Posts Tagged ‘lateral flow’

I’ve written about being tested for Covid before, but something;’s changed in the past couple of weeks, not only with the prevalence of Omicron variant doing the rounds but in my reaction to it.

OK, so until… September, I’d never been tested for covid. I was entirely without symptoms and though I was aware of asymptomatic carrying and transmission, I didn’t feel it necessary to get a test. I’d been pinged in July 2020, as part of the Pingdemic, where millions got pinged because Delta was doing the rounds and the app was very sensitive…

But at no point did I feel even slightly unwell… and I didn’t get tested.

It’s fair to suggest that I may well have been scared off by the horror stories about just how far you have to stick the swab up your nose to get tested.

Again, as mentioned before, I broke my nose (or more accurately had it broken by my then infant son) twice, the second time about six weeks after the first… about 25 years ago.

It left me with a busted up nose… on the inside; the outside looks cosmetically not too bad…

But the inside? Well…

Yeah, you can see that while sticking a swab up one nostril wouldn’t be a problem, sticking it far up the other very much would be.

OK, then in September, I got approached, by random chance, by The Office of National Statistics, asking if I’d be part of the giant survey they were doing, to get PCR tested weekly for a month, and then once a month after that. I gave them a call, explained the situation with my nose and asked…?

They reassured me enough that I figured I’d give it a go.

Now I can’t say in all honesty that it was comfortable, but at no point was I in pain or did I feel I had to push the swab higher than was necessary.

Anyway, so I had a few PCR tests; all were negative, thankfully.

OK, so I was ok with just continuing like that.

Then I got a call from friends whose daughter had tested positive. I’d slept over at their house the previous night, so got a PCR check that afternoon, and another one three days later… all were again negative.


I started thinking ‘you know what? I see my ex-wife Laura every weekend for a ‘coffee and catchup’, and I see my friends every week for the same reason… Maybe I should start taking lateral flow tests before I go see them. Y’know, just to be safe…?

So I did that for a couple of weeks.

And then Omocron hit.

And when it hit, I found myself taking daily tests. Not two or three a day as some friends — who are seeing more people than I am — are doing, but yeah, daily tests, before I leave the flat.

I’ve gone from no testing, to the once a month testing, to a couple of times a week, to every day.

And it’s not because I’m especially vulnerable. I mean, other than the fucked up foot, and the usual stuff a 57 year old fella of average height and weight would get, and take meds for (high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc) I’m reasonably healthy, give or take. And I live alone, so it’s not as if I’m worried that I’ll give it to my partner and so we need to know ASAP if one of us has it.

And it’s not because I think I have it or that I’ll will pass it on.

Nor even that I’ll necessarily get it and I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop…

I think, and this is a weird thought… I think I’m doing it because it feels like this way I’m doing something. Because, once you’ve got your vaccination and booster shots, then following the sensible covid precautionary rules is in most cases merely the absence of doing the wrong thing. Yes, ok, I’m still washing my hands a lot, and whenever I come in from outside. But otherwise, doing the right thing is merely but exclusively the absence of doing the wrong things.

And maybe that’s why I’m taking daily tests, so it at least feels like I’m doing something, doing my part, to keep me and those I care about (and those I don’t care about, tbh) safe.

I dunno.

Meanwhile, this was my lateral flow test just now…

…so I can at least go see my friends this evening.


See you tomorrow, with… something else.



Sixty-one days. Sixty-one posts. One 2022 now rapidly approaching.

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This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to the new year. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.