I Got A Free COVID-19 Antibody Test And So Can You

I Got A Free COVID-19 Antibody Test And So Can You PIN

Like every other person, I have a Coronavirus story to share, which relates to how to get a free COVID-19 antibody test. Back in the spring, my family and I experienced typical COVID-19 symptoms. First it was my four-year-old with a fever, runny nose, cough, and stomach ache. His fever was high – 103.9 – yet the doctor advised us to stay home, take it easy, and that there was no need for a test. 

I became ill next, and my spouse soon after. My case seemed typical; fever, chills, body pains, cough, short-windedness. That drove me to look for a test. At that point, it was difficult to get a test and tests weren’t too accurate. About a week into feeling sick, I knew I needed medical care and was sent to a respiratory clinic to get tested. While my chest x-ray was clear (thankfully), my oxygen rate was low so I was given treatment, an inhaler, antibiotics, and sent on my way. 

It took about four days for my results to come in: negative.

I was floored. I thought for certain I would test positive. I talked to the nurse and she said that because the tests were so new, there have been an abnormal number of false negatives coming in. Because I had all the hallmark signs, I was told to continue isolating and to check in with my primary care physician in about a week. 

All together, I was sick for about two weeks, and by Easter was back on my feet. It was a curiously distressful time, but altogether uneventful. Compared to being sick with pneumonia at 12 weeks pregnant, it wasn’t nearly as scary. 

Fast forward to July, the American Red Cross announced they would give people a free COVID-19 antibody test.

So I seized the opportunity to know whether what my family had was surely COVID. I also knew if I tested positive, I could be eligible to donate plasma to critically ill coronavirus patients. I booked my appointment and marked the date on my calendar. 

The American Red Cross had just started offering the free COVID-19 antibody test the week I had my appointment.

Every bed was full of someone donating blood and the volunteers were clearly a bit behind, so I waited patiently but anxiously like everyone else in the lobby. 

Once I was hooked up, the process was easy and I was done in less than a half hour.

Like everyone else donating blood that day, I was asked to rest and offered juice and crackers. Together, we shared our own COVID stories and came to this one, comparable conclusion: this pandemic has been chaotic for us all

It took about three weeks for my free COVID-19 antibody test result: negative for antibodies. 

I was surprised. Shocked really. I thought for certain my family and I had COVID-19 earlier this year. Little did I know at the time that early research showed that antibodies only last about three months and I was already one month late. 

I completely acknowledge having antibodies wouldn’t have changed much for me.

I would stay cautious, continually wearing a face covering outside of my home and washing my hands routinely. Yet, I was hopeful that perhaps since I had conquered COVID-19 once, I can relax realizing I could defeat it once more. 

With an immunization around the bend and successful treatment accessible for most patients, I’m considerably more optimistic than I was in March.

All things considered, however, I can’t shake the feeling that testing and treatment should have been a much smoother process.

I donate blood to the American Red Cross regularly now and it’s much easier than it was over the summer. Results for antibody tests return quicker as well. I actually haven’t tested positive for antibodies yet, however if at any point I do, I’ll be happy to help donate plasma too. 

I encourage everyone to consider donating if you’re eligible, especially if you’ve tested positive for the coronavirus. You never know, you could be giving the gift of life during this very dark season.