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Karen believes she gave me COVID-19 after returning from Japan.

"What's cowboy nose-blowing?" I asked Karen. Yesterday while hiking, Karen laid out her case. She thinks she gave me COVID-19 in February.

"Cowboy nose-blowing is when you press closed one nostril and blow forcefully from the other nostril," she replied. "I did it when I was outside. A four-inch plug of snot came out. It looked like a worm. The next day, I blew a snot worm out of my other nostril. I felt much better after that."

Disgusting. I stand enlightened. Here's the story.

On Feb. 15, Karen and her husband returned from a 10-day trip in Japan. In Japan, they rode packed trains and buses. They arrived in Seattle. The next day, news broke of a COVID-19 outbreak in a nursing home in a Seattle suburb.

On Feb. 17, Karen and I hiked together. She had a backache, often the first symptom of COVID-19. While eating lunch, Karen handed me a fig with her bare hands. Three days later, I had a backache, too.

We had a 102-degree fever for five days. Headache, upper respiratory congestion, runny nose, coughing, shortness of breath, body aches, extreme fatigue and weakness. Fever flared up again when we tried going for a walk. At 71, Karen could not walk her dog for a week. Karen was tired for four weeks afterward. I recovered quicker.

Without a test for antibodies, we won't know if we had COVID-19.

We feel fine now. Antibody tests are not available. The priority is COVID-19 testing.

Your thoughts?

LiterateHiker 9 Apr 15

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We desperately need antibody testing!


I stopped reading after "cowboy nose-blowing." Stay well!!


Probably just the flu? No idea... Get tested..


Antibody tests are not available. The priority is COVID-19 testing.


It is hard to say if you had the flu or COVID-19 infection, many symptoms are the same. If you had loss or smell or taste it would likely be COVID. Great that you both recovered.


It’s possible. I didn’t think globs of about were a part of the symptoms though. Each of us has his own reaction. I do believe those of us in better shape will fare better if we get it


That is how I blow my nose, but I never do it in the presence of anyone or when I am around others.


This is strictly my personal opinion and it's going to sound a little preachy -- sorry.
I'm afraid we're all going to get exposed to COVID-19 at some point before this fades.
For now the best we may be able to do is to put off that exposure until we better understand the disease and (hopefully) have some somewhat reliable treatment(s).
It's unfortunate that you have reason to believe that your friend could have brought the pathogen to you. Pay attention to yourself and make sure the illness doesn't slip into something more threatening like pneumonia -- make sure it doesn't get a chance to sneak up on you.
Also, don't forget that as bad as it seems (and of course there is some risk), most people do recover -- plan on getting through it either by avoiding it or recovering.

At this point we know so little that there is by nature a lot of uncertainty and therefore fear in everyone's situations.
Get tested as soon as you can and (no matter how unpleasant) follow social distancing procedures -- not only for your sake but for the sakes of those near you.
As far as I know that is the only demonstrably beneficial action we have.
We all have to make our ways as best we can.
I wish I could help and I'm thinking of you.❤ BTW... With that in mind, if a stint in AZ would be useful, contact us.


Wow @LiterateHiker it sure sounds like you had it. They should test you if you want to donate plasma and save someone's life. Bonemarrow transplant saved my life.


Well since you asked, I am not a doctor, but I did stay at a Holliday Inn😁. I don't know and I am glad that you are both doing well. If the antibody test becomes available to you, then you may be able to find out. I hope you both continue to stay healthy and well.


Sounds like a distinct possibility. We have questions about Covid19 and my father''s death in January from Pneumonia and sepsis type symptoms. High fever, the struggle breathing, the works.


It will sure be interesting to find out how many of us actually had covid-19 once the anti-body tests come out. That will be the only way to tell if that's what it was. Your symptoms are similar to what I experienced in January/February after international travel.

For me, the upper respiratory dry cough changed gradually to lower respiratory infection and I wondered if I was experiencing pneumonia before I finally started getting better.


Well I am happy you both came thru it,but yes get tested as soon as it is convient


I wish everyone that had symptoms half as suspicious as yours could get tested. Then we would have some idea what we are actually facing. Right now, we just know that about 20% of people who are deemed sick enough to get a test have covid 19. That's the national average, and it hasn't budged since we had just a few cases. If we tested ten times more people and the percentage of positives dropped to about 2% we would have much higher confidence we were finding all the cases. Three months in, we are still walking around blind without a cane.


I use that technique sometimes. The cowboy nose blow.


That hits the whole testing problem on the head. Lots of people could easily have a bad cold or flu, think they have had the virus and then stop taking precautions. Then they could far more easily catch and spread the virus, especially if they are among the lucky ones who only have mild symptoms.


I'm not sure what to say and I cannot claim either of you had COVID-19. Obviously you both had something. A man at my workplace came down with flu, recovered, then took off until this pandemic comes into better control because he does not want to give it to his invalid mother. A girl at my workplace thought she had the virus and her doctor sent her for testing. They would not even test her and sent her back. She does seem very fearful to an extreme.

Many of us have our own "remedies" for lots of things. I do my own version of cowboy nose blowing and I also us hydrogen peroxide in my ears. I also drink 6 oz. of aloe vera juice a day mixed with other ingredients. A friend of mine says "this will not help you with COVID-19" I never told him that any of it had anything to do with COVID-19. He only assumed so out of his own fear.


I hope you and Karen are OK and stay that way

CS60 Level 7 Apr 15, 2020

Did you and she self isolate when you thought you may be carriers?


Of course I self- isolated. So did Karen.


@seagreeneyez I'm perplexed by the reactions of disgust. The buildup of phlegm is a natural body process. It's better eliminated than not. A Kleenex isn't always available, especially out in nature. What's the alternative? It's an earthily elegant solution to a problem, and keeps your hands cleaner than when you use a Kneelex. Please tell me you didn't think she blocked the one nostril by sticking a finger inside of her nose lol!


No, she did not stick a finger up her nostril. I changed it to, "Cowboy nose-blowing is when you press closed one nostril and blow forcefully from the other nostril," she replied.

@LiterateHiker Btw I've actually never done it, but I see soccer players on the field do it all the time. I'm afraid it might get stuck halfway, awkwardly hanging, perhaps getting on my shirt. But I may give it a shot 😉 at the next opportunity. I know it by the term "snot rocket".


Hopefully the flu. It wasn't to widespread in Japan at the time so chances are they weren't exposed.

This is from the outbreak tracker for Japan and the earliest it goes back is Feb 16th, which I highlighted for the box info for this screen shot.


1of5 Level 8 Apr 15, 2020

You should get tested, otherwise it's just guessing, the symptoms also match the flu.

I feel fine now.

Antibody tests are not available. The priority is COVID-19 testing.

@LiterateHiker I hear you, here in vegas you have be sick before you can get tested, and then by appointment only. What screwed up way to handle a pandemic. The way they're doing it we would all be brain eating zombies. 😀


Get tested.


I feel fine now.

Antibody tests are not available. The priority is COVID-19 testing.

@LiterateHiker This from google: Are novel coronavirus antibody tests available?
“Within a period of a week or so, we’re going to have a rather large number of [antibody] tests that are available,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, told CNN on Friday.
But that doesn’t mean they’re ready now.
The US Food and Drug Administration has not approved any antibody tests for the coronavirus, but one test — made by Cellex Inc. — has been granted emergency use authorization. Several other companies have also created their own versions under a new FDA’s policy implemented last month that makes it easier for companies to manufacture and distribute antibody tests.


I'm pretty sure the snot thing is referring to the opening scene of The Red Pony by John Steinbeck.

In other news, welcome to the world of uncertainty..

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