The Inequality In COVID-19 Testing

The Inequality In COVID-19 Testing

A perspective on the inequality and lack of COVID-19 testing in the US.


Sidenote: All of the characters in this and the story itself are fictional.

"Mom, I don't feel so well" Rita told her mom.

"Oh no honey let me check your temperature" her mom responded, then touched her forehead.

"Oh wow, yeah honey you have a fever! Let me try to find you some medication from the store today, and I'll be back"

"Okay mom" Rita replied; with the shelter-in-place order, this sudden illness made her nervous.

While her mom was out at the store, she started watching the news, where she heard about all of her famous celebrities and sports players testing positive for COVID-19. "How were they able to be tested?" she asked herself. She had earlier read stories on twitter about how people who had symptoms were denied testing, but many of these celebrities seemed to have gotten tested right away. This did not sit well with her. She felt even worse after this.

"Honey, I bought you some flu medicine, so hopefully this will make your fever go down" Rita's mother said. Even her mother was a little suspicious, but she put that thought off to the side.

The next day, Rita felt the same, and actually had a harder time breathing more than normal. After looking up symptoms of COVID-19, she felt even worse. Then she looked up available testing in her area, and called her local healthcare provider.

"You only have mild symptoms right?" the woman over the phone asked.

"Yes, but I would like to get tested" Rita responded.

"Wouldn't we all? Well to be honest, you can't get a test right now since you only have mild symptoms. If you feel a lot worse, you would have better luck going to a hospital. So, I would say that your best bet is to stay home and try to take care of this illness you have yourself" the woman explained.

"But what if it's COVID?" Rita asked.

"Then I recommend to self-quarantine for 14 days to be on the safe side"

"But what about all those celebrities and sports people being tested?"

"Honey, they have money, and lot's of it. That's how they're able to get their testing a lot easier than other people. I know that that's unfair, but that's what we have to deal with, ok?" the woman said.

"Ok, I don't agree with it, but yeah, thanks" Rita said, then hung up. She would have to deal with this flu-COVID-unknown thing herself, and she was frightened.

That next night she had a harder time sleeping, her breathing took more effort, and she even woke up with night sweats. She would endure a couple more nights of these before she couldn't take it anymore.

Feeling on the brink of death, Rita called out to her mom "take me to the hospital!"; she could hardly breathe by then.

"Your daughter has been admitted as a potential COVID-19 patient, and we will do the best we can with her. Now does your daughter have any preexisting conditions?" the doctor asked Rita's mother.

She nodded no, when she was dismissed from the hospital for quarantine/social distancing reasons, she cried in her car; she couldn't be with her daughter while she was on the brink of death.

"Hi Rita, we're going to be testing you for COVID-19 ok?" the nurse said to her patient, then after doing so, left the room.

Rita's mom got a phone call about the death of her only daughter one day later. She drove to the hospital, and cried again in her car. The nurse who was coming back to inform Rita of her positive COVID-19 status learned about her death from a co-worker. She then walked outside for a breather, and crouching to the ground, she cried too.

About 15 minutes later, the nurse got up, saw Rita's mother from her car; they stared at each other in mutual understanding and pain, and both went their separate ways.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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