I wasn’t positive about scripting this put up as a result of it has to do with another person’s well being and never mine. It additionally has nothing to do with meals. However after sending a draft to my buddy Karen first, I made a decision to put up a little bit (or somewhat lot of) one thing in case it does find yourself serving to somebody navigate an analogous state of affairs.
What occurred was this: Karen caught COVID, in all probability in New York, and began displaying signs whereas mid-flight on the way in which to Seattle to go to us. Not like the trainer en route from New York to Iceland, Karen didn’t self-quarantine within the airplane toilet. Nevertheless, she did textual content me the moment she landed, asking me to assist transport her to a PCR testing web site “simply in case”, since she had a sore throat, cough and headache, three early signs of Omicron. She had already booked an appointment the subsequent morning, the earliest appointment she may discover that was close to us.
We frolicked tentatively, with Karen all the time masked round us, as a result of even when it wasn’t COVID, she was displaying indicators of a extremely dangerous chilly, which none of us wished. All the identical, we believed that the probability of Karen having COVID was very low, since she had had two Moderna pictures and a current Moderna booster. She additionally didn’t appear to be as sick as we’d have anticipated for an individual affected by COVID; she didn’t have hassle respiration, and she or he nonetheless had her sense of style and odor.
Though we’d managed to get one PCR appointment in downtown Bellevue, Karen booked a second PCR take a look at at Bellevue College as a result of outcomes for each exams have been anticipated to reach wherever between 24-48 hours after, which is each 1) terribly inconvenient for individuals who don’t wish to unfold the virus and a pair of) one thing to be anticipated when holiday-time demand for exams was so excessive. At this level, Washington was comparatively freed from COVID; 400 circumstances had been detected within the state within the run-up to Christmas.
Karen had her second PCR take a look at, and we spent a quiet day at residence as she recovered from her chilly. That evening, you may in all probability guess the remainder: the outcomes from her first COVID take a look at got here again constructive. That meant all people in the home needed to be examined, however, because it was arising on Christmas Eve, appointments have been onerous to come back by. By this level, Washington’s COVID circumstances had grown exponentially and everybody was getting apprehensive about spreading the illness at a vacation gathering. Speedy at-home exams have been additionally not possible to get; Karen made us go to many a CVS or Ceremony Support since their web sites indicated exams have been obtainable, however cabinets (for lots of issues, not simply COVID exams!) have been naked, giving off a sort of surreal, end-of-the-world vibe.
A buddy saved the day with a bagful of at-home exams he had at residence, and really kindly drove to our home o’COVID to drop them off at our doorstep. All of us examined destructive, and regardless that it made us really feel relieved, we knew it wasn’t as dependable as an up-the-nose-into-your-brain kind of take a look at, the type they favor again in Bangkok.
The earliest obtainable exams for the family have been on Christmas Eve within the morning. So we headed to the take a look at web site, the place Karen had had an easy and environment friendly expertise getting her second PCR take a look at. Identical to once we took Karen, our automobile was rejected for being outsized and unable to suit into the storage the place an extended line of automobile occupants waited to be swabbed. So we have been informed by the safety guard to go to the upstairs automobile park, armed with the phrases “inform them Ron despatched you.” Upstairs, we joined a lone lady braving the chilly in a sweatshirt and leggings, who had been driving a equally outsized automobile and had been ready for her take a look at since 7:45 within the morning.
Our expertise diverges from Karen’s right here. I feel they noticed that Karen managed to bypass the lengthy snaking wait within the storage by coming in an outsized automobile, and that her fast, environment friendly expertise was not indicative of their “model”. So a bit after 9am, the lone testing individual confirmed up and promptly informed the sizeable queue that had shaped that he would solely be testing individuals who had made appointments. That disqualified greater than half of the road, together with the woman who had been ready for over a hour in entrance of us. She didn’t take this nicely. After we knowledgeable this man that we had made appointments, he requested us for a code that might allow us to undergo with the take a look at. I requested him if the code was “Inform them Ron the safety guard despatched you”. By now it was 9.15, and this ordeal was starting to resemble a sport present the place we have been to beat obstacles of accelerating problem with a purpose to win the prize of getting a swab up your nostril.
We ultimately persuaded this man that we actually did truly know Ron, and got swabs to place up our personal noses that he then took from us to place into our private beakers. After us he did enable the girl who had been ready for 2 hours to lastly get a take a look at; fortunately, she now had the code.
We acquired our outcomes, surprisingly, by Christmas morning (I used to be the final, after all). We have been all surprisingly destructive. This may very well be as a result of any variety of elements, together with 1) we have been all vaccinated and boosted and a pair of) Karen was extraordinarily cautious round us, particularly within the first few days of her go to, when she by no means left her room and I introduced all her meals to her door. This was useful, since we discovered that the primary few days are when COVID is at its most contagious. By the tip of Karen’s journey, she was completely recovered and even examined destructive on two (!) at-home COVID exams, which we took to imply that she was not contagious.
Some very apparent takeaways to this story that finally ended nicely:
- The stinginess with which organizations use their PCR exams is, to place it mildly, unhelpful. Individuals have to actually, actually, actually wish to be examined, or actually, actually, actually fortunate to know somebody who can provide them entry to a take a look at. It’s a lot, a lot simpler to fake every part is hunky-dory and that, even in case you do get sick, it’s not COVID since your non-existent take a look at didn’t let you know so.
- Vaccines and boosters aren’t Captain America shields holding you from getting the virus. They’re supposed to maintain you from getting so sick that you just want hospitalization, thereby taking over the house of another person who wants the mattress for a non-COVID purpose.
- As Karen stated herself, what if she had been one other sort of individual? It could have been simple for her to fake she had solely had a chilly, or to be much less vigilant about testing (actually my mother and father had been joking that we have been planning on doing a tour of all of the PCR websites within the Seattle space and writing a information guide about them). Even when she didn’t know she had COVID, she had her meals in one other room or in entrance of an open door and wore her masks when round individuals. Which leads me to the subsequent level.
- Masks do work in stopping the transmission of this respiratory virus. I do know individuals for some purpose (normally Western, and, in Bangkok, a number of males) wish to make enjoyable of them as some kind of proof of hysteria, however I can personally attest to their efficacy in combating the unfold of COVID. Make of that what you’ll.
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