Wednesday, March 18, 2020

I need a test, you need a test, we all need a test! Or do we? If you are like approximately 80% of the population, a test confirming we are positive for COVID-19 won’t change the doctor’s advice. 

So why is so much attention being given to screening and testing for COVID-19? Because unlike the common cold or flu, it is spreading so rapidly that it has the potential to overwhelm our already stretched healthcare system.

Our “need to know” is overriding our common sense – which tells us that regardless of the results, common cold, COVID-19 or flu, for the majority of us, a doctor will tell us to stay home, rest, get plenty of fluids, and avoid contact with friends and family until we are fever free and without symptoms, or about 14 days to be cautious.

If your symptoms worsen, you have difficulty breathing, or you’re experiencing other discomfort that cannot be remedied with over-the-counter medicine and chicken noodle soup, by all means, call your doctor, the Oklahoma State Department of Health Call Center at 877-215-8336 , or sign up for a virtual visit with Norman Regional here and get the advice of a medical professional. But please, if you are experiencing symptoms, consult first with your healthcare provider before going to the emergency room. We need those critical resources for those who are more vulnerable and for whom a COVID-19 diagnosis can truly be life altering - our elderly, our pregnant moms, our immunocompromised friends and family. 

Chances are we all know someone who is part of the more vulnerable population; someone we love, a neighbor, a co-worker, a friend. Before you get in line for that test, if there was one test kit left in the world, would you still need it? Or would you want it for your parent, grandparent, elderly neighbor or pregnant sister? I think we all can agree we want to make sure the people who NEED to be tested are tested, and those of us who WANT to be tested can hang tight, and stay home with our chicken noodle soup. 

From our partners at the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Read more from them here.