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COVID incarceration brings more questions than answers

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“COVID incarceration proves to be false imprisonment.” That is what this week’s Connie’s Corner headline was supposed to be. Until I received the results of my “second opinion” test, I was 99.99% certain that I did not have Covid-19 and was the victim of a false positive. Taking steps to retest, I had agreed to accept the results and let it go if they came back positive too. They did and I lied.

Don’t think I question that a Covid-19 virus exists. Don’t think I question that people die from complications after contracting Covid-19. What I question is if the test results and the numbers reported are reliable and do the “for show” screening policies implemented by businesses and health care providers foster a false sense of security? That point, I can address personally.

On Dec. 24 I went to a local health care facility to have blood drawn for my annual lab work. Stationed in the lobby was a young lady garbed in PPE for the purpose of taking my temperature. Fever-free, I was cleared to proceed. The small lab doesn’t allow for social distancing by any means. The gloved and masked lab tech who went above and beyond in some aspects of my care that day, unfortunately, repeatedly coughed and at one point

sneezed. After running the gauntlet of the temperature check just to get inside the lab, I assured myself that surely the lab tech had been cleared of Covid-19 but wondered in this day of paranoia over the slightest sniffle why he’d be allowed to work sick at all. I silently told myself that if I came down with something, I’d know where I got it!

Three days later Dec. 27, I went out on a windy morning without a cap, jacket or layered. I knew the ramifications the minute I stepped out of the car into the Brookshire Bros. parking lot, but it was too late. In addition, it was cold in the store, I got chilled and by that evening, I was sniffling and had that familiar sinus pain around the eyes. I never had fever, or a cough and self-treated with Zyrtec. I opted for the drive-thru test ONLY because I had family visiting. We shared a car, couches, hugs, and I cooked numerous meals for them.

In good faith, I contacted the health care facility about my experience. I was told they don’t allow staff to work with Covid-19, but they didn’t explain why someone was working sick. They were going to “look into it,” but that was two weeks ago, and I never received a call-back about myself, the sick tech, or other patients who had lab contact that day. Did those folks get sick, too?

When I retested, I returned to the same health care facility. The young lady in admissions commiserated with me over my sinus issues – while she sniffled away herself. Another compromised employee.

No one I was in contact with during my “active” illness or leading up to it has become ill. My son tested for his employer and tested negative. My gentleman friend did become ill the day after I did, but ironically, he was 30 miles away and had spent several hours in the woods clearing brush and shooting guns. He has a history of allergies and had complained that week about the high pollen count, but he too tested positive.

In addition to the unreliability of temperature checks as a Covid clearance, the mask theory was shot to smithereens by my family, and my gentleman friend’s house guest who tested negative as well. So, did we really have Covid-19 or not?

A Brenham friend confined herself to her home in March to protect her husband who has cancer. Their children brought food and groceries to their door. She finally left the house only a half-dozen times later in the year, masked, for a couple of doctor and hair appointments, but was diagnosed with Covid-19 in December. Her husband never got sick. She is as stunned as I because she had “done everything right.”

I towed the line the first month of the pandemic but living in solitary confinement for me was not living at all. I’ll never believe the results of either test because the puzzle pieces we’ve been led to believe cause it or prevent it, just don’t fit together, and one health care provider appears not interested in following the breadcrumbs.

I can’t say if it’s the days of incarceration or the depressing weather and political climate, that’s causing me to reach deep to celebrate 2021, but my loved ones are all still here and that’s celebration enough for now.

Connie Clements is a freelance reporter for the Navasota Examiner and award-winning columnist. She writes feature news articles on a weekly basis and an opinion column as the mood strikes her.