I am a licensed physician and I have been suffering from coronavirus symptoms for the past 9 days. Only today do I feel like I've turned the corner and starting to recover. I likely caught it from my daughter whose symptoms preceded mine by 4 days.
I have not been tested for the virus because My hospital is only testing inpatients at this point. I did not have a high fever and therefore, did not meet CDC criteria for testing by the dept of health, and I refuse to wait on hours long lines at drive through testing centers. Ironically, I contacted the state dept. of health asking about priority testing for healthcare workers and was told there is no such testing in place. Regardless, there is no question that I have the virus based on my years of medical training and experience. I get an annual flu vaccine and this was unlike any flu I've ever had.
A few points to be made. The virus is far more prevalent than is being reported. Maybe it hasn't hit your neck of the woods but it spread like wildfire in mine- the NY metro area. When all is said and done, a significant percentage of the population will have been exposed to this virus but won't be counted in the statistics. Many people like myself and and my daughter will have had it and not been tested. 2 of the 11 doctors in my practice currently have the virus.
The response to the virus is not overblown. This virus is extremely contagious and far deadlier than influenza. Shutdowns and quarantines are absolutely necessary or the the healthcare system will crumble. There simply won't be enough resources to handle the volume, even if none of the healthcare workers were infected. The morons who refuse to socially isolate themselves ( like the spring breakers), may not kill themselves, but they may be killing their parents or grandparents.
I empirically took the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin "cocktail" out of fear of ending up on a ventilator. As I'm typing this, my wife just informed me that her friend's 56 year old husband was just intubated in the ICU. The cocktail is not a miracle drug, and did not stop the progression of my symptoms, but at least now I'm confident that I won't need to be hospitalized. The drug combo is not for everyone. Those with a certain cardiac arrhythmia ( prolonged QT interval) are at risk for sudden death from the "cocktail". Hydrochloroquine is on backorder at my local Walgreens and won't be back in stock,until the end of April.
Lastly, those of you making this a political issue nauseate me. This is not about politics and you can't blame Trump for the lack of testing capabilities. This has everything to do with government beaurocracy and red tape, and that the government simply isn't capable,of doing anything quickly. I don't agree with a lot of the things coming out of Trump's mouth or the way he says it, but I do believe the intent is there to help the American people. When I perform a procedure on someone, I don't ask if the are democrat or republican, whether they are in this country legally or whether they have insurance. I treat everyone the same. Rather than pointing fingers of blame or criticism, how about thinking of ways you can help us healthcare workers fight this disease.