With the news from WaPo that the earliest known COVID-19 death is now from early February (in California), I want to readdress this anecdotal notion that’s rampant in comment sections across the internet that many, many people had COVID-19 in late January or February.
My own anecdote is that my wife came down with a respiratory illness in late January – 2 to 3 days of high fever, lethargy, loss of taste/smell, and a persistent cough for about 3 weeks after that. I came down with the same thing about 7-10 days later, one of my daughters had a similar set of symptoms in between but a much faster recovery, my son had some mild symptoms that we didn’t really pay much attention to. Only my oldest remained symptom free.
Our friends in the medical community said that there was a widespread respiratory illness going around during that time; schools were dealing with a lot of absences. Based on the known SARS-COV-2 timeline I think we all agreed that it was certainly not COVID-19, as suspicious/similar as the symptoms were. Note also that I’m in Ohio, not exactly a coastal travel hub.
I still think everyone in the comments section, myself included, who had COVID-like symptoms earlier in the year did NOT have COVID, but doubts are starting to creep in. Are we still certain that it was something else?