COVID-19 Reality Check

My wife and I drove to the FAU campus to be tested for COVID-19. Testing is by appointment only. The process was so efficient and so on-time that we were finished within 10 minutes. The actual nasopharyngeal swab being inserted high into the nasopharynx is uncomfortable but tolerable.

Approaching others donning maximum personal protective equipment with masks, face shields and gloves was even intimidating for me – a longtime member of the medical profession used to observing this equipment. Viewing it in the open confines of an outdoor tent located on an airport runway on a clear, warm, sunny beautiful morning just makes it more surreal. Results should be available in 5-7 days.

After the test, that nostril began to run with clear drainage and a postnasal drip. A tickle in the back of my throat led to a dry cough.

So, why did I go and get tested? One of my office medical assistants lives at home with her working parents. Her dad came home from his construction job on Friday with a cough and fever. He went to the ER where a quick COVID-19 test was positive, but he was sent home per CDC protocol since he was not experiencing any breathing difficulty. His daughter was exposed to him and we were all exposed to her as she performed her duties in our medical office. We wore masks in the office and washed hands repeatedly but for the safety of our patients and our families it was time to be tested.

I have been more than social distancing and wearing a mask for months now. My hands are raw from washing. I have avoided restaurants and restaurant take-out food.  My food, medications and supplies are being delivered. I have not seen my children or grandchildren except on FaceTime calls. I cannot imagine what more I can do to self-quarantine, but I will make sure that for the next two week period, until July 25, I will avoid contact with people.

COVID-19 is raging through South Florida. I received an email from my local hospital telling me that they have run out of swabs and reagents to perform their quick in-house COVID-19 detection test. All tests will now be a send out with a 4-7 day wait for results. What a crime that is.

Available beds and ICU beds are diminishing. Nurses and ER doctors are complaining again about lack of personal protective gear. Fighting a virus pandemic like this takes leadership, organization, sacrifice, compassion and caring.

In Western Europe, Thailand, New Zealand and South Korea; they found a way through a lockdown and mandatory masks to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19. In the USA, especially in the South and West, people went to bars, restaurants and large social gatherings and the carnage, as a result of poor discipline, is beginning to pile up.

Hopefully, our citizens and leaders will develop some maturity and exhibit the behavior needed to stop this dreadful disease before we kill off 250,000 victims.