Life in the Time of Coronavirus is a new GEN series where we are interviewing people across the country who have had their lives upended or who are experiencing the stress of the unknown.
Katherine Zwick is a 40-year-old therapist from Santa Cruz, California. After attending a conference in New York earlier this month she started experiencing a sore throat and periods of fatigue. On Monday she was diagnosed with coronavirus.
I started having symptoms, not particularly publicized symptoms, of Covid on March 7. I didn’t really think about Covid at the time. I just had a runny nose and a sore throat and felt tired. But I was coming off of two weeks of conferences and professional training. It made sense that I would feel run-down.
I got back to Santa Cruz on March 8, and the next day, I was crazy tired. I would get hit with a wave of fatigue and just have to take a nap. So I got in touch with my doctor.
There was a rumor at one of the conferences that someone had left because of exposure to Covid. I told my doctor that, just to be safe. She said I couldn’t come to his office, that I had to go to urgent care and be triaged in my car. Again, at that point, I was just really tired. I thought I had a cold.
At urgent care, I didn’t have a fever, just a runny nose and inflamed sinuses. The clinician who saw me said he thought I had sinusitis. He told me to come back if I felt sicker, “but this seems like nothing in particular.”
At that point, Santa Cruz was starting to take preventative measures. I run a therapy business, so I decided to transition all of our appointments to video to be safe. My husband works at a school. When they heard there was even a rumor that someone at my conference might have had exposure, they took it seriously. They told him he couldn’t come back to work. He was told to work from home.