COVID-19: This is what it’s like – local man tells his experience

Local man likely virus victim with a family

Vallejo Times-Herald, By Richard Freedman, July 4, 2020

Jon White didn’t catch Gov. Gavin Newsom’s updated COVID- 19 restrictions Wednesday, warning about public gatherings.

Besides, it would have been too late for the 28-year-old Vallejoan.

“One of the areas where we’re seeing an increase of transmission… is on family gatherings,” Newsom said. “I think patriotism, at least in a COVID-19 environment, can be celebrated a little differently.”

Yes, a July 4 party with family is so close, White could almost taste it. That’s if he could taste.

Last Thursday, June 25 — seven days after White, his wife, Kaitlyn, and their 8-month-old baby, Shep, drove to visit Katelyn’s family in Queen Creek, Ariz., White started feeling ill.

“The first thing to hit was the overwhelming fatigue,” he said late Wednesday. “I was exhausted out of nowhere. That moved to body aches and so much more.”

Actually, it wasn’t a huge surprise when White was overcome with COVID-19 symptoms. On June 24, his brother-in-law became ill and tested positive.

“And it turns out our cousin’s girlfriend tested positive on Tuesday” this week, White said. “I believe I got it from her.”

Though Kaitlyn remains seemingly healthy, the baby’s developed a 101-degree fever. White said he “never got a fever,” though his brother-in-law hovered around 101.5.

“The wife is the only one in the house without any symptoms,” White said. “The baby, unfortunately, got it or something. It’s been awful for a few days. He hasn’t slept and you can tell he has the same headache because exposure to light makes his eyes water.”

Though “100 percent sure” he has the virus, it’s been a waiting game to confirm: Eight days after testing, he’s still waiting for the results by Urgent Care San Tan Valley — roughly 45 miles from Phoenix.

“I called them upset already and they are still saying it could be 10 days,” White said Friday morning, adding that they “couldn’t give an answer” why the delay.

A woman at Urgent Care San Tan Valley told the Times-Herald it takes six to 10 days for results.

“By the time I get my results, it won’t even matter,” White said. “I’m going to try to get back home and get tested up in Northern California next week. I need a negative test to come back to work. Because they are taking so long, I am burning through my PTO (paid time off). If they would get me my results, it would switch over to medical leave and I wouldn’t be penalized. This is the only place I have heard of that takes this long to find out.”

White said before catching the virus, “we wear a mask out in public. We have only been with people doing the same and our close family and friends,” he said.

So much for a happy family reunion. And that week stay is now a two-week quarantine. “I honestly thought — like most people in the Bay Area — that I already had it,” he said. “But there was no way I had anything like this.”

Compare it to the “normal” flu? Tough call, because “I don’t think I’ve had the flu,” White said. “But the weirdest symptom is the loss of taste and smell. That one is so crazy and impossible to accurately describe.” As a man of faith, White said “Dear God, please tell me it doesn’t last too long,” referring to the loss of taste and smell. “Two people here

(in Arizona) have lost it and its come back after a week. Fingers crossed.”

With the family on quarantine, White said the trip home scheduled for June 26 is now … well, nobody knows exactly.

“We aren’t planning on leaving anytime before July 5,” he said.”We were told to quarantine.”

Almost forgot. The actual COVID test. White got it last Friday and still awaits the results.

“I’m not sure when it will come back. They said it could be as long as 10 days,” White said.

The test itself? As much fun as juggling broken bottles blindfolded.

“The test was the swab of my brain. It was a very painful experience,” White said.

As for “celebrating” Independence Day, White won’t be banging any pots and pans.

“It’ll be very quiet to avoid worsening the headache,” he said, managing an anguished laugh.