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

A rider crosses a “skinny” on the newly opened trail known as 90s Jank, built within the Hartland system by volunteers with the South Island Mountain Bike Society. (Youtube/MTB Matt)
Mountain bikers celebrate first new trail in years on Saanich’s Mount Work

90s Jank trail a product of licence agreement between CRD and mountain bike society

The hiring of out-of-province workers by the Canadian Red Cross to staff the vaccination centre in Langford has raised eyebrows. (Black Press Media file photo)
Red Cross hires out-of-province workers to staff Langford vaccination centre

Staffer worries local jobs weren’t offered to local people

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
Extinction Rebellion activists march from Vancouver to Victoria this weekend

The four-day trek ends at the B.C. legislature Monday, protest province’s environmental policy

A weekend of sunny skies may have Victoria breaking temperature records, according to an Environment Canada meteorologist. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Temperature records eyed for Victoria with sunny weekend forcast

Victoria hit the highest April 14 temperature since 1926 on Wednesday

Fire crews respond to the 3500-block of Blanshard Street in Saanich on April 16. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: BC Hydro crews repairing failed electrical equipment in Saanich

Vernon Avenue reopen to traffic following closure

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Island woman on fence about vaccine prompted by brother’s death

Leela Harrop of Comox says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Photo by Metro Creative Connection
New campgrounds coming to B.C. parks as part of $83M provincial boost

This season alone, 185 campsites are being added to provincial parks, says Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Most Read