Penn State Student With Coronavirus Opens Up About Illness, Testing On Reddit AMA

A Reddit user claiming to be a Penn State student infected with the coronavirus and using the handle psu_positive shared their experience with the illness and the corresponding medical attention on an Ask Me Anything thread Friday.

The university had previously notified the community of two students testing positive for the coronavirus, but no announcement has yet been made of a third. psu_positive said they hadn’t yet been in contact with the university, as results had just come in earlier Friday.

I’m a Penn State student currently in state college who tested positive for covid 19. AMA from r/PennStateUniversity

The student said they found out earlier that day that they had tested positive for the coronavirus, but have been self-quarantining off-campus since first experiencing symptoms last week. They believe they contracted the coronavirus while spending spring break in London with two friends who are both also symptomatic.

“We already collectively dumped well over $1000 on tickets and reservations and at the time in early March we didn’t think the virus was that bad so we decided to go full send. A dumb mistake,” the student wrote.

The student returned to State College on Sunday, March 15 after flying from London to New York. They started showing symptoms the next day when they developed “a slight sore throat” in the middle of the day and a severe fever that evening. They woke up at 4 a.m. with a 103-degree fever before going to Mount Nittany Medical Center a few hours later. Those symptoms more or less persisted over the next week or so, but have recently subsided.

“Ever since I started showing symptoms I have been extremely cautious about it and made absolutely sure I would not come into contact with anyone or spread it anywhere,” psu_positive said. “I showed symptoms the day after I got back to the US and even when I arrived, I went straight to my apartment so I wouldn’t spread it anywhere.”

The student echoed many patients’ complaints that the process of getting tested for the coronavirus is so strict and drawn-out.

They said they were only tested because they had been out of the country and tests for strep and influenza A/B were all negative. The student said testing took a total of three hours and that anyone showing symptoms should be tested right away.

Additionally, after the student took the test on Tuesday, March 17, results weren’t available until Friday, March 27 — after they had been sent to California, despite officials at Mount Nittany previously saying they’d be handled in-house.

“They told me the dept of health would call me but it was the hospital,” psu_positive wrote. “It took 10 whole days after I took the test to get results back. imo, the only reason why test cases in center county is so low right now is because their testing procedure is complete ass.”

The student said they were told they aren’t considered a serious case because they don’t have developing pneumonia. They said they were advised to self-isolate and only come back to the hospital if they develop extreme shortness of breath.

They plan to stay isolated for a total of 21 days, unless the illness persists. For the time being, the student said they’re passing the time by playing Call of Duty and watching “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.” While self-quarantining, the student has been ordering food through Uber Eats and OrderUp and asking drivers to leave their food at the door to avoid human contact.

“I will probably wait a full week after I experience zero symptoms before I end isolation,” they said. “I haven’t told professors yet, although I feel like I should. This is like the ultimate doctor’s note.”

The student was met with plenty of support from fellow Reddit users, who thanked them for sharing their information and giving a firsthand account of what it’s actually like to be sick with the virus — although symptoms and severity vary depending on the patient and case.

In the true spirit of Penn State, several users also offered to run errands for the student, shared uplifting words, and encouraged them to, “Stay positive, try to keep your immunity up as much as possible. I know it’s tough but try to not stress yourself out. Stay strong there.”

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected]. All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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