Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted

Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

As a primary care provider, Dr. Megan Taylor knew she had a risk of contacting COVID-19. So she followed safety protocols, wore PPE, practised diligent hygiene and sanitizing routines. But still, the virus that has infected millions across the world found its way into her body.

One day near the end of November as Taylor was finishing up her work day, she began to experience flu-like body aches and chills.

“I was certain it was COVID,” said Taylor. “I knew there wasn’t a flu circulating in the community.”

When she got home she went straight to her bedroom, telling her family she was entering quarantine. She then went online and booked a COVID test for the following day.

Taylor puts herself in the “moderately ill” category. Her acute phase lasted nine days and included a high fever, muscle aches, body pain, chills, headaches, profound fatigue, loss of appetite, insomnia, cough and shortness of breath.

“It was like a really bad flu, that lasted a really long time,” says Taylor.

Being a doctor, Taylor had a few benefits that others do not have, including the ability to monitor her own oxygen saturation levels.

“I did feel reasonably short of breath, and didn’t want to be that person that dies at home with COVID,” she said. “But I also didn’t want to expose any of my colleagues unnecessarily.”

She treated her symptoms with acetaminophen, ibuprofen, lot of fluids and a lot of rest.

Her fever, muscle pains and headaches lasted nine days, but the fatigue, cough and shortness of breath lasted another 10 days.

Taylor said it took nearly two months to get her energy level back to normal.

She was able to return to work after three weeks, but was very tired.

Her quarantine techniques worked, and no one else in her household contracted the illness.

MY COVID STORY: From typical teen to suffering patient

Taylor was open about sharing her experience from the beginning, reaching out to Castlegar News in early December with a public letter urging people to take the virus seriously.

She says she hasn’t experienced discrimination regarding her diagnoses.

“People have been kind,” said Taylor. “But I recognize that I benefit from people knowing I caught it at work.”

Taylor’s main message for others: “I don’t recommend getting COVID — it was not fun! But in all seriousness, I would like people to know that this is more than the flu — it is more contagious than regular flu and for many people it will cause much higher rates of death and disability than the flu. Please take it seriously.”

Taylor is encouraging everyone to follow the public health guidelines and to get the vaccine when it becomes available. But she doesn’t think people need to take extreme measures over and above the current regulations.

She does not have any extended family in the area, so she says she feels fortunate and thankful to have the many friends and colleagues who supported her in her illness. People dropped off food, sent messages of concern and colleagues stepped up to take care of her patients.

Even though current numbers in the area remain very low, Taylor is encouraging everyone to remain vigilant.

“Follow the rules, so if there is a case brought in, it just stops at that one case. Otherwise it can go from one case to 100 in a short time,” she says.

Fighting vaccine hesitancy is also really important to Taylor.

“I know we are all tired of COVID and just want our normal lives back,” adds Taylor. “We are getting closer. Don’t give up — do your best to follow the rules, get vaccinated when you can and try to maintain your hope.”



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson Road Maintenance crews have been working on road base failures on Highway 20. (Dawson Road Maintenance Facebook photo)
ROAD REPORT: Dawson Road Maintenance provides update on Cariboo Chilcotin road conditions

Road bases still soft, saturated at multiple locations in Cariboo Chilcotin due to spring freshet

The Central Coast snowpack is now sitting at 146 percent (Felicia Harris photo)
Central Coast snowpack now 46 per cent above normal

The risk of spring flooding is elevated due to the above normal snowpack across the entire province

Residents line up socially distanced at the Seedy Saturday event, held at the Lobelco Hall parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 3 with strict COVID-19 restrictions and precautions in place. (Nicole Kaechele photo)
Seedlings, plants and seeds offered at Seedy Saturday

“It was a fairly good turnout,” noted Elizabeth Howard

The Bella Coola Valley Arts Council (BCVAC) has recently received two awards totaling $40,000 from the province-wide British Columbia Arts Council, part of the StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. The grants are to be used to stimulate local arts communities and to help them cope with impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo submitted)
Bella Coola Valley Arts Council receives $40,000 for local projects

The grants will be used to stimulte local arts communities and help them cope with the pandemic

Nuxalk Sputc Crew technician Scmlh (Jason Moody) walks in Bella Coola River towards sputc holding tank with cinematographer Louvens Remy (photo submitted)
Documentary to highlight importance of sputc for Nuxalk Nation

Sputc: We Shall Eat When the River is Full is a cinematic tale of wealth, loss and recovery

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

FILE – RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

BCCLA said that speaking with communities could have avoided top-down approach

Ocean Legacy Foundation members conduct a shoreline pollution cleanup in Vancouver. (OLP)
It’s time to end ‘suffocating’ plastic pollution along B.C. shorelines, advocates urge

This Earth Day, Ocean Legacy Foundation is launching a free educational platform to educate the public about plastic pollution

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
B.C. teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Barney Williams says he’s been committed to ensuring no other member of the roster had a similar experience

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
B.C. girl’s wish granted as her cat came back, two years later

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Most Read