The day after I took my last flight and entered quarantine, I presented with shortness of breath and difficulty breathing — two symptoms that are widely associated with the coronavirus infection.
Over the two weeks prior, I had made three trips to Washington, D.C. to attend meetings, conferences and a large travel expo. During those trips, I met and interacted with dozens of people, often shaking hands with new contacts or embracing friends with a hug. I had also come into close contact with airline employees who assisted me on and off more than 10 different flights.
If the coronavirus was in my midst, as it likely was, it would have been difficult to protect myself from contracting the disease — even if I had been more vigilant about person-to-person contact.
Although my symptoms lasted only a day, stories of people who had tested positive but were totally asymptomatic have led me to believe that I was infected. Since I don’t recall ever having had a sustained period of breathing difficulty, that daylong experience was a red flag.
As such, I have been eager to receive an antibody test to determine whether or not I had the virus. Fortunately, tests are now widely available, and you can register for one in just a few minutes.
Medical diagnostics company LabCorp is providing coronavirus serology (antibody) testing at nearly 2,000 locations throughout the United States, including at many Walgreens stores.
To register for an antibody test, you must be referred by your doctor or healthcare provider. Alternatively, you can receive a digital referral from an independent physician through the LabCorp website. The cost of this service is $10 and you can begin the process at https://www.labcorp.com/antibody-testing.
Once you have a referral, you can make an appointment at a testing facility or walk-in at your convenience. LabCorp says that there are no upfront out-of-pocket costs to receive the test, and any charges will be billed to your health insurance company or the government if you are uninsured.
The test requires a blood draw (finger prick or needle draw — I’m not sure) and results are generally delivered within 1 to 3 days through the LabCorp Patient Account that is created when you sign-up.
I have personally paid the $10 fee for an online referral and will be tested at the nearest Walgreens store tomorrow.
If you believe that you have previously contracted the coronavirus, it may make sense to receive the antibody test. If my result is positive, it will give me a sense of relief knowing that I may have a little less to worry about. Wish me luck!