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Covid-19 people's stories

Old Listener

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#1
My wife and I are retired. We are able to minimize our contact with others. We wear masks whenever we will be closer than 10 feet from others. We cut out trips and seeing friends. We may be bored but we are safe.

What about those whose work requires much more contact with others? Every time I visit the grocery store I think about the people who work there. They need to work to afford food, shelter and other necessities. I appreciate that I can get the food we need and I have respect for the workers.

Whenever I think of the doctors, nurses and other medical workers who put themselves at risk to help others, I am awed by their dedication.
Here is an article about a doctor leading a COVID-19 unit at a Houston area hospital.

This doctor just endured the deadliest week of his career

To me, most of the article was about the best of human nature. However, near the end there was a glimpse of human nature at its worst.

Varon [the doctor] has been outspoken about the Covid-19 threat and the importance of wearing masks. That hasn’t sat well with everyone.

“People are calling my office and leaving threats because of all the media I’ve been doing, because they don’t believe that what we're doing is real,” he said.

Varon wants people to see: This is not a hoax. This is a real thing. People are dying.

“You have no idea my frustration when I leave the hospital, I’m heading home, and then in one of these outdoor malls I see a hundred cars, a bunch of young guys or young women having a party — no face masks, no nothing. That kills me,” he said. “People are not listening.”
 

bt3

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Joined
Jun 27, 2020
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#2
I'm a 64 y/o male w/history of two pneumothorax + VAT surgery. I've had pneumonia twice in my life and took Albuterol for asthma for six years. Four days ago began experiencing SOB (shortness of breath) that persisted for three days, as well as some chest pain/tightness. My first thought was that it seemed like another collapsed lung. I am one of those who retired without employer medical coverage and was trusting to make it to 65 when eligible to signup for Medicare. Although I could go to a VA hospital in an emergency, I am in the lowest VA classification. I live about an hour from a large VA Hospital in an American city in the South. The VA hospital here received an "F" score recently. From a few vets I've spoken to, "stay away from there if possible" was their advice
When decided could no longer wait to see if my SOB would subside, and thinking I may have either 1) a pneumothorax, or 2) the Covid-19, I went a non-VA hospital I selected specifically because it was closest Level II hospital to my house. I realized I would be paying the entire expense out-of-pocket.
After registering at hospital, was given basic tests such as EKG, BP, temp. Next I was moved to a "locked-in"waiting room of thirty-five patients. How they triaged people for this waiting room I have no idea. There were men and women, some vocally expressing bad pain and suffering. A forty-something y/o fellow sitting across from me had constant calls coming in on his phone. From the clipped conversation I surmised he was conducting business with his drug dealers. If I wasn't suffering from SOB, listening to people whimpering in pain, being dismayed that two people wore their masks below their noses and two others wore no masks at all - I might have better enjoyed evesdropping on a drug dealers conversation. I waited over seven hours (not a typo) in that waiting room where we had no water to drink and no updates on our status before my name was finally called. I received a Covid-19 test, chest x-rays, blood draw, etc. Was told keep in mind Covid-19 test I was given has 30 percent false positive/negative accuracy.
It was obvious nurse and doctor were very busy. About two hours later was being driven home by brother-in-law. Once out of his car, removed my blood encrusted N95 mask which I had worn non-stop from time I was picked-up for ride to hospital, until I was back home. The foam nose pad with outside metal strip had managed to give me an ugly abrasion on bridge of my nose from many hours shifting the mask nose pad (which grew increasingly irritating) ever so slightly over all those hours.
Even with the specter of a positive Covid-19 test, even with being locked-into a crowded contagious waiting room - it sure was a relief to get into a warm shower.

*Although this is only my second post on ASR, and not a post about audio, audio reviews or audio science - I am interested in those subjects and am a long time hi-fi enthusiast, a hobby which began in earnest when serving a military overseas assignment in early 1970's. If any interest I'll follow-up with experiences with Covid-19 in that they may be useful to others.


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MattHooper

Major Contributor
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Jan 27, 2019
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#3
I'm a 64 y/o male w/history of two pneumothorax + VAT surgery. I've had pneumonia twice in my life and took Albuterol for asthma for six years. Four days ago began experiencing SOB (shortness of breath) that persisted for three days, as well as some chest pain/tightness. My first thought was that it seemed like another collapsed lung. I am one of those who retired without employer medical coverage and was trusting to make it to 65 when eligible to signup for Medicare. Although I could go to a VA hospital in an emergency, I am in the lowest VA classification. I live about an hour from a large VA Hospital in an American city in the South. The VA hospital here received an "F" score recently. From a few vets I've spoken to, "stay away from there if possible" was their advice
When decided could no longer wait to see if my SOB would subside, and thinking I may have either 1) a pneumothorax, or 2) the Covid-19, I went a non-VA hospital I selected specifically because it was closest Level II hospital to my house. I realized I would be paying the entire expense out-of-pocket.
After registering at hospital, was given basic tests such as EKG, BP, temp. Next I was moved to a "locked-in"waiting room of thirty-five patients. How they triaged people for this waiting room I have no idea. There were men and women, some vocally expressing bad pain and suffering. A forty-something y/o fellow sitting across from me had constant calls coming in on his phone. From the clipped conversation I surmised he was conducting business with his drug dealers. If I wasn't suffering from SOB, listening to people whimpering in pain, being dismayed that two people wore their masks below their noses and two others wore no masks at all - I might have better enjoyed evesdropping on a drug dealers conversation. I waited over seven hours (not a typo) in that waiting room where we had no water to drink and no updates on our status before my name was finally called. I received a Covid-19 test, chest x-rays, blood draw, etc. Was told keep in mind Covid-19 test I was given has 30 percent false positive/negative accuracy.
It was obvious nurse and doctor were very busy. About two hours later was being driven home by brother-in-law. Once out of his car, removed my blood encrusted N95 mask which I had worn non-stop from time I was picked-up for ride to hospital, until I was back home. The foam nose pad with outside metal strip had managed to give me an ugly abrasion on bridge of my nose from many hours shifting the mask nose pad (which grew increasingly irritating) ever so slightly over all those hours.
Even with the specter of a positive Covid-19 test, even with being locked-into a crowded contagious waiting room - it sure was a relief to get into a warm shower.

*Although this is only my second post on ASR, and not a post about audio, audio reviews or audio science - I am interested in those subjects and am a long time hi-fi enthusiast, a hobby which began in earnest when serving a military overseas assignment in early 1970's. If any interest I'll follow-up with experiences with Covid-19 in that they may be useful to others.


Last edited: Yesterday at 4:44 PM



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Wow, thank you for that story. You have my deepest sympathy and I hope you feel better soon.

Also, as a Canadian, the particuarly graphic insight this pandemic has given us in to the USA health care system is absolutely sobering. I feel so sorry for so many Americans stuck in that healthcare system (that they can barely afford, if at all).
 

Doodski

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#5
Wow, thank you for that story. You have my deepest sympathy and I hope you feel better soon.

Also, as a Canadian, the particuarly graphic insight this pandemic has given us in to the USA health care system is absolutely sobering. I feel so sorry for so many Americans stuck in that healthcare system (that they can barely afford, if at all).
We have the best medical system in Canada. Dental coverage looks like it might be universal too in the future. I have excellent teeth and am in good shape but there are those that need it.
 

amirm

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#6
I'm a 64 y/o male w/history of two pneumothorax + VAT surgery. I've had pneumonia twice in my life and took Albuterol for asthma for six years. Four days ago began experiencing SOB (shortness of breath) that persisted for three days, as well as some chest pain/tightness. My first thought was that it seemed like another collapsed lung. I am one of those who retired without employer medical coverage and was trusting to make it to 65 when eligible to signup for Medicare. Although I could go to a VA hospital in an emergency, I am in the lowest VA classification. I live about an hour from a large VA Hospital in an American city in the South. The VA hospital here received an "F" score recently. From a few vets I've spoken to, "stay away from there if possible" was their advice
When decided could no longer wait to see if my SOB would subside, and thinking I may have either 1) a pneumothorax, or 2) the Covid-19, I went a non-VA hospital I selected specifically because it was closest Level II hospital to my house. I realized I would be paying the entire expense out-of-pocket.
After registering at hospital, was given basic tests such as EKG, BP, temp. Next I was moved to a "locked-in"waiting room of thirty-five patients. How they triaged people for this waiting room I have no idea. There were men and women, some vocally expressing bad pain and suffering. A forty-something y/o fellow sitting across from me had constant calls coming in on his phone. From the clipped conversation I surmised he was conducting business with his drug dealers. If I wasn't suffering from SOB, listening to people whimpering in pain, being dismayed that two people wore their masks below their noses and two others wore no masks at all - I might have better enjoyed evesdropping on a drug dealers conversation. I waited over seven hours (not a typo) in that waiting room where we had no water to drink and no updates on our status before my name was finally called. I received a Covid-19 test, chest x-rays, blood draw, etc. Was told keep in mind Covid-19 test I was given has 30 percent false positive/negative accuracy.
It was obvious nurse and doctor were very busy. About two hours later was being driven home by brother-in-law. Once out of his car, removed my blood encrusted N95 mask which I had worn non-stop from time I was picked-up for ride to hospital, until I was back home. The foam nose pad with outside metal strip had managed to give me an ugly abrasion on bridge of my nose from many hours shifting the mask nose pad (which grew increasingly irritating) ever so slightly over all those hours.
Even with the specter of a positive Covid-19 test, even with being locked-into a crowded contagious waiting room - it sure was a relief to get into a warm shower.

*Although this is only my second post on ASR, and not a post about audio, audio reviews or audio science - I am interested in those subjects and am a long time hi-fi enthusiast, a hobby which began in earnest when serving a military overseas assignment in early 1970's. If any interest I'll follow-up with experiences with Covid-19 in that they may be useful to others.
Wow, what a painful and horrific story. Thanks for sharing it with us. Hoping for a negative Covid test and recovery.
 
Joined
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#7
The out-of-pocket bill was huge of course. Am on fixed income. Was trying to make it to next year when I can sign-up for Medicare. If not infected with Covid-19 before being locked into that crowded ER waiting room, would likely be after. At my age and with my medical HX, better than even chances I'll have negative outcome. Over seven hours wait in locked-in waiting room is unacceptable by most peoples standard. The top ten percent might not feel the need for serious systemic changes to US healthcare systems, but many Americans do. Will we ever overcome powerful lobbyists and others who like things as they are? I have my doubts.
I was in a Northern Arizona VA Hospital in 2012 for severe migraines that were unabated for a week. I sought help twice and was sent home with codeine pills. On third try I was finally admitted. During tests for source of headaches, a hospital radiologist was giving me a series of CAT scans with contrast. He appeared to be through with the scans when he said, "oops, appears those did not go right, I need to redo them. My head felt like it had a meat grinder inside it. I never could imagine pain like that, nonetheless had presence of thought to think, "oh no, more ionizing radiation. Nothing to you, you aren't the one receiving it.
For those here who may have or know someone close to them who acquires Covid-19 and is old enough to experience Covid-19 SOB, here's a tip: Learn to control anxiety associated with it. Learn about purse-lip breathing. Learn about prone position breathing. It will hopefully help make the SOB symptoms less worrisome. Agree with rational people that US healthcare is immoral. You may or may not know, but US assisted living/memory care, etc. is a money extraction device to leave users and their families destitute and reliant upon understaffed facilities often with sad, urine smelling rooms and hallways. I leave it there before the Tea and Freedom Party folks step in to attack me as an ungrateful socialist or some such. That's all folks. Back to the material comforts of silicon and alloy, a far more pleasant subject.
 
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OP
Old Listener
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Thread Starter #8
I recently rode BART (local SF Bay area rapid Transit) at ~ 2:30pm to get to a dentist appt. I counted 8 people in the car without a mask over mouth and nose. I sat with my mask on thinking about recirculated air. Before I got on the train, a woman approached the bench where I was sitting with a mask dangling by one ear loop and not covering her nose and mouth. I pointed to my mask and the woman nodded in understanding; she didn't cover her nose and mouth.

The next day I watched a teenage neighbor chat with friends. None had masks.

Yesterday I walked on a short section of walking trail beside an old irrigation canal. I normally avoid those trails since they aren't wide enough to allow 6 feet of separation between walkers. I met three people in a few hundred feet. One had a mask and two had no mask. In each case, I moved off the trail and hugged the fence line to get as much distance as possible between me and the people passing.

My experiences and my wife's are leading us to conclude that people's behavior is the important factor that must change if the pandemic is to be controlled. Part of our local population is trying hard to stay safe for their own good and that of others. However, another part of the population is not following the rules and just doesn't care.

Controlling bars and other sites for virus parties are necessary actions but some people will be creating their own virus parties.
 

MattHooper

Major Contributor
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#9
I recently rode BART (local SF Bay area rapid Transit) at ~ 2:30pm to get to a dentist appt. I counted 8 people in the car without a mask over mouth and nose. I sat with my mask on thinking about recirculated air. Before I got on the train, a woman approached the bench where I was sitting with a mask dangling by one ear loop and not covering her nose and mouth. I pointed to my mask and the woman nodded in understanding; she didn't cover her nose and mouth.

The next day I watched a teenage neighbor chat with friends. None had masks.

Yesterday I walked on a short section of walking trail beside an old irrigation canal. I normally avoid those trails since they aren't wide enough to allow 6 feet of separation between walkers. I met three people in a few hundred feet. One had a mask and two had no mask. In each case, I moved off the trail and hugged the fence line to get as much distance as possible between me and the people passing.

My experiences and my wife's are leading us to conclude that people's behavior is the important factor that must change if the pandemic is to be controlled. Part of our local population is trying hard to stay safe for their own good and that of others. However, another part of the population is not following the rules and just doesn't care.

Controlling bars and other sites for virus parties are necessary actions but some people will be creating their own virus parties.

I think people of good conscience can have somewhat different risk/benefit calculations.

Given you call yourself "Old Listener" I can certainly see trepidation on your part, and being particularly sensitive to others not wearing masks.
I'm 56, so old enough to not have that invincible feeling the young have about this, and I'm something of a germaphobe at the best of times, so
I'm very pro mask and very careful about contact.

However, I may have slightly less stringent views in deciding when I wear a mask than perhaps you do. Where I live, in Ontario, masks are mandated for wearing in public, indoors, and suggested wherever physical distancing is not possible (e.g. including outside crowds).

So I wear a mask every time I go inside any place but our house. And I have a mask in case I can't physically distance outside. However I've never felt the need to wear the mask outside. I'm not involved in mass gatherings putting me shoulder to shoulder with people where I can not distance. I have no problem walking around our streets and visiting parks without a mask because I can physically distance. Does someone occasionally pass me by closer than 6 feet? Sure. Occasionally But I don't worry about cross transmission. Mostly because virologists and immunologists have explained over and over that the chance of giving/getting the virus when outside, and particularly in just passing by people vs in, say, a concert scenario, is so vanishingly small as to not be worth the worry. For me, a mask is just awful to wear - uncomfortable and a constant reminder of anxiety about the pandemic. So the gains in not wearing the mask in scenarious of teeny risk factors are worth it.

(Of course, if new science arises showing that casually passing someone within, say, 4 or 5 feet or just walking the streets is actually a bigger risk factor than thought, and has been linked to driving infection rates at all, I'd immediately wear a mask every time I walked out the door. Same if masks were mandated whenever outside).
 
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