Testing kits for COVID-19: My Coronavirus Personal Story – Julie O’Donoghue.

So here’s my personal coronavirus story….

My spouse and I got back from our honeymoon in Paris yesterday. This morning, my spouse woke up with a mild fever. We decided to call his doctor and the city health department to notify them since we had been overseas.

My coronavirus story
Julie O’Donoghue

Under normal circumstances, we wouldn’t have taken my spouse to the doctor for this mild illness. But of course, we don’t want to be spreading COVID19. My spouse is also on an immunosuppressant so I wanted to make sure he was ok. He is a “high risk” person.

So we put on masks and went to the doctor’s office…We called ahead…but there were still a lot of elderly folks going in and out of that office when we got there. We kept as far away from them as possible. Some people in working in the doctor’s office wore masks. Some didn’t.

The only way Missouri will allow a person to be tested is if they meet this criteria:

*They have been to one of a few high-risk countries (Italy, China, etc.)

*They’ve had contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

It doesn’t apparently matter that we were in one of the largest international airports in the world…or that we went to many public sights like the Louvre and Disneyland Paris (where a worker tested positive for COVID -19 ) while overseas.

The fact that we spent a lot of time right next to a big group of college American kids returning from Italy while waiting to clear customs in the US doesn’t matter either apparently. We still don’t qualify for the test.

The doctor seemed really, really frustrated by this. He said Missouri should be doing more expansive testing of folks. He told us to go home and stay at home until my spouse’s symptoms go away. When outside walking the dog, we should wear masks.

If my spouse’s symptoms get worse, we were told to go to the ER. He is not experiencing any shortness of breath and his fever is not actually that high. It’s possible this is just the flu. But it’s a little frustrating to not actually know?

FWIW: The city health hotline worker also said we didn’t qualify for COVID19 testing. But we didn’t get much direction from them about what to do.

So we are voluntarily going into quarantine for 14 days. I’ll still be working because I feel fine. I’ll just be working from home. We are going to severely limit trips outside of our house for two weeks and try to wear masks when we have to go outside.

I mainly shared this story because I want people to know how difficult it is to even get tested for COVID19 in Missouri right now. With such a narrow group of people being tested, can really know the extent of the outbreak? The current system seems pretty foolish.

It really makes me feel like we have very, very little idea of what’s going on. I felt like my spouse had a good case for getting tested, even though his symptoms are pretty mild.

It really makes me feel like we have very, very little idea of what’s going on. I felt like my spouse had a good case for getting tested, even though his symptoms are pretty mild.
For good measure….here’s my partner in the doctor’s office earlier today!
Testing kits for COVID19
My husband cannot access testing kits for COVID-19.
For clarification, my employer @stlpublicradio already wanted me to work from home for two weeks because I had traveled abroad. So our decision to restrict movement further was not nearly as hard as it would be for some folks. I already couldn’t go into the office.

Julie O’Donoghue


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