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Covid Story 1 Part 1; The Alaska Story

Healthcare Consumer Navigator Center is a Healthcare Consumer Advocate Organization that helps consumer navigate the healthcare maze. The following Series “KEEPING THE CONSUMER SAFE; LIVING WITH COVID”.  Our goal is to provide a commonsense approach to living with covid with general healthcare information.

On September 14, 2021, I tested positive for Covid. Unfortunately, I was at a fishing lodge in remote Alaska. I decided this would provide an excellent opportunity to share a real-life Covid experience.

As background information, I received my first Moderna vaccination shot on January 27, 2021. I received by second shot on February 24, 2021. In accordance with the lodge’s Covid protocol, I tested negative for Covid on September 3, 2021. This was 72 hours prior to my arrival at the lodge.

Because of the limited number of people, I had contact with that ultimately tested positive for Covid, tracing the source was reasonably simple. Based upon this contact tracing, I was exposed to a contagious person on either September 8 or 9. I had no Covid symptoms from my initial contact through my quarantine period that ended on September 24. Notably, my wife accompanied me on this trip tested negative for Covid 3 times post my positive test.

Approximately 30 people were within proximity of the original contagious person. To the best of my knowledge 6 people tested positive from either primary or secondary contact with the original person. From September 8 until my positive test on September 14 and subsequent immediate quarantine, no one contracted the virus from contact with me validated by two separate testings of everyone at the lodge spaced 7 days a part.

The above facts represent to the best of my memory the circumstances surrounding my positive Covid test. Hereafter are personal observations and thoughts.

There is a great deal of unproven, unscientific information surrounding Covid. On the other hand, there is very limited information as to what a person with Covid might like to know.  Let me start with something basic like what should one do upon learning they are Covid positive with limited access to medical personnel. Of course, go to the internet!

Let’s start with the CDC. First, symptoms-

            -Fever or chills


            -Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing


            -Muscle or body aches


            -New loss of taste or smell

            -Sore throat

            -Congestion or runny nose

            -Nausea or vomiting


Now to be perfectly honest, I have routinely experienced about a third of these symptoms on many of my previous Alaska fishing trips-fatigue, muscle or body aches, sore throat, congestion, or runny nose. It’s part of being in Alaska in September. So, after narrowing down the symptoms list, I decided I was asymptomatic. Keep in mind my wife and I were living in a 20’ x 20’ cabin up until my quarantine.

What seemingly has changed from the beginning of Covid until now. A year ago, at this same lodge our temperature was taken every morning at breakfast. I now see temperature must no longer be a symptom associated with Covid. Something I’ve learned from others with Covid, however, is oxygen level is a very important traceable symptom and using a pulse oximeter can be any easy way to monitor. Declining oxygen levels are a very good warning sign.

Stay tuned I’ll continue my journey in future blogs.

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