I have gone back and forth about this issue as more information becomes available about this disease. At first I thought I sure had it. Then a blood test indicated I did not have antibodies to it. But the news is very complex, and many of those who had the disease do not show antibodies to it. We may never know.
There is a substantial growth of conversation on social media claiming that a round of coronavirus already passed through us last winter. Yes, I know that chatter on the web is hardly scientific, but I also know that life and pathogenesis are confoundingly complicated and inconsistent.
At the time, I saw my doctor twice. On the first occasion, he did a test for influenza that involves a nasal swab, which is read in a few seconds. It is a cheap, bottom-tier diagnostic that, in some ways, is intended to reassure patients that they know what they have and they will hopefully recover.
The second visit was four days later when I not only didn’t seem to be recovering, I could feel rales or rhonchi in my right lung. Pneumonia? He ordered a chest x-ray, my first non-dental x-ray since a car crash in 1990.
In the middle of it, I experienced a mild shortness of breath. It wasn’t difficult to breathe, but I found myself for hours on end making every breath a deep breath. My cough didn’t seem “right” either, and I noted in my journal.
Viruses are invisible and difficult for even the best scientists to understand. We tolerate them because we have no other choice. Could I have already had coronavirus in February? What are your thoughts?