Fresh off a Caribbean cruise in early March, John Campbell developed a cough and fever of 104 degrees. He went to his primary care physician and got a flu test, which came up negative.
Then things got strange. Campbell said the doctor then turned to him and said, “I’ve called the ER next door, and you need to go there. This is a matter of public health. They’re expecting you.”
It was March 3, and no one had an inkling yet of just how bad the COVID-19 pandemic would become in the U.S.
At the JFK Medical Center near his home in Boynton Beach, Florida, staffers met him in protective gear, then ran a battery of tests — including bloodwork, a chest X-ray and an electrocardiogram — before sending him home. But because he had not traveled to China — a leading criterion at the time for coronavirus testing —