Thursday, March 16, 2023

off to get a COVID test kit

In going over my current symptoms, I see that a lot of them line up with the momsal/몸살 I mentioned yesterday. But this morning, I woke up with rales (crackling noises when breathing, indicating mucus in the lungs), which makes me wonder whether what I have might be the Big Rona. I consulted a Korean website about COVID symptoms (everyone here says "Corona," not COVID), and I do seem to have a lot of the symptoms mentioned:

발열 또는 오한 fever/chills

기침 cough

숨가쁨 또는 호흡곤란 shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

피로 fatigue

근육통 또는 몸살 muscle pain/body aches

두통 headache

미각 또는 후각 상실 loss of taste/smell

인후염 sore throat

코막힘 또는 콧물 stuffy/runny nose

메스꺼움 또는 구토 nausea/vomiting

설사 diarrhea

I had a bit of a fever yesterday; it's gone now. A bit of a cough, too, which comes and goes. Yeah, some trouble breathing last night, but mainly because of a stuffy nose. Fatigue? I have felt sort of blah, although this morning, I'm feeling rather sprightly. Body aches? Definitely yes. Headache? Yes, though it's not that bad. Stuffy/runny nose? For the past couple of days, and neti-pot irrigation doesn't seem to be helping. Nausea/vomiting? No. There was a lack of a desire to eat for a bit, but I did manage to eat something yesterday. And diarrhea? Yes. Yesterday afternoon, but none since then. 

So that's a lot of symptoms matching COVID. I called the local Gangnam clinic about getting tested, but the clinic said I should confirm infection with a home testing kit first, so I'm about to hit the pharmacy in my building to buy a COVID test kit. I must then struggle through the Korean-language instructions to figure out how to test myself. Another option is to go to work and test myself with the help of my Korean-fluent coworkers, but I might be putting them at risk if I do that (and if I'm positive, then I've already put them at risk of reinfection just by being in the office with them*). I'll test here in my apartment, struggling through the language, and we'll go from there depending on the results. 

More news later. As I told a friend, getting COVID—if that's what this is—is a relief. Natural immunity, here we come! I've waited three years for this.


*My boss and coworkers all got infected already, but the boss noted a day or so ago that he was feeling the same symptoms I was feeling—fever, aches, etc. If he's COVID-positive now, then this is a reinfection for him, post-vaxx. My Korean coworker got infected but didn't get jabbed. He self-isolated and was back at work the following week.

ADDENDUM: next week, South Korea is dropping the mask mandate for public transportation, so if I'm infected, I'm just in time for that!

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