Sleeper Hit: What It’s Like To Have Coronavirus With No Fever, No Energy and No Positive Test Result

  • Yes, travel to MI that started 6 days ago and ended 4 days ago, after which we sheltered in place (save grocery runs)
  • Yes, travel to Santa Clara, CA 4 weeks back for work.
  • Headache with eye pressure/pain and some sinus pressure/pain
  • Tiredness that wasn’t normal
  • NO fever, at any time, but chills off and on.
  • Chest pressure, tightness and labored breathing
  • Aches in my upper respiratory area/neck/shoulders
  • Loss of appetite
  • I was instructed to pull up to the curb outside urgent care and wait to be called via phone for triage.
  • Once I got the call, they reconfirmed my symptoms, then told me to meet them at the side door to the urgent care department.
  • I was met by a nurse in full pandemic-esque gear who gave me a mask and led me to a room by myself.
  • Another nurse tech came in (assume at this point everyone is in full pandemic gear with personal ventilator) and reviewed my symptoms, travel history, time of onset to progression and took my vitals. I did not have a temperature and all was well BP wise.
  • The nurse tech then informed me that they would be testing me with 3 rounds of nasal swabs: one for the flu, one for strep and one for COVID-19
  • I was a bit nervous but OK (daughter of an immunologist) and hung out alone while she prepped.
  • She came back in and did the swabs. There were NOT fun, but not the worst thing ever. Uncomfortable for a few seconds, most.
  • She told me they would be back in 15–20 minutes and left.
  • I sat alone in my sterile little room feeling very silly for going in and taking up tests for other people (I didn’t have the major symptoms AND only was calling for sinus infection stuff!)
  • The next person to enter was my primary care doctor. She asked me the same battery of questions, including “how did you know to come in here when you don’t have a fever?” I relayed that I didn’t ask to come in, yada yada yada, and she shared that she was glad I did. “This is a novel virus and we don’t know what the symptoms are for everyone yet. Your travel and what you’re describing concerns me enough to look into it. Could be flu, could be strep, could be your sinus infection, but let’s be sure.”
  • She then left and told me she’d be back in another 15–20 after the tests were done.
  • Doctor came back and shared that I tested negative for both the flu and strep. She then shared that COVID-19 could take up to five days or more to hear back on due to demand in labs. In that time, she wanted me to stay home, rest up and call her if I progressed more (got a fever, started coughing up green or white tinged stuff, the headache became too intense, etc.)
  • I was instructed NOT to inform anyone since I didn’t have the telltale symptoms and medical practitioners were trying to limit public concern/freakout.
  • She then left and the nurse came in and said “You are now under quarantine” and gave me papers from the CDC on basic COVID info, my prescription for my inhalers and showed me out down a clear walkway (they call “clear” to make sure no one else was in the walkway back out to my car to limit exposure)



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Brooke Summers

Brooke Summers


@wildpolymath. Neurodiverse Leader and Speaker. Citizen Experience & Smart Cities @sprinklr. Artist, Data Nerd, Designer, Hiker, Gamer, and Unwinder of Chaos.