• 68°

Josh Bergeron: Voting came first after negative test

It probably says a lot about me that I went to vote Friday as soon as a Rowan County Health Department staff member called to say my COVID-19 test came back negative.

The call came in at 1:09 p.m. Friday. By about 1:20 p.m., I was in line at the West End Plaza voting site. At 2:07 p.m., I took a selfie outside of the Rowan County Board of Elections Office after voting. It was a longer wait than in past elections, but that’s a sign of extra health precautions and excitement about voting rather than problems with the logistics of the polling place. People who show up during the first days of early voting tend to be among the most enthusiastic about voting, and there have already been thousands of them in Rowan County this year.

Since missing out of the 2012 presidential election because, as a college student, I was too lazy to register, I haven’t missed an election. And since living in North Carolina, I’ve usually voted early to allow for a little bit of extra sleep and reporting time on Election Day. After seeing lines of people on the first day of early voting, I wanted to get in on the action, too.

Out of an abundance of caution, I was tested Wednesday after waking up sweating and with a migraine and a cough. I’d been tested for COVID-19 antibodies in May because I believed I’d contracted the virus in March, but those results were negative. So, barring inaccurate test results, I was still susceptible.

Getting tested is about what you might expect if you’ve had friends who have done it and seen any news footage or pictures in the previous few months. I drove to the Rowan County Health Department, where there is drive-thru testing this month every weekday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a special testing time Oct. 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. I filled out a form that asked for some demographic information, had both nostrils swabbed and left with a packet of information about what to do next and a free cloth mask that’s too small for my big head.

Health officials recommend people who are tested stay home and quarantine until results come back. In my case, results were back in about 48 hours.

A former political reporter and news junkie, those 48 hours were particularly tough. Working from home isn’t for everyone. Sure, you can keep on sweatpants and take a walk during a short break instead of standing up from a desk and getting some water, but it’s easier for some, including me, to be distracted at home. And there’s something enjoyable about working in a newsroom with other people, particularly during election season. So, even as working from home has become more fashionable, I’ve chosen to keep a regular schedule and travel to the office — my way of keeping something normal even as everything else was changing.

The waiting wasn’t made any easier by the fact that a home remedy of chicken noodle soup with hot tea, honey and lemon got rid of all the symptoms after the first day.

But I can now say I’ve voted in the 2020 election and that I’ve been tested for COVID-19 and for antibodies. One of those has got to count for something, right?

Josh Bergeron is editor of the Salisbury Post.

Comments

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide