Noon: Parking Lot of the El Jebel Laundromat, Eagle County

Scott Condon, The Aspen Times – aspentimes.com

Fabiola Grajales waited for the nose swab that would tell her whether she was finally free of the coronavirus and able to be near her family again. 

In one of Colorado’s COVID-19 hotspots, a coalition of Eagle County Public Health, MidValley Family Practice and the Mobile Intercultural Resource Alliance has set up this free mobile testing site. Most patients waiting at the open-sided tent were screened in advance and recommended for the tests after showing symptoms consistent with the coronavirus. 

Grajales, 27, a medical assistant at a Glenwood Springs clinic, said she started feeling sick March 2 and tested positive for the virus March 6. Over the next week, her cough worsened and she experienced shortness of breath.  

“You know when you step on dry leaves? I could hear that sound coming from my lungs.” 

“You get really bad headaches,” Grajales continued. “You feel like your eyes, they’re going to pop out. I couldn’t smell or taste anything.” 

Doctors at Grand River Hospital in Rifle confirmed she had pneumonia, which is common among COVID-19 patients, and treated her there but didn’t admit her, she said. 

She self-isolated for 10 days before symptoms disappeared. But a follow-up test showed she still had coronavirus. After more rest, Grajales felt “90% better, maybe 95,” she said. 

Waiting her turn for yet another test, Grajales said the knowledge and contacts she’s gained working in health care helped her acquire tests and treatment, with some effort.

“It was hard for me,” she said. “I can’t imagine how hard it would be for other people.”

She would need to wait a bit longer to learn whether she was finally well.