A COVID-19 diagnosis hits close to home

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Wednesday, April 22nd. You’re listening to WORLD Radio, and we’re so glad you are! Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: a firsthand encounter with the coronavirus.

More than three-quarters of a million people in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19. One of the diagnosed, active cases is our own Kent Covington, the man who brings you the news each day.  

So we thought it might be good to check in with him.

REICHARD: Yes, so I was able to reach him and record a little conversation.

KENT COVINGTON: Hi Mary! How are you?

REICHARD: Well, I’m doing well, but you’re the focus here. We were all not happy to hear you got the diagnosis, obviously. Kent, I’m wondering what symptoms did you have that led you to get tested?

COVINGTON: A few days back I bent over to pet the dog and I was really short of breath at that point. I thought that does not seem normal. And then I had some chest tightness the remainder of the day. Nothing major, just if I took a deep breath I could feel the chest tightness and so those were two things I recognized. I also had a bit of an upset stomach, which is another symptom. But it was the shortness of breath and the tightness that sort of sent up the flag.

REICHARD: You’re not in a risk group, are you? As far as I know, you’re not.

COVINGTON: No. No, I’m not.

REICHARD: When you got the positive result of the test, what went through your mind? 

COVINGTON: I suppose I was a little surprised just because the shortness of breath and the chest tightness, they were not very severe and they went away. That’s the only day I’ve had that happen. And I’ve not had a fever or a cough. So I was a little surprised, but I was not terribly worried about it, primarily because the one day I had experienced those symptoms they were mild and even by the time I got my results, two days had passed and I hadn’t experienced it again and I felt pretty decent.

REICHARD: How about your daily routine? Doesn’t seem like much has changed.

COVINGTON: No, not really. Not much has changed. I maybe feel a little more tired today, but, yeah, nothing has changed with the routine at all, really, for me. 

REICHARD: You know, Kent, I think that you were careful to abide by the CDC guidelines and social distancing and washing your hands, things like that. How do you think you got it?

COVINGTON: You know, there’s no telling. I have two teenagers and I could have perhaps gotten it—I don’t know yet. And, actually, they just got tested. But that’s one possibility. When I go out, I am extremely careful. I’ve had a box of N95 masks that I’ve had for a little while, for another reason I had those in my garage shop and so when this happened it’s like, ‘Great, I’ve got these.’ So I’ve had that and I’ve used hand sanitizer or gloves when I go out. So my guess is that I perhaps caught it in the home from perhaps one of my kids or somebody else who was in the home briefly for one reason or another. And, again, we’ll see if they test positive, but they’re both feeling pretty well.

REICHARD: Kent, did the doctor give you any protocols to follow?

COVINGTON: Yeah, well, the protocol is just seven days from the onset of symptoms you will be considered no longer contagious and, in fact, immune. If you, one, have not had a fever for at least 72 hours and, two, are seeing the symptoms lessen or if they’ve gone away entirely. And that confuses some people because they keep hearing the 14 day quarantine. The 14 days comes from the incubation period of the virus where if you’re exposed to it, you might not know it for 14 days—and, of course, we’re finding out you might not ever know it potentially. But once you’re confirmed to have it, the protocol is seven days from the onset of symptoms if you don’t have a fever again for three days and the symptoms are improving. 

REICHARD: Well, Kent, we wish you good health. We need you to be in good health, so get better soon, ok?

COVINGTON: Thank you, thank you. I’ll rest up.

REICHARD:  Kent Covington, our newsman. And it was your birthday, so happy birthday! At least you had yesterday off. 

Thanks, Kent.

COVINGTON: Thanks, Mary.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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