pain.

 The results came under 48 hours later: "You have Covid-19; we are reporting this to the county who will follow you.  Stay home for at least 14 days."  (I was #26 in the county to be diagnosed (the county now has over 6,000 Covid cases in a population of over 260,000.)

 My husband received a Covid-10 test the day after I was diagnosed but his result was negative (we later learned he tested positive for antibodies), yet his symptoms were worse than mine.  Covid-19 was the worst I have ever felt: crushing chest pain, unbelievable fatigue, no appetite, difficulty breathing, unproductive cough, muscle weakness, and diarrhea.

I am recovered and thankful that I am a Covid-19 survivor.

I have donated my convalescent plasma already 10 times in 2020, a life-saving gift for those who are suffering thru Covid, as I did.

2020 has been an unbelievable year; I lost my volunteer jobs and I lost physical contact with my family and most especially with my great-niece, Alexandra, whom I enjoyed getting ready and taking to elementary school.

But, 2020 brought virtual contact, thru Zoom, with friends and professional meeting co-volunteers whom I would never have contact.

That was the year that was...2020!