Coronavirus: Social worker, 39, in 'good health' found dead by boyfriend while she was waiting for test result
The New Orleans woman had access to 5 coronavirus test kits at her workplace but didn't take the test because she thought she was healthy and wanted to save the kits for others
A 39-year-old social worker from New Orleans, who was reportedly in "good health", died just days after getting tested for coronavirus. Her results are still pending. The woman identified as Natasha Ott had initially turned down a test for the deadly virus because she thought she was low-risk.
The news came to light after her longtime partner, Josh Anderson, took to Facebook to share the heartbreaking story in a post on March 21. Anderson found Ott dead on her kitchen floor on March 20.
"The time for joking about Covid-19 is over. Now is the time to keep yourself, your loved ones, and everyone else safe," Anderson wrote. He recounted the absurdity of the Covid-19 symptoms, explaining that his girlfriend appeared to be getting better before she died.
Ott, a Peace Corps alumni, first came down with cold symptoms on March 10. She told Anderson in a text message that it felt "like a respiratory cold" and that she felt she had "a tiny fever". The 39-year-old had access to a coronavirus test at her place of employment, where she worked as a counselor for HIV positive patients. She, however, turned down the test believing she was low-risk as the facility only had five test kits available, which she thought would be of use to more vulnerable people, Daily Mail reported.
Ott went to her local doctor to take a flu test but it came back negative after a few days. She texted Anderson on March 13, writing: "Hey, they don't think I need to get tested unless I develop a fever. All looks well." Considering her condition was not improving, she decided to take the coronavirus test. Ott wrote to Anderson on March 15, saying: "Hey, I'm not feeling so hot still. I may be testing at work tomorrow. I'm probably fine. I just tried to drink some medicinal whiskey and feel unwell. I'm ok. I love you."
She took the Covid-19 test on March 16 but was informed that the test results could take several days. A day later, Ott texted Anderson: "I don't want to be sick anymore." "I just don't understand why I don't feel much better yet." She also told Anderson that she just wanted to drink whiskey because she had read online that a coronavirus patient got better after drinking it."
On March 18, she said that she was feeling better than she had in days and asked Anderson to come to her house so that they could walk their dog.
"She had more energy than she'd had in days, and she ended up walking (her dog) Zola with me. She did complain that she felt like 'something' was in her lungs. She also mentioned that her coronavirus test results were delayed, and likely wouldn't come back until Monday," Anderson wrote in his post.
Ott texted Anderson on Friday morning, saying: "Good morning! I love you." Anderson replied with: "Morning, sunshine, How you feeling?" adding that he wished he could have told he loved her back then. Ott replied, saying: "A little better and hopeful. The herbs seem to be working."
Anderson continued to send her messages on March 19, however, his messages went unanswered. "I called twice, with no-reply," he explained on Facebook. "I wrote: 'I'm getting nervous. Just called twice. Text or call me soon. If I don't hear from you within the hour I'm coming over there to check on you.''
When he entered Ott's house, he found her lying dead on the kitchen floor. "Seeing a woman I knew to be so full of life lying on the floor lifeless was devastating. I was afraid to touch her. I held her anyway," he wrote.
Anderson paid a touching tribute to his partner, saying: "Natasha was a profoundly kind, passionate, funny and loving 39-year-old woman in good health... she loved those who were fortunate enough to be close to her with every ounce of her heart. The absolute least-interesting thing about her was the way that she died, but I'd like to talk about that here now because I'd like everyone to wake-up to the reality of what we are facing."
Coronavirus has claimed 340 lives in the United States with at least 26,747 infected with the deadly virus across the country.