Amy Proal is a microbiologist who has had what could be Covid-19 symptoms since Feb. 23 - two days after her boyfriend developed the same symptoms. She writes about how hard, almost impossible, actually, it is to get tested for the virus:
We are in Boston, near Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). We have not been able to get tested for COVID19 at MGH unless we are apparently in critical condition (ICU). Also I have a history of responding poorly to viral infections which is not making the situation easier. ...
Today my boyfriend called his internist and said has the COVID19 symptoms. After a phone screen they told him to come in to the office. He went there wearing no mask because we don’t have one.
They gave him a mask and after long periods sitting in the waiting room w/ other patients coughing who also think they have COVID19 he was finally told he can’t be tested because he has not been in direct contact with someone who has COVID19.
Instead of going directly home, they gave him a script for an inhaler and told him to go to CVS. The situation is ridiculous. Why did his internist’s office have someone with COVID19 symptoms come in, not test him, and then send him to a crowded pharmacy? I am very angry.
She adds she's not angry at Mass. General:
Lastly I should clarify this is not the fault of infectious disease MDs or others at MGH (several of whom I work with directly on research projects and are amazing!) It is because MGH doesn't have the testing capacity they need yet thanks to the federal government.