Even before a novel virus swept around the world, Anna Davis Abel wore a mask to protect herself from getting sick.
The 25-year-old writer lives with lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that makes her more susceptible to catching a virus or an infection. Davis Abel’s doctor cleared her to travel to a literary conference in San Antonio in early March. Then she developed a sore throat and low-grade fever several days after arriving home in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Consulting a nurse on the phone, Davis Abel was told to manage her symptoms at home. But her symptoms only worsened, so she secured an appointment with her primary care doctor.
“At that point, I was, like, taking shot glasses of Sudafed,” she said.
Given the spread of the coronavirus and a chronic condition that left her vulnerable to a more serious case of COVID-19, she was concerned she’d been infected. To