Fear of COVID clouds other medical issues

Emmily McKinzie
Staff Writer

Since this entire pandemic started to go down many people have been concerned about getting COVID. However, we can’t neglect the fact that there are many other illnesses that people are able to contract. 

For instance, I woke up with a sore throat one morning and a few days later I popped a fever of 101.3. With everything going on, these were very concerning symptoms. Then it came to mind these symptoms were that of strep throat. It took me three hours to get to talk to just an advice nurse on call and took me another hour to schedule a voice chat with a doctor. 

I ended up sending pictures in because of how much pain I was in. They refused to let me in to come take a strep test because they deemed it not “severe” enough. After another phone call talking with the doctor, he said it would be good to go in and get a test although he told me he thought it was COVID. To hear this from a doctor was not only terrifying, but the fact that there was a possibility that I would need to get the dreadful test for it was frightening too. 

Walking into the hospital was intimidating. You are required to wear a mask and there are seats that are marked where you can and can’t sit. Because of how busy doctors are, you are required to see a nurse or a nurse assistant. In my case, this was perfectly fine. I had taken a strep test and it ended up coming back negative. However,  because of my age, they did not want to run cultures to see if it could form into strep, instead they told me to treat it like COVID and sent me home to quarantine myself. 

In my mind I thought what now? I did not believe it was COVID. I did research and found only 10% of people who have COVID actually have a sore throat, but the doctors told me it was and sent me on my way home. This is concerning because I had been around other family members and my mom works in a hospital and is an essential employee.

I had a fever for two days. By the second day I was in so much pain I could not talk or drink water. I called an advice nurse that day and she was supposed to call me back to help me get seen again. I then waited about four hours and there was no call back and my fever and throat had gotten even worse. It took my mom calling them in order for them to even give me advice on what my next step should be. So I decided to go to urgent care. This was very intimidating. I saw the tent where they test COVID patients along with the nurses and doctors going in and out of it in full gear.

At the door they have a nurse who asked if I had any of the COVID symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, fever, or any flu symptoms. Of course I had to say that I had a sore throat and a fever. The nurse standing at the door then let me into the urgent care and because of my symptoms, but they put me in a special waiting room near the entrance of the door to the COVID testing area. They put a black dot next to my name on the computer indicating I have COVID symptoms. A nurse in full gear, a gown, a mask, and headgear came and took me to a special back room of patients who all have similar symptoms to COVID. 

As the doctor came back and took a look at my throat, she was so shocked at how it looked, there was absolutely no hesitation when she told me she thought I had mono. Testing for mono, requires you to get your blood drawn. It is not that I am afraid of needles or blood, it’s the fact that I simply don’t like the feeling of getting my blood drawn. It was a little nerve wracking walking into the lab.

The next day I got my test results back and I tested negative for mono along with my strep cultures came back negative as well. So I treated it like it was a bad case of tonsillitis. I continued to take the medication for about two weeks and eventually things started to get better. To speed things along I started taking cold medications and gargled with what is called magic mouthwash. This mouthwash definitely deserves that name because it worked miracles. All you do is mix listerine and salt water. Boy does it taste absolutely awful, but it works miracles for a sore throat. 

The process that I had to go through in order to figure out what was wrong with me was a pain. It was nerve wracking for the fact that I could have COVID and there was no way of knowing without getting tested. In fact, I think I was more scared of having to get tested for COVID than I was possibly having COVID. It is intimidating and the aura of the hospitals is what makes it intimidating. Experiencing being sick during quarantine will be something I will never forget. 

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