Welcome back blog readers,
At the start of this pandemic, last month (Canada it was early/mid-March 2020) I started to log my temperature and any symptoms just to keep an eye on things.
Since Sunday, March 15 I’ve had a slight pressure in my upper chest, no pain, no discomfort, no issues breathing. Just a slight pressure for the last month.
I’ve recorded my temperature, to which I tend to register on the lower end of “normal”, so on the rare occasions where I have spiked a fever, my temperature is typically reading 99F+.
Sunday, March 22nd, Temperature 97.9F
Sunday, March 29th, Temperature 98.0F
Still no other symptoms, just a slight pressure in my upper chest to which I have chalked up as anxiety as I have chosen to continue to work.
Thursday, April 16, the slight pressure in my upper chest is now accompanied by a slight heaviness in my lungs that is more noticeable upon inhaling. Still no pain/discomfort, no real issue breathing or getting enough air/circulation, no persistent cough. Feels like the beginning of an upper respiratory infection (unconfirmed diagnosis, just my thoughts).
Friday, April 17, same as yesterday, temperature 97F
Sunday, April 19, temperature 97.6F same pressure, the same level of heaviness, feeling tired and achy I decided to call in for my shift just to be safe. I could be dealing with a mild case of Walking Pneumonia (unconfirmed, it feels familiar from when I had it back in 2015) minus the sporadic coughing fits.
Monday, April 20, temperature 97.3F no changes to how I feel. Achiness/stiffness could be a combination of things. I normally have a chiropractic adjustment every 3 weeks, my last appointment was March 12th with a follow up on April 2nd that was canceled due to the Government closing things down. I have called in for Tuesday and Wednesday because I don’t know what I’m dealing with and I’m allowing myself a chance to rest and see if things get better or worse before deciding to go back to work.
I hate calling in, I know that many people are calling in and the store is extremely short-staffed. Am I dealing with a very mild case of COVID-19? Am I dealing with a very mild case of pneumonia? Am I dealing with an upper respiratory infection? The government of Ontario and the health experts have all stated that anyone that doesn’t feel 100% should stay home.
Has my level of anxiety increased since this pandemic started?, YES. I went from working 18 hours/week to 30+ hours/week. My position at work has changed from working in the Bakery to being trained (working in close proximity) to the associate training me in Claims and in the Cash Office. Since I’m being shuffled from one department (to train) to another department, I’m an associate without a permanent position.
If COVID-19 wasn’t a concern, I probably would just suck it up and continue to work my shifts. I don’t like feeling as if I’m letting my team down. I also know that I have to do what is best for me, do the right thing, and stay home.
I’ll keep updating this post with any new developments~ Tuesday, April 21.
***** UPDATE***** Wednesday April 22*****
I decided to call telehealth figuring that while I’m not displaying the more common COVID symptoms, what I do have maybe the less frequent symptoms and it was best to seek advice from a health professional.
Besides, it’s part of the due diligence.
Telehealth was so concerned that they suggested that not only should I get tested for COVID, but I should call an ambulance. Anytime there is a concern with breathing, the online assessment assumes it’s the worst-case scenario. I voiced my concern that an ambulance was a little much considering that I live within walking distance to the local hospital and the slight pressure in my chest is just that, slight.
I said I would call the hospital to get further instructions for the testing.
The local hospital doesn’t test for COVID, they suggested that I call Ottawa Public Health to find the closest test clinic. Public Health didn’t confirm my address and wanted to send me to downtown Ottawa to get tested. I raised the concern and questioned if there wasn’t a closer clinic. To which there is, but they didn’t have the information handy.
I asked a friend that had recently been tested to find out where she went. That should have been my first inquiry.
I drove out to Winchester where the COVID testing is taking place, I was in/out in under 10 minutes. No long wait times and the swab was very similar to having a swab for Strep Throat, not a swab through the nasal cavity.
Results will be ready in 24-48 hours and I will get confirmation whether it’s positive or negative.
The paperwork that I was given from the testing facility states (suggests) that if the test is Negative that I can return to work 24 hours after symptom resolution.
If the test is Positive: Self Isolate for 14 days- Return to work after 2 negative swabs, at least 24 hours apart (assuming you feel fine, no symptoms).
I’ve already called my employer, left a message with HR to let them know that I will be calling in for the rest of this week (Thursday/Friday) I’m off Saturday/Sunday. By then I should have the results to know how to proceed, assuming there are no changes.
Oxygen Level, Checked at the COVID test clinic, 95% (taken while I was wearing a facemask).
That’s the news, for now, ~ Wednesday, April 22, 2020 *******
***** Friday, April 24, 2020******
Today’s news is that my COVID-19 results have come back NEGATIVE! So that’s a relief. I have further instruction to Complete my 14-day self-isolation (since the date of the test) which means I’ll be out of work until May 6th.
I’m still fighting off something (respiratory) so it’s probably best that I do take the time to rest, hydrate and see if I can’t get rid of whatever this is.
******* Update Sunday, May 3, 2020 *******
The slight pressure that had been present since mid-March is no longer there. It’s been gone for a few days now along with any other symptoms. I’m back to feeling 100% and intend to return to work on Thursday, May 7th as planned.
Here are the latest update/policy changes from the big-box retailer (my employer).
- Safety- Associate temperature and wellness checks will continue in the Distribution Centers, our drivers and we’ll begin to roll out this program in the retail stores. We are encouraging customers to limit entry to only ONE adult per family. We are also distributing (voluntary) PPE (masks/gloves) to associates and we strongly encourage you to wear them while at work.
- Offering New Services- Groceries by phone (not available in all locations)
- Priority Pharmacy Access- Customers picking up a prescription no longer have to wait in line. They can call the pharmacy outside and get further instructions before meeting the associate at the front of the store.
- Priority Store Access- Hospital Workers and First Responders will be given priority access starting Monday, May 4th as another way to Thank them.
- Groceries to Hospital Staff- We’ve partnered up with eleven hospitals so their staff can have groceries delivered right to the hospital and we’re working to expand this program.
Online Grocery Orders continue to be in high demand. We are filling tens of thousands of orders each day, which means the wait time may be longer. More stores are adding additional time slots and offering delivery. We appreciate your patience as we work through this high demand. *** end of memo ***
Here are my thoughts and tips if you choose to visit any public store:
Wear a facemask, whether it’s store-bought, homemade, a simple bandana, or a scarf. Wear some form of protection. While our employer is offering PPE, keep in mind that there are 50+ associates each day sharing resources that are in high demand and don’t come in as often as we expect (backorder).
Please follow the arrows on the floor, Please go down the aisle in the right direction. Please wait your turn before proceeding down the aisle. I know that that Meat and Dairy aisles are the busiest and often the most congested. You have associates standing to one side with carts because they are either restocking and have to get it completed within 20 minutes (temperature-sensitive food items) or the associates are doing their best to fill online grocery orders (also time-sensitive). Just follow the flow and treat those aisles as you would a One-Way street. You don’t have to wait for the associate to move, they should be parked off to the side, so go around them when you have the space to do so. Customers going through the aisles in the opposite direction are the ones making matters worse and holding everybody up.
Have a LIST and know what you’re looking for. That is the key to getting you and other customers in & out as efficiently as possible. Start at the furthest point from the registers and work you’re way to the front.
Don’t harass the cashiers about any quantity limits or new policies, they have ZERO control and are only doing what they are asked to do for their safety as well as yours. Yes, these are hard times, they are inconvenient for everybody. Some may be new hires and are still learning, so give them a break if they aren’t as “fast” as the next cashier, or if they make a mistake while ringing up your order.
While you’re shopping you see your friend or neighbor and want to catch up. I understand your excitement, you haven’t seen them in weeks. DON’T take up space in the aisles with the marked arrows. Meet up with them in a lower traffic area, like shoes, infants, men’s wear. Don’t block the high traffic aisles where you see associates moving through with their carts or continue to move through with skids from the back of the store. Pull off to the side (between displays) or meet up in the parking lot.
Anyway, that’s the news for now.
Stay Safe 🙂