Interviewer: Can you give me a quick rundown of your current situation?
Student: Well, so my brother tested positive [for COVID-19], but it took a really long time to get his test back. The doctor said he was fine, so he kind of went around and acted like everything was normal. Right now he’s actually fine, like he’s past the contagious period, he can go back to normal and he’s not going to spread anything. It’s completely fine. And then I got tested and my mom got tested. My mom’s test came back negative, and I’m still waiting on my test.
I: How did you find out that your brother might have been infected?
S: He was on an abroad trip in Italy and came home. He had to go to the doctor just for a checkup and had kind of a cough, but he’d had it for a while. So he went in and just said, ‘Hey, I’ve been in Italy, but I don’t have the symptoms of corona,’ and they just decided to test him just in case, and right when we got his test, like before we got his test back, his roommate actually tested positive as well. But if he didn’t get tested, we’d have no idea because he had no symptoms whatsoever.
I: That’s crazy. Did he ever have symptoms?
S: No, the only reason he went to the doctor is because he’d been coughing for a while and he had it while he was in Italy, like months before corona even happened. He just had kind of a cold and so he just went in. And he’s felt fine for the whole time, like never any symptoms of coronavirus at all, just jet lagged and tired.
I: So when did you and your mom decide you wanted to get tested?
S: We got tested the day that we got his test back. So I believe that was last Tuesday… Yeah, so a week ago. As soon as he got his test back we called and got tests and we actually got them that day because our doctor was helping. But we’re pretty lucky because unlike most people… we don’t have any symptoms and we haven’t ever had any symptoms, so it’s pretty impossible to get a test if you don’t have any symptoms. And so we got a test because, well obviously my brother tested positive, but other than that it’s we know people who… A lot of our friends that [my brother] was around tried to get tested and they won’t if you don’t have any symptoms.
I: What was it like getting tested? Can you just walk me through that?
S: Okay, so you call and you go to your doctor’s office, or at least my doctor’s office had a testing center in the parking garage below it. So we drive up and you have a specific appointment and you call before you get there because they have to be ready for you. We went down into the thing and they had stations for your car to park at. Then there’s a pediatric side and the adult side. And so you pull up and you wait, and they bring their little cart over and they ask you a bunch of questions and see if you have symptoms, kind of checking if you are worth giving a test to because since they’re so limited, they ask you a ton of questions before. Then they check your heart rate, they check your temperature to make sure because obviously that’s a big factor. And then the actual test itself is like a… I’d call it like half a foot long q-tip, like a large swab they stick it up your nose, like I think they touched my brain, but they stick it really far up your, I guess it’s your nasal cavity. They hold it in there for a while and kind of twist it around, which is pretty painful. But that’s the extent of the test. The actual test itself is just the swab of the nose. And then they give you a mask, which is pretty funny too, but they take the swab and they just tell you that it’ll be back in four days, and then they send you on your way.
I: So how long has it been since you’ve got tested? How many days?
S: It’s been exactly a week today since I got tested and I still haven’t got my results back yet and they said it was supposed to take three to four days.
I: Have they told you why?
S: So my mom got hers… We got them at the same time, literally within 15 minutes of each other, and my mom got hers back, I think four days after. And we’ve called like every day to see if my results are ready and they just said that they’ve had at this… because they obviously ship them out to get tested, and the testing site has seen a spike in tests being sent. So I guess mine just got caught up and just takes a while. My brother’s was supposed to take four days and it ended up taking nine days to get it back.
I: So what have you been doing as you’re waiting to hear back?
S: I’ve just been staying inside. And I mean, obviously, we’re already on lockdown, but I haven’t gone anywhere since he tested positive. And if I do, the only thing I’ve done is gone outside, but just keep washing everything, like my hands all the time and sanitizing everything in my house. But yeah, like I said, my brother’s past the contagious period so he can go pick up food and he’ll be fine, it’s not threatening anyone. But yeah, we’ve just been staying inside. And my grandma and grandpa are already at their house from when they announced the lockdown, so we haven’t seen them. And then since my mom tested negative, she’s been able to go get food at the store and stuff. But other than that, before we got our test back, we didn’t go anywhere.
I: And has your brother gotten tested again to see if he’s negative?
S: So he was supposed to get tested two times to make sure it was negative because that’s what the CDC requires, but since there’s so many limited tests, they’re not requiring a negative test, even one. So my mom was a little mad about that one, but they don’t have enough tests to redo another test. They just said like, once it’s past – he’s been home for three weeks – once it’s past 14 days, you’re technically fine. So they say once you have a positive test, like two weeks past that, then you’re technically fine. But yeah, they don’t have enough tests to obviously even test everyone, let alone double tests to make sure [my brother]’s fine.
I: What do you think like the next steps are for you and your family?
S: Once I get my test back, if it’s positive, obviously I have to stay in for a little bit longer, but we’re already doing that. But honestly, once my test comes back, there’s not really much else. So I mean, once I get my test back and it’s negative, then obviously we’re kind of in the same boat as everyone else, and my brother’s being super careful. He sanitizes pretty much everything, but once [the 14 days] is past, there’s like not much else we can do because he’s not contagious. And all of us are back to normal basically. And so we’re just kind of staying inside as much as we can and cleaning everything.
I: Is there anything else you want to add?
S: Yeah, we’ve been really lucky because [my brother] tested positive, but he’s had no symptoms whatsoever. It’s like, if he didn’t have a test we would have carried on as normal. He was completely fine. And I mean, he came into contact with my grandma and grandpa and they’re completely fine.
I: Did they get tested?
S: They tried to get tested, but their doctor won’t do it either because they didn’t have any symptoms. So they’re trying to get tested as a precaution, because if my grandpa, let’s say had it, like he shouldn’t be with my grandma just in case because my brother has it but my mom tested negative. It’s just if you have no symptoms, they refuse to test you even if you’ve been in contact usually.
I: Well, thanks for talking to me. I hope your family stays safe.
S: Yeah, thanks for interviewing.
UPDATE: student tested negative for COVID-19.