Natasha Ott 39 year old New Orleans woman found dead by her boyfriend while she was awaiting coronavirus test results after exhibiting symptoms 10 days earlier.
Posted Anderson on Facebook: ‘The time for joking about Covid-19 is over. Now is the time to keep yourself, your loved ones, and everyone else safe. And I’m devastated to say that now is also the time to mourn.’
Anderson explained that Ott first came down with cold symptoms on Tuesday, March 10.
Ott, who was a social worker and a Peace Corps alumni, told her partner in a text message that it felt ‘like a respiratory cold’ and that she felt she had ‘a tiny fever.’
Ott was able to obtain a coronavirus test through her place of employment, where she worked as a counsellor for HIV positive patients.
Ott on account of her relative youth and general good health believed she was low-risk and turned down one of the five test kits available so more vulnerable people could use them.
She instead went to her local doctor to take a flu test, which came back negative several days later.
Ott texted her boyfriend Friday, March 13th and wrote: ‘Hey, they don’t think I need to get tested unless I develop a fever. All looks well.’
However, over the weekend Ott became heavily fatigued and feverish, and texted Anderson Sunday night: ‘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.’
Takes COVID-19 test only to be told to wait:
Ott took the COVID-19 test on Monday, March 16, but was told test results could take several days to come back.
Two days later, still waiting to hear back about her test results, Ott texted Anderson: ‘I don’t want to be sick anymore’ and ‘I just don’t understand why I don’t feel much better yet.’
On Thursday, March 18, Ott said she was feeling better than she had in days, and Anderson came by her house so the couple could take her dog for a walk – although they maintained spatial distance from one another.
Posted Anderson on Facebook: ‘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’.
On Friday morning, Ott texted Anderson: ‘Good morning! I love you.’
Anderson replied: ‘Morning, sunshine, How you feeling?
‘A little better and hopeful,’ Ott replied.
Throughout Friday, Anderson continued to send text messages to Ott, but they went unanswered.
Anderson explained on Facebook: ‘I called twice, with no-reply.’
‘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.”
Hearing nothing back, Anderson went to Ott’s home on Friday evening.
Upon entering Ott’s home he found her dead on the kitchen floor.
Anderson posted: ‘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.’
Continued Anderson: ‘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.’
Adding: ‘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.’
Among 508 American patients known to have been hospitalized between February 12 and March 16, 38 percent were between ages 20 and 54 according to a recent CDC report.
And roughly 47 percent of 121 patients taken to intensive care units were under age age 65.
Ott’s coronavirus test results are still pending, and are not expected to be released until Monday.
Orleans Parish has more than 350 confirmed cases, and Louisiana has 585 cases and 16 deaths.