It’s Just a Little Swab

Little, bit it gets rammed to the back of your head through your nose.

What I’m talking about is the swab to collect a sample to test you for the coronavirus.

Before the events opened, cars were backed up just off the main road.

The county where I live has provided drive-thru testing for residents, free of charge. They seem to get about 1,000 tests done in about two hours, when they run out of test kits. Today, with expanded resources, they doubled the number of people tested. The county has a population of 602,000 people.

I believe this was the second or third such test day of this kind, and the line was already long when I arrived.  The location they picked is a sports activity center for a school district with long entrance roads and big parking lots, as they had vehicles snaking through winding lanes to keep vehicles from backing up on the main road.

The experience is like leaving a large sporting event, when everyone wants to leave at the same time.

It took about an hour to get to the front of the line.  The had multiple test tents working at the same time.  Sometimes they tested more than one person in a vehicle.

The ten seconds that the nurse rams the swab into your sinus cavity and swishes it around is not exactly painful, but excruciatingly uncomfortable.  Count to ten as slowly as possible, that’s how long it was fishing around inside your head.

Cars snaked through the lanes of the parking lot until you approached the final check-in where your vehicle was assigned a number.

After the swab is out, you feel disoriented and this weird sensation in back of your eyes, which are watering about as much as Niagara Falls.  The nurse cautions you against driving right away and I can see why.  I wasn’t sure what planet I was on for a moment.  It does not hurt, its like a blind-sided hit I took in football once as a kid. Nothing was broken, but I was daze and confused, like the 2016 Presidential election results. Your brains are momentarily scrambled.

If you have had a nose or throat swab for the garden variety flu, you haven’t lived until you have your brain tickled with a swab that looks like a yardstick.

Approaching the test where the tickling swabs are waiting.

There was a sign prohibiting the taking of pictures or otherwise recording the testing, so no close-up photos.  Most likely for the protection of grown men crying like babies. I believe that is one of the specific HIPA regulations, no whimpering men.


So why get tested if you are not experiencing symptoms?  Other than scrambled brains.

You may not have symptoms, but you could have been exposed, especially as states and communities have relaxed stay at home orders and there is more social interaction.  Positive cases are ramping up again.  Whether you believe in the pandemic or not, that is not an argument for this blog.  Many people were infected and recovered without hospitalization.  That’s great.  If you were infected you could very well have passed it on to someone else without knowing.  If you are determined to be out and about and are around others you care about, do the right thing for yourself, and for them.

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