December 2, 2020

Saw It On Social, COVID Edition: Pixel Labs

Saw It On Social, COVID Edition: Pixel Labs

If you follow me on Instagram or read the #BreakThings newsletter, you know that Kyle and I were diagnosed with COVID-19 last week.  We caught it while dining in one of those plastic igloos that have popped up on sidewalks and patios all over the city.  If you were thinking that dining in one might be safe, I wish I had seen this Today Show article before I booked the reservation.

Kyle got sick first.  A stomach bug, probably from bad takeout sushi.  No big deal, he thought.  But the next day, he was sneezing like crazy and had a headache he couldn’t shake.

By the third day, he had full-blown cold symptoms.  That’s when I started feeling unwell.  Just a sniffle when I woke up, but by mid-day, I was so tired that I kept falling asleep at my desk.

Over the next few days, Kyle’s symptoms got worse and then better.  My only persistent symptom was the exhaustion.  Just getting out of bed in the morning felt impossible.  Then, the other couple we had dinner with called, they tested positive for COVID-19.

I called urgent care.  They would test Kyle because he had symptoms, but they refused to test me.  So he went for a test, and we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Until I got sick of waiting.

That’s when I went to the Pixel Labs website.  It had popped up in my Instagram feed many times, so I thought why not give it a try?

Before we start, let me remind you that I am not a doctor.  This post is not medical advice.  I’m just a girl who got caught up in a global pandemic and a broken healthcare system, and wanted to know whether her sniffle was more than just a cold.  Here we go.

I ordered my Pixel LabCorp At-Home Test on a Monday morning.  It arrived on Tuesday.

Opening the box, I was instructed to register my kit.  Once that was completed, I washed my hands, and following the instructions, swabbed my nostrils, placed the swab in the tube, and sealed everything back up.

I called FedEx for pickup, and my sample left same day.  It arrived at Pixel on Wednesday and I woke up to my result on Friday.

What I liked about Pixel was that the user experience was very well thought out.  When it came time to call FedEx to mail the sample back, the provided card walked me through every question asked by the automated system, and every question asked by the operator.  It was so nice not to have to sort out the pick-up process myself.  All I had to do was follow the directions.

I should mention that the test I took from Pixel Labs was an antigen test, which are less reliable than PCR tests.  But since I couldn’t get a PCR test, this was the next best thing.

As for cost, Pixel billed my insurance, but the test would cost $119.

I was happy with the ease of using the test, the quick turnaround time, and the simplicity of the process.  And I hope that none of you ever need one, but if you do, I recommend the Pixel Test wholeheartedly.

As for myself, after having few symptoms beyond crippling exhaustion, I suddenly developed shortness of breath on the 13th day. I climbed a flight of stairs and almost didn’t make it to the top.  That persisted for a few more days.  Today, I’m feeling better, but still headed to the doctor for a second test and a chest X-ray.

Bottom line, you do not want to catch COVID.  The symptoms are wildly unpredictable.  One of my good friends was literally released after six days in the hospital on oxygen, blood thinners and steroids the day we got sick.  I now know more than a dozen people who have had COVID, and no one symptoms have been the same.

Kyle and I have been pretty diligent about staying safe.  We’ve radically changed our lives since the start of the pandemic.  But after eight month, we tried to take a calculated risk so that we could stay mentally healthy.

We chose a venue that was disinfecting the igloos after every guest (I know now that spray disinfectant isn’t very effective when there’s no HVAC system to move the air around).  We went with people who were socially distancing and wearing masks just like we were.  We even wore masks in the igloo when we weren’t eating or drinking.  But it didn’t matter.  We let our guard down just a little, and we caught COVID.

One in 378 Americans tested positive for COVID over the past week.  We’re now statistics who are grateful to be alive and worried about further complications, but you don’t have to join us.  Wash your hands.  Wear a mask.  Stay home as much as possible, and stay socially distant when it’s not.

As for me, I’m taking today off from my blog responsibilities to heal and catch up on responsibilities at my day job.  See you tomorrow.

Saw It On Social is a review series for the products that fill our social feeds with ads.  Because these products are so often gifted to influencers, you can never be sure if the rave reviews are genuine or sponsor-hype.  Every product reviewed is purchased with my own money, no gifts are requested and no sponsor payments are accepted before or after.

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