Update: On Wednesday, March 18, Arielle Charnas shared with her fans that after undergoing testing earlier this week she has indeed tested positive for COVID-19. She shared a list of her symptoms on Instagram and told her followers that she’s self-quarantined and resting, along with her husband (who is also feeling sick) and her two daughters (who are not showing any symptoms).
But perhaps most importantly, Charnas (finally) acknowledged the immense privilege of being able to get tested for the novel coronavirus in the first place, and the fact that so many people who may be infected simply do not have access to testing or care. For example, the husband of the first person to die from COVID-19 complications in Los Angeles is still unable to get tested; meanwhile famous folks like Idris Elba are getting tests without even showing any symptoms.
Charnas wrote that “it is the responsibility of the government to ensure all Americans have access to the necessary tests,” and with that we couldn’t agree more.
Read Charnas’ full statement below.
Original story: Arielle Charnas, mom of two and the brains behind the famous blog Something Navy, shared with her Instagram followers (all 1.3 million of them, NBD) on Monday March 16 that she was feeling unwell. And, it being March 2020 and all, her natural next step was to get tested for COVID-19. Charnas joins a whole roster of famous faces — including Tom Hanks and Idris Elba — who have been tested for the novel coronavirus in the past week. But, being the ‘grammer she is, Charnas is the only celeb (so far) who’s documenting the entire testing process on her Instagram Stories — and we’ve got to admit, we’re fascinated to see drive-through testing in action.
Charnas said on her IG Stories that she’s been “pretty sick the last two days… I’m not sure what it is, by my doctor told me to treat myself at home as if I have the flu and to just quarantine myself, which I’ve been doing.” She added that while she “could go to the hospital and get tested” she was prioritizing quarantine and rest over the hospital and risk of exposure.
“Unless I’m dying or can’t breathe, I’m going to stay home and take care of myself,” she added.
Her followers, of course, were not having it. Charnas shortly returned to IG stories to explain that she got a ton of DMs questioning her decision. And we know from experience that Charnas is not one to shrug off the Instagram noise; she told SheKnows in an exclusive interview last year that she feels compelled to take the DMs and comments to heart: “I want to ignore it, but at the same time, I’m human: Comments hurt me,” Charnas told SheKnows. “I never react in the moment, though — I mean, I just react to my team and my husband… In general, though, the pros out weigh the cons with social media. For every hater, there are a million people giving positive feedback.”
And it sounds like the people commenting about Charnas’ health this week were genuinely concerned that she might need a COVID-19 test. Still, Charnas insisted she was staying put and following the advice of two medical doctors who thought her symptoms were “pointing towards the flu.”
But not for long: Later in the day, Charnas posted a video from the car wearing a protective mask, and explained that she was about to undergo drive-through testing for the COVID-19 virus. Her video showed her communicating with a nurse through her car window and receiving a testing swab up the nose (yikes). Charnas’ main feedback on the process is pretty much summed up in her response in the video: “Ow…ow, ow ow…oww…”
We can’t blame her; nose-swabbing sounds damn awful.
“Oh that was the COVID one?” she asks the nurse about the swab.
“This is the COVID, now is the rapid flu,” the nurse explains. Charnas then waits 15 minutes for the flu results and says she is “freaking out” because her flu test was negative.
But fear not: Charnas won’t get her COVID results for a few days, though, so she let her followers know Monday evening that she would keep them posted on any additional updates — and that her high fever of the past few days had dropped to a normal temperature.
We’re relieved, Charnas is relieved, her kids and followers are relieved — but no one is quite as celebratory about the news as her husband Brandon Charnas, who finishes off the video by literally screaming in the background about defeating the virus.
A version of this story was published on March 16, 2020.
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