'We haven't travelled': B.C. family alarmed by presumptive COVID-19 diagnosis
LANGLEY, B.C. -- Ximena and Joshua Anderton are fairly introverted, so when their family started exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 they were shocked.
The family of four typically keeps to their routine, running errands or visiting family in Langley and Abbotsford.
"We haven’t travelled out of the country," said Ximena Anderton.
But they’ve been stuck at home since March 9, after their one-year-old and three-year-old sons started running fevers.
The mother said her family had attended a small gathering of small businesses, gone for coffee, and visited a trampoline park in the days prior.
"We first noticed our kids just were sneezing, coughing, had runny noses," said Anderton.
They decided to stay home, but days later she began running a fever as well.
"What set it apart is, I began, from like about day three, I just had chest pains and it was right in the centre of my chest," explained Anderton.
She decided to wait it out, but things got worse.
"There was just one morning where I could barely breathe. Like I walked to the kitchen and I had to hold onto the counter, and I just felt like I was going to black out."
Her husband also began exhibiting symptoms, so they called 811 but couldn’t get through.
"I phoned our family doctor and described our symptoms. There was a doctor there that was taking assessments over the phone," said Anderton.
The doctor asked her a series of questions and was particularly focused on her respiratory issues.
"She told us that they were no longer testing the public. It was just for emergency service workers, so nurses, doctors, anyone on the front line."
The Andertons were advised to quarantine themselves for two weeks and call again if their symptoms got worse.
"We weren’t able to be officially tested. This was a diagnosis that we got over phone assessment," said the mother of two.
Her toddlers have regained some of their energy but still have runny noses and coughs.
"Ximena’s symptoms, that’s worrying just because it can turn into pneumonia. So we’re also just watching closely to make sure it doesn’t get any worse," said her husband Joshua.
His symptoms have remained mild, but he isn’t taking any chances.
"The difficult part about it is, a lot people won’t experience any symptoms, but they’re still carrying it, so still spreading it," he said.
The family is concerned that some people aren’t taking the virus seriously.
"We’re a young family with little kids and we have it. There could be lots of other people out there that are spreading it and they just don’t think that this is about them or this affects them," said Ximena.
The couple says there’s also a lot of false information out there and getting guidance on how to protect their family was a challenge.
B.C. has more than 200 cases of COVID-19 so far.
"My fear is that they’re only counting the actual test cases, but if they’re not able to test lots of people, then that number could be a lot higher," said Joshua.
The Andertons plan to remain at their Fort Langley home until they all feel better. They hope their story will dispel some of the myths surrounding the pandemic.