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United States
Interview - SafelyHQ user in the United States:
This is a first hand account of a user that has coronavirus Covid-19 symptoms, how he thinks he contracted it, his struggles to get tested, and what he thinks of the current situation.

SafelyHQ:
When did you first feel sick- and what symptoms did you have at that time?

User:
I first felt it five days ago, upon waking up. I feel like I had head pain, some sort of fever feel, my brain wasn't quite clicking as sharply as it normally does then on that first day I started having sporadic body pains around my back and my kidneys maybe around my liver area. But it was mostly the head and that really progressed through the next day where I had a throbbing headache, and this is very strange for me, as I never have headaches. Growing up I just never really had headaches, so for me to get that was kind of alarming in and of itself, and at the same time to know that there's this outbreak going on around the country with coronavirus. It was pretty scary. But, again it was hard to predict or understand, it could have been the flu could have been a cold. I wasn't sure early on those first couple days of what I had because I didn't I didn't have the symptoms that they were specifying on the CDC portal which was cough, shortness of breath and a fever. So although I felt like I had a fever I wasn't running a temperature. I didn't have a cough and I did not have a problem with breathing. In fact, I was still working out, running and had no physical debilitation, it was just more or less a roller coaster ride of pain, pain throughout my body.

SafelyHQ:
What are your symptoms today, and how does it compare to the flu?

User:
It’s a good question, I've actually never had the flu. So it's tough to compare. I would imagine that may be similar, you know, it's not terrible, but it’s not good, it’s a bad feeling, it’s constant discomfort, it does go up and down, you know, sometimes I feel better than others, but, to answer your first question I’d say the pain peaked on the second night, but not by much, it's still there. I've improved largely but I still feel bad. I don't feel the energy to do a lot of things, you know, I'm trying to do some things on my computer, but the focus isn't there. I think there's also some anxiety that comes along with the unknown of where's this thing going and what's going on but, five days in Patrick. I'm still not in good shape.

SafelyHQ:
How long before you realized it might be coronavirus?

User:
I think it was the afternoon of the third day because after that length of time, I began to worry because normally even with the flu or other ailments they tend to be a day, and a half, a couple of days, and then you start seeing progress or feeling better. I wasn't feeling any better, and I was doing the right things. I was getting sleep, I was taking vitamins, I was taking over-the-counter medications, you know, I had gone and seen the doctor. I just wasn't making any progress. That's when it hit me that wait a minute this might be coronavirus.

SafelyHQ:
Can you relate it to anywhere you have recently been that you think you might have contracted it?

User:
Yeah, so I had just come back from Europe and I think there is a direct correlation to that and the virus, and I think that's where I picked it up because the day after I got back is the day that I first started having symptoms

SafelyHQ:
When did you decide to get medical attention/testing?

User:
It was really on the third day, unfortunately my doctors office was closed that day, I went to and Emergency Walk-In Clinic and that's where they performed the Flu A, and Flu B test whether in five minutes, both of those came back negative and considering the fact that I hadn’t improved and, I had actually gone to the emergency clinic on the fourth day, so considering I had gone four straight days with these ailments and the fact that I've just come back from Europe doctors said it’s an 80% chance that I have coronavirus but, unfortunately, there's no tests available and of the tests that are available in some of the larger hospitals they are only providing those to the elderly, people who have high risk with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes high blood pressure and asthma and since I don't qualify for that, even if I went to the hospital waited hours, they would just send me back home.

SafelyHQ:
So at that point, with 80% chance, is that when you started to think about self quarantine?

User:
Yes and actually before that, so yesterday before I went to the emergency clinic, I decided to self quarantine and stay in my apartment because at that point I realized this wasn't just some sickness, this was something serious and highly likely to be coronavirus and considering the fact that that it's fairly deadly to those at risk. I definitely don't want to put anyone at risk.
SafelyHQ:
What are the things the medics recommended you do. Did they have some recommendations, to limit symptoms?

User:
Yeah, actually the doctor was very proactive, he was a very sharp guy, he seemed to understand a lot about this disease, even though they don't have the testing for it, he know that the contagious period is about 14 days and he said you are on day 5 so you need to stay home for another 10 days, but he said there's really nothing, there are no known treatments, not even over-the-counter. It's pretty much just rest, get plenty of fluids there's no medicine, nothing that they could prescribe to help.

SafelyHQ:
How do you think you got it?

User:
Well looking back. I think I got it either in an Uber, when we were in Europe last week or that I got it at a restaurant or bar that we visited, you know, one of the things going over there, there were probably about 10% of people that I saw whether at the airport or out and about wearing masks and I didn’t wear one some of my friends did that were with me. We were all vigilant about using hand sanitizers constantly, washing hands, I have always been a very clean person inherently. In fact, I've never had any real ailments in my life. I've never had the flu, never had a cold. So we thought we were pretty prepared. We weren't that worried because most of the cases were in other parts of Europe and not where we were at and I think if I had to guess looking back that it was probably an Uber because now that I've done more research, I've learned that it's not what they initially said that it's all about touching and touching your face and that's how you get it. I think it's more airborne than people realize, and they have done some studies recently that show that that the virus can actually stay afloat in the air for up to three hours. So you can imagine all the people getting in and out of cabs or Ubers, not only are they touching the same door handles sitting in the same seats, but they're also going to be breathing residual air, which can contain this virus. I think that's probably how I got it was through the air and Uber.

SafelyHQ:
Were you with others, and do you know how they are doing ?

User:
Yeah, I was with a group of other people and all but one of them is now sick. And in fact, one of them who lives in another country and is now back home just got tested today, and I think, as I mentioned earlier I'm not able to get tested because of my age and the fact that I don't have any pre-existing conditions which would put me at risk. So, you know even in a big city here in the US, they are not willing to test me so I really don't have any options directly. But I guess it's somewhat of a blessing that my friend in their country they’re easily able to get tested. Unfortunately we won't know the results for another 72 hours but at least then we'll have some peace of mind knowing that that's what this is because whatever this is, it's certainly bringing me down. It's keeping me at home and I don't feel well. So I’m looking forward to understanding if it is, what I’m pretty certain it is.

SafelyHQ:
Can you describe your age range, and your health and fitness level, what kind of health you were in prior to this. ?

User:
Yeah, I'm 37 and in really good shape, I work out frequently, in fact up until two days ago. When I started quarantining myself I was still active in the gym working out. So for me to get this, this is kind of shocking. If I can get anybody can get it, but I do know that like I said one of our friends did not get it. I think there will be people who inherently are, maybe it doesn't multiply in their bodies as fast or they're just naturally immune. We know that this is now a Pandemic virus, which means everyone hears the word novel. I didn't understand what that was until I watched a series on Netflix last night. I think it was called Pandemic, and they were talking about this very thing happening. They have these super flu’s which come around, and go and they mutate which is why every year they have different vaccines that they have to come up with, but you are able to stay ahead of those mutations with the vaccinations. This is something that humans have not experienced before this particular strand this particular type. So on the whole most people have zero defense for this. Which is why I think it takes so many days for your body to figure out what's going on. What is this? How do we fight it and to kind of fight through it? I think that’s also why the death rate is 20 times higher than the regular flu because, you know, people talk about the deaths in China most of them are elderly individuals, but they're also a elderly individuals who smoked so they've already put their lungs at risk and knowing that this virus really likes to attack the respiratory system. Yes, that's definitely a concern

SafelyHQ:
Now that you are dealing with coronavirus directly, are you less worried about coronavirus or does it make you more alarmed?

User:
Yeah, I think it's a little bit of both, I mean three weeks ago here in the United States it really wasn't much of a concern because we had a handful of cases, it was largely a problem in China, but the situation I think is going parabolic. I think the number of people that have it is vastly understated as you can see in my case, they refuse to test me, but I pretty much have it and there's probably many people like me that are either kind of hiding the issue or not sure what they have or they're in a situation where they're trying to get up in front of it. They're trying to find out more but they're being held back by the situation with our medical industry. In other countries that have far fewer cases and far fewer resources and far less money, they have unlimited capabilities to get testing out to people, drive through test windows, we're just really behind on that so to some degree I’m less alarmed personally because it's okay, I've got it now, my body is fighting through it, hopefully I get through this thing. You know, I'll have natural defenses going forward but the economic impact is scary. What is this going to mean for people that I know that are in industries where they can't work remotely long term, are companies going to go bankrupt and if the airlines are told that they have to shut down for two months, what is this going to do? There is so much fear not just health wise but to our daily lives, the NBA’s canceled, Major League Baseball's canceled the Masters PGA golf tournament is canceled, I mean this is huge, this is unprecedented, I mean even for 911 we didn't have this type of shut down even major wars, world war II, we didn't have these types of shutdowns, I mean a life continue, even though we were facing something very grave, whether it was potential additional terrorist attacks or back to WWII, potential invasion. Now, we have something as simple as a virus that is causing an unprecedented shutdown of daily life, and who knows when it's gonna get back to normal and once we get back to normal how many people have died and you know it’s people that we know, people that we care about, that we love which is so much uncertainty. So, I think on the whole I would have to say I'm even more fearful now because I don't think any of us understood how rapidly this thing was going to expand and how serious it was going to be.

SafelyHQ:
What is your message to people concerned about coronavirus?

User:
Yeah, I think if you're at risk you really need to try to stay at home as much as possible. If you're out, wear a mask, I know the mask won’t prevent it. But again, I'm pretty confident that most people are getting this through the air so it would limit the amount of particles going in your lungs. But again, if you're at risk, I think you gotta stay home as long as possible because in the event that this thing turns out to be seasonal, meaning like similar flu’s they tend to die off in warmer temperatures, we are only a couple months away so people who are at risk can do that, then need to, and then for people who aren’t at risk they need to be careful about who they're interacting with because this virus can be contagious from a person who doesn’t have symptoms or you can be contagious and the symptoms take 5 to 10 days to show up, in the meantime, you could have interacted with your grandmother your grandfather and got them sick. So I know it's a very difficult thing to ask or to say but people are going to have to think outside the box. You got to think ten steps ahead because like me, you know, I went on a trip to Europe thinking oh, well, I'm going to part of Europe that was not really infected I'm young, I'm not worried about it and that turned out to be a mistake. You know, I think you've just got to be very disciplined. If you care about people if you're concerned. You got to stay away from public gatherings. You have got to wear masks and you gotta stay out of confined area spaces as much as possible because either it's going to be you or it's going to be someone else that you know, that could get impacted by this in a bad way.

SafelyHQ:
Thank you so much for sharing. Really appreciate it. We wish you all the best and getting it over this really fast.

User:
Well, thank you very much Patrick, and I'll keep you informed as things progressed.
— Reported By SafelyHQ.com User March 13, 2020 7:04 PM