An American’s Experience of Trying to get Tested for Coronavirus


That the world is currently under the strong grip of the coronavirus also known as COVID-19 is not in doubt. There have been suggestions in some quarters that African countries like Nigeria are less-prepared to deal with the disease. However, there is mounting evidence that the so-called developed world might be struggling more with managing the spread of the disease. An American Twitter user, @into_the_brush has shared her experience of trying to get herself tested for the coronavirus. Please read her story next:

I live in Seattle, I have all symptoms of COVID-19 and have a history of chronic bronchitis. 

Since I work in a physical therapy clinic with many 65+ patients and those with chronic illnesses, I decided to be responsible and go to get tested. This is how that went. 

I called the Corona hotline, was on hold for 40 minutes and gave up.

So I looked at the CDC and Washington public health websites. They told me to see a primary care doctor, but there’s no information about testing. 

I called 2 primary care doctors. One told me they don’t know where to get testing, and that I should not to seek out testing. The other one told me to go to an urgent care or ER.

I called the Urgent Care, they also had no idea where tests are, but told me to call the hospital. 

I called the hospital. They do not have tests, but transferred me to the COVID-19 hotline to “answer my questions”. Since I was transferred on a medical provider line, I actually got through. Progress! 

The lady with the hotline was very kind and professional and understood my concern about my own health and those at my clinic. (Which is currently being sanitized). However, I was told I do not qualify for testing. And I was not given a timeline or info on current resources. 

So. Who does qualify? Those who have been out of the country in the last 14 days, and those who have had contact with one of the few people who have been tested and come up positive. That’s it. 

The only way I can get treated is if my symptoms get so bad I develop pneumonia or bronchitis, which is very likely in my case. Then I’ll be in the ER and quarantined for several days while waiting for a test and for the results to come back. 

This is all incredibly frustrating because I am trying to do everything right in a system that punishes moments of “weakness” like taking days off.

It’s also scary to know that I won’t be able to get help until I need life support. 

To sum up: this is not contained. No one knows what the f*ck is happening. I can’t work. WASH YOUR F*CKING HANDS. 

From this story it is clear that every country in the world cannot afford to relax and needs to put in strong contingency measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.