Well, it happened. I contracted Winnie the Flu. This is my experience with it.
Late in the afternoon I had some chest congestion and coughing. Rather mild. I just thought it was my allergies acting up (and I’m allergic to a lot of stuff–of the 35 thing the allergist tested me for, I was allergic to 26 of them). Went home after work and took some decongestant and checked my temperature: 97.5 F (typical for me)
Woke up with the same congestion and coughing. Checked temperature. Typical again, about 97.3 F. The cough and congestion was a bit worse than it was before and my morning antihistamine (Cetirizine) didn’t seem to change the result. I texted my boss, describing the systems and asked him how he wanted me to proceed.
I need to explain the issue with my boss a bit. His brother in law is also our sales/marketing guy. And that brother in law, who works from home, is also the primary caregiver for his 80+ year old father. The close connection to someone who is particularly at risk is why my boss tends to be extra careful about infection.
My boss said to get tested, get a negative result before returning to work. I agreed. I checked local places that do testing and was able to find a CVS “Minute Clinic” that did the “rapid result” testing, but I would have to wait two days. That would still get me faster results than the lab testing that I might get sooner.
I was actually feeling better this day. The cough was largely gone. I figured that it was probably a false alarm and I’d sail through the testing with flying colors.
Started the day feeling about the same as Day 3. Went and did the test. About an hour later I got the results back: Positive for infection with Winnie the Flu. I still wasn’t feeling bad but reported the result back to my boss: 14 day quarantine.
Later that evening, the coughing got pretty bad. It was a “productive” cough, bringing up a lot of phlegm. I started taking an expectorant in addition to my other medications. The coughing irritated my throat making it rather sore.
Still no fever although temperature just slightly elevated over “normal” for me: about 98.9 F.
More coughing up phlegm and more throat irritation. My throat hurt. I mean it really hurt. I spent much of the day in bed. Again, no fever. My temperature was back down to my normal 97.5 F.
The throat pain and coughing peaked here. I was truly miserable. Again, spent most of the day in bed. Food supplies were running low so I had to go to the store. Used “curbside pickup” and barely cracked the window, while also wearing a mask, to tell the person bringing out the groceries to put them in the trunk. Remote release of the trunk from inside the car so I could do my shopping without breaking quarantine.
I love living in the 21st century.
Temperature was, again, was a normal 97.5 F.
The coughing eased up quite a bit. The throat pain receded quite a bit although it was still sore. Temperature 97.3 F.
Coughing eased up still further. The throat pain was almost entirely gone. We were back down to what I would expect as normal from my allergies. Temperature 97.5 F.
Much the same over this. Maybe a slight decrease in the coughing but, if so, it happened slowly enough that it was hard to say for sure. No more throat pain. Temperature ranged from 97.3 to 97.7 F (again, typical range for me).
Although it had been only 12 days since I got the test results back, it was 14 since I first had symptoms. All the Minute Clinics with rapid response near me were full up for this and the next two days. I went into my PCP for a test. It’s a lab test with “3-5 day” response times. Best I could do.
My “symptoms” were still consistent with my normal allergies and temperature was 97.5 F again.
Got the results back from my PPC. Unfortunately, I was still positive. They recommended an additional 7 days of quarantine. I checked the CVS Minute Clinics and found that they had a slot open in two days.
Temperature 97.3 F.
No change. Temperature 97.3 F.
Test appointment at Minute Clinic. I measured my temperature at 97.5 F. They measured it at 97.9 F. Got the results very fast. They literally called me before I finished the drive home. (Don’t worry: hands free speaker phone.) Negative. I was now COVID free.
And that was my experience with catching and surviving Winnie the Flu.