Last week, I was feeling terrible. I had extreme fatigue and night sweats every night, occasional dry cough, congestion, and a slight fever – minor symptoms in comparison to others who have contracted the coronavirus. Nonetheless, I was concerned for my health and that of my family. I sent the boys to my amazing mother and remained isolated in my room since last Tuesday. 

I thought that I may have just been mentally exhausted like much of the world is in the middle of this pandemic. But I know my body, and it didn’t feel right. Reading the Rivard Report on Friday, I learned that Bexar County had relaxed the requirements for COVID-19 testing, so I used the City of San Antonio’s online screening tool to determine if I should get tested. After filling out the questionnaire, I was recommended for a test and given a phone number to call to set up an appointment. 

For my appointment on Saturday, I was instructed to drive to Freeman Coliseum Lot 1 alone. When I pulled up to the teller booth, I cracked the window slightly to identify myself to the sheriff. He verified that I had an appointment and sent me into one of two lanes. I then drove up to a tent, where two sheriffs and a nurse were waiting. Through the closed window, I showed my ID to the sheriff. Then the nurse asked me to crack the window open and handed me a pamphlet, face mask, and tissue. She then told me to close the window, blow my nose very well, then put the face mask on. Next, she had me crack open the window again to give me instructions and direct me to drive into the building.

Once inside, I shut my engine off and a doctor in full protective gear approached my door. He instructed me to keep the door and window closed until he returned with my test kit. When he came back, he asked me to open my door as far as it would go but stay in my car. He then explained the process. Following his instructions, I pulled the mask below my nose, keeping my mouth covered with the mask. I leaned toward the doctor a little and tilted my head back. The doctor inserted a swab through my nostril, down my throat. This was done for both nostrils.

Before starting the process, I was told that if I needed to cough or sneeze, I had to signal with my hand for the doctor to step back, turn toward my passenger seat, and release the cough or sneeze. The swabbing process took about a minute and was very uncomfortable. I kicked my legs with each nasal swab and coughed slightly but held my mouth with the mask over it. 

When the doctor was done, he told me I would get a call with results in 3-5 days. God bless the men and women out there at these testing facilities. It’s a very controlled environment and an almost seamless process.

Driving away I coughed a lot and felt a weird sensation in my chest. Those feelings lasted about 5-10 minutes. I experienced no pain or soreness the next day. I’m grateful to have gotten tested for peace of mind. 

That night, I experienced little to no sweating and the following morning I felt OK. On Thursday I received my results and breathed a sigh of relief when I heard I tested negative for the coronavirus. The persistent symptom that I experienced until that day was fatigue. I believe that I had a virus last week, and the fatigue this week was due to my dormancy and anxiety about possibly testing positive. I am finally feeling better.

Considering there are people walking around with the virus and zero symptoms, I would say that, if you’re not feeling well, please stay home. If you are feeling fine and have to go out in public, please take precautions. Wear a mask and wash your hands. Don’t have people over for now – not just for yourself, but for your loved ones and your community.

Jose Benavidez is a native San Antonian, who works as a technology supervisor for a local school district. His three sons are his greatest joys in the world. Providing unbiased facts and firsthand accounts...