Aced My Test

Athena ScalziIn case you missed it, last week I got tested for COVID. And it sucked. Now you shall all know:

Yes, I had corona.

This made me one of about 9,000 positive cases in Ohio on the day I was tested. Which is a pretty staggering number. Fortunately, my case has been a very mild one. The only symptoms I had, which are going away now, are the loss of taste and smell. One of the days I was like, pretty tired, and maybe like a little low energy/fatigued, but it was nothing serious. I’ve felt pretty much perfectly fine the entire time I’ve had it.

Losing taste and smell is a fucking trip. It’s more annoying than anything, really, but if you’ve never experienced it, it’s pretty weird. For me, it was there one minute and gone the next. Today is the first day they’re starting to come back! I wouldn’t say my taste and smell is a hundred percent functioning yet, but definitely vastly improved compared to before. I mean that shit was GONE gone, couldn’t smell or taste to save my life.

My dad felt like he was experiencing symptoms after I tested positive, so he went and got tested, too, but he tested negative, which is great! Neither my mom or grandma experienced any symptoms, but like my dad they chose to quarantine anyways, just in case.

All things considered, I am a very lucky person. I couldn’t have asked for a more mild case. I am truly thankful that nothing worse than loss of taste and smell occurred, and I’m even more thankful that I didn’t get my family sick.

Please be safe out there! Make sure you always wear a mask because you might have it and not even know! I was asymptomatic for a couple days after I tested positive, so you really could have it and not even notice until your symptoms kick in a few days later. Make good choices, and as always, have a great day.


57 Comments on “Aced My Test”

  1. Can confirm: She’s fine and I’m fine (and Krissy is fine, too).

    As a favor, please refrain from providing medical advice. She (and we) are following the advice of our own medical professionals. Thanks.

  2. Your Dad may have tested negative, but hopefully all of you recognize that no medical test has an accuracy of 100%. In addition to self-isolating, all of you should keep your eyes open for any signs of COVID-19 in anyone.

    Also – although it is a very low probability – you should watch for any signs of related after-effects. It’s rare, but it hit my nephew and he ended up spending almost four weeks in the hospital starting a week after he had recovered from the COVID-19 symptoms.

    Tom –

  3. I’m glad you only got a mild case and the rest of the family tested negative and is fine. Get all the rest you can, take care and get well soon.

    Stay safe, everyone!

  4. Very glad the case was mild. Sorry to read that you got it all. Best wishes to the whole family.

    Regarding the loss of smell. I had a friend many years ago who had to have his smell deadened somehow for a while when he was in the Army. Can’t recall the why of it, but he remarked that it had a major effect on his ability to remember things. Mucked up the mechanism, somehow. I curious if you experienced anything similar. I hope it goes without saying to ignore this question if you feel it intrusive/boring/whatever.

    Again. Glad you seem to have lucked out with mild symptoms.

  5. [Deleted because of annoying pedantic nitpickery; everyone knows which virus is under discussion — JS]

  6. Thank you for being so forthright and for echoing the safety precautions. I worked in a retirement community for a long time, and we were made to be very aware of being asymptomatic. Thus we were able to spread a virus to the very vulnerable that were in our care.

  7. It is wonderful that your case has been mild. But, please understand that too many people hear stories such as yours of a mild case and decide this disease is not something to be concerned about. I’m a College Professor. We have an official grief absence policy that students can invoke when a family member passes. In the five years since that policy was created, I had seen it invoked a total of three times prior to this semester. So far this semester I have had seven. Each represents someone who did not survive this pandemic and a family who have suffered a great loss. Be certain you cannot possibly pass this on to someone else and be sure those who see you see an example of a responsible response to this disease and most of all, stay safe.

  8. Argh. Take care of yourself, please–and God bless. I hate hearing news like this, but am glad to hear that it wasn’t worse: that you are recovering safely, and your family is well.

  9. Yikes. I’m glad that you are recovering, I’m glad it wasn’t worse, and I hope there are no long-term effects. Also glad that your parents are fine.

  10. I am glad to hear you only had a mild case and are doing better and that your folks tested megative

  11. I am glad to hear that you and your family are well. The numbers out of the US are frightening, here in Victoria, Australia (a population of a bit over half that of Ohio) our numbers peaked at a little over 700 per day – when we were in a hard lockdown that was implemented when we hit 200 per day. A long lockdown for sure, but we have now had 40 days without any cases.

  12. Much appreciated. Our area (San Francisco Bay) has enacted much tighter controls — ‘popped all the bubbles’ so no friends of friends contacts, and masks all the time when away from home, including indoors. Here’s hoping. At least, as I remember Ohio from five years of schoolin’, you have plenty of fresh air and the occasional thunderstorm to clear it up.

  13. Glad that you’re OK. Hope that everyone stays well.

    I had hand, foot, and mouth disease a couple of years ago, and that was weird. My hands swelled up and I had painful pins and needles feelings in them for a few days – it made me think of a preview of the diabetic neuropathy I’d like to avoid. Fortunately, neither my children or wife got it – I don’t know where it came from.

  14. I lost my sense of taste for three weeks after radioactive iodine treatment for thyroid cancer. Everything I ate tasted like cardboard–there was texture and temperature, but no taste. Very depressing to a person who loves food. Meals had no pleasure. I lost weight.

    The radioactive iodine killed fast-growing cells, which was why it was used to hunt down cancer cells. The the cells on your tongue that manage taste are also fast-growing cells. If I remember correctly, the cells that detect sour tastes came back online first. A couple of days later, I could detect salty tastes, and a few days later, sweetness. Definitely a weird experience.

  15. Im sorry to hear you got it at all, but glad you’re doing well and even more glad to hear that your family is doing well too. It has to be nerve-wracking to go through that.

  16. Sorry if I missed this detail but I would love to know how and where you think you picked it up.

    I know you were being careful. I have a son your age and would like to provide him with more information.

    I think careful people could help each other, even if it’s just anecdotal.

    Here in the US we unfortunately don’t have useful contact tracing.
    Anecdotal is all we can rely on at the moment.
    Glad you are all doing well.

  17. Sorry you became ill. Sorry you lost your sense of taste — no Schadenfreude Pie for you (which just means more for your parents, I’m afraid). But it might mean that your father’s homemade burritos no longer seem so… well… whatever they are.

    (Been doing serious-medical-condition care, off and on, for four decades. That does something to one’s sense of humor, I’m told, although mine was pretty off-kilter even before that.)

  18. I’m sorry to hear that you got it at all but I’m glad you’re doing OK and that everyone else around is also still all right. Stay safe, all of you, and let’s hope that your brush with this thing stays just a statistic and that the worst is already behind you…

  19. I am glad to hear Clan Scalzi was not hit hard…

    sadly, what needs repeating… until vax’ing reaches 80+%

    F2F Thanksgiving –> ICU Christmas
    F2F Christmas –> ICU Valentines
    church weddings –> church funerals

    day 0 = exposure
    day 14 = symptoms
    day 21 = hospitalization
    day 28 = death -or- discharge into slow recovery

    we can still mess up major league…

    1% fatality rate * 330m = 3.3m dead Americans

  20. Dear Howard,

    Modest correction– the median time for the disease to manifest after exposure is 5-6 days, not 14. 99% of cases manifest between 2 days and 12 days.

    (Side note: this does not mean someone’s home free after 12 days– they might be one of the asymptomatics. Who are less infectious than symptomatics but responsible for a disproportionate number of the cases because nobody realizes they’re sick. This is the real spanner in the works.)

    pax / Ctein

  21. Glad to hear things have been mild (if annoying) so far, and that so far neither of the Scalzi parentals have tested positive.

  22. Glad you’re okay – I am just starting to realize maybe next year I’ll be able to visit family.. Not going anywhere this Christmas. Hope you stay positive! (joke)

  23. Glad to hear that you’ve not been hit too hard by the c-word. I’m aware this comment might somewhat skirt Scalzi senior’s disclaimer not to provide medical advice, but it may be relevant to others reading.

    1) You almost certainly had the ‘rona, false positives do not account for a large proportion of positive results.

    2) Your dad might have it, false negatives for the gold standard of repeat testing of PT-PCR fall somewhere between 2%-29%(!), but that given repeat tests are not always given the true number could be north of that.


    Fingers crossed for everyone in the household making a full recovery and no trailing symptoms regardless of what they are suffering from.

  24. Have you figured out where (and how ) you got it from? I was under the impression you were living a near-hermit’s life, or at least taking strong precautions. I’m wondering if there is something I might be doing that, while hermitty, is insufficient.

  25. Well this is scary. Smart people, rural non-crowdedness, taking reasonable precautions. And you still got it. Yikes.

  26. Along with other commenters, I share a little shoulder relaxation from having been worried. The title of the post show that someone’s sense of irony is intact.

  27. About 30% of my family have decided to be on Team Hoax, had a big old Thanksgiving get together, and are now all positive. I would like to say I’m pissed, but I’m not. I’ve been telling the sane 70% that their catching it was as guaranteed as the sun coming up in the east.

    You did it right and still caught it. The lesson you can teach is that if you screw around with it, catching it is an inevitability. Good luck, and do what your doctor says to do.

  28. Hope that you will make a full recovery and that everyone else in your family will stay healthy and well.

  29. Smell Training to Recover Sense of Smell After COVID-19
    One peculiar aspect of COVID-19, exhibited in about 80% of patients, is a loss of smell. In some cases, this affects the sense of smell (and taste) long-term, well after the infection is gone. It can also result in smell distortions, such as lemon smelling like gasoline, for example. Researchers at the University of East Anglia have found that “smell training” could help regain the normal sense of smell.

    “Some degree of smell loss is thought to affect up to one quarter of the general population,” said Carl Philpott, of the UAE’s Norwich Medical School. “Smell loss is also a prominent symptom of COVID-19, and we know that the pandemic is leaving many people with long-term smell loss, or smell distortions such as parosmia—this may now be as many as 90,000 people in the UK.”

    Smell training involves sniffing at least four different odors twice a day every day for several months. It appears to be a simple and side-effect free treatment for various causes of smell loss. They published their research the journal The Laryngoscope.

  30. Glad you’re on the mend, but John really missed a prime Dad opportunity to have you “pulling his finger” pretty much constantly since you couldn’t smell.

  31. sorry to hear you were infected
    glad to hear it was mild and others in the house didn’t get a dose
    any ideas on how you were exposed to the virus?

  32. Glad your case was mild! One of the cleverest things I’ve seen done with this pandemic was the person who charted cases against complaints about ‘defective’ scented candles.

  33. Glad to hear you’re OK. Hope that continues for your family and for all of us. Best wishes for the holidays.

  34. Athena, I confess I’ve been checking the site, anxiously awaiting news regarding how you were doing! I am so grateful that your case was mild, that your family is ok, and that all of you were so very responsible in testing and quarantining. Your work (and your Dad’s) have been a really important part of my survival strategy during these long months, and I can’t thank you enough.

    (Your video game reviews have actually been INCREDIBLY helpful. I have a tween and a teen kiddo who both want new video games for Christmas and had mentioned games you have discussed. I was able to steer them away from Dark Souls and TOWARDS Hades, lol! Seriously, huge help to me as a non-gamer!!)

  35. So glad to hear that you are feeling better! Hopefully there will be no long term effects. I live in a hot spot and have family members who have been sick — I haven’t seen them in over a year, but have been feverishly sniffing everything for the past week, just in case (allergies make keeping track of potential scent loss a real challenge). Even bad smells are making me happy right now, ironically.

  36. Thank goodness it was a mild cases and you are feeling better! Hang in there. And that is just as good news that your parents are well, too. Two of my good friends in MD caught it a few months ago, a husband and wife, and they both lost their sense of smell as well. It does indeed come back, or at least it did for them, and they are fine now.

  37. I’m glad you had such a mild case! It must have been trippy losing taste and small. And the good thing is that you now are the proud owner of COVID antibodies!

    But take it easy for a couple of weeks, no serious exertions or excursions.

  38. Glad you’re okay. People need to spend more time on the internet for a few more months. There’s a new Star Trek Discovery and a new Mandalorian today, plus I haven’t finished Animaniacs. We all need to stay safe until we’re vaccinated, then people can party in person later next y ear.

  39. So glad you’re OK so far, and that the rest of the family appears to be unaffected.

    We are avoiding infection so far, staying home in a remote and rural hollow, to the maximum extent possible.

    You all take care! Best wishes. And thanks for sharing the experience with all of us.

    and PS: who writes and submits a comment, here, that is racist? So awful, and so strange!! Trumpism is everywhere, I guess. Thanks for censoring that, none of us need to see that!

    And now I see my preview is missing, it just says post comment now!?

  40. I am glad it’s mild (so far). Hoping there’s no or little longer term damage.

    I was asymptomatic for a couple days after I tested positive, so you really could have it and not even notice until your symptoms kick in a few days later.

    And I wish this sunk through to all the bozos touting personal responsibility. Being infectious without knowing it makes hash out of your responsibility.

  41. Loss of smell sucks. Multiple Sclerosis took mine, but I can still taste. Hopefully it passes shortly for you.

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