Firsts Can Be Hard

#sol21- August 31, 2021

Firsts can be hard and I put off this one almost as long as I could… School started August 5 and although we are online thus far (with all staff working from school) we are eagerly anticipating the on campus arrival of students whenever the ministry of education deems that safe. It has been decided that when school does start staff (and likely students) will have to undergo some COVID testing- so the staff is now doing this on a voluntary, rotating business.

When the sign up list first came out and people volunteered I was surprised they got their quota for the week. “Who would voluntarily shove a long cotton swab up their own nose and twirl it around to test?” I wondered. The weeks passed and there always seemed to be volunteers, so I secretly waited to be voluntold. Then, Sandy, who had also been hesitant signed up and afterward told me it was easier than she expected and not painful. I decided that while I had my brave on I would sign up for the following week.

Friday was my day to pick up the test kit, to test on Sunday and seeing someone walk out of the secondary school during my lunch time walk with friends reminded me that I had yet to stop by the nurse’s office. As it turned out Shay was also testing so after our walk we went over together and we got the spiel, demo, and printed directions (with video links).

The upcoming test hung over me for the weekend…We are asked to wait until Sunday to test so that it is as close to the start of the work week as possible, but I could not make myself wait until late in the day. I knew I had to get it over with.

I watched the video, read the directions, washed my hands, and prepared my test area. I was nervous. The directions did not say two nostrils, but the video did (I think), so I went for both. I had a plastic cover- now where was that supposed to go? I dipped the swab in the reactant liquid, mixed it around (at least 5 times, as per the directions) and then squeezed the plastic bottle to release as much of the liquid back into the bottle as possible. Squeezing the requisite three drops into the well seemed easy enough, until I realized I had aimed wrong, but there were enough drops left to get them in the right place. The the long wait. Okay, it was only 15 minutes and the stripe was there on the “right” place even before time was up. I dutifully waited until time was up, hoping nothing would change. I snapped a quick photo for my own records and threw that kit away.

Honestly, it did not hurt, but I was so stressed thinking I might do it wrong- worried about an invalid, or worse yet, positive result. I am sure next time I will be more confident, but this is one test I always hope ends up negative.

What a very different world we are living in right now.


6 thoughts on “Firsts Can Be Hard

  1. Welcome to the club! It gets better and it does help give peace of mind as we navigate so much other uncertainty. (At my school in Austria, we’re currently testing everyone on campus 3 times per week. Routine helps a lot!)

  2. “Voluntold.” I love it! My only test was done by a nurse, so I’m not sure what it would be like to do it myself. May all of your results be negative!

  3. It IS a very different world – who could imagine having to do this kind of thing. But you are courageous in both your approach and in writing about it. Here’s to negativity! In this sense, at least – otherwise my mantra for the year is “stay positive”.

  4. I haven’t yet endured one of these tests (and *knock wood* I hope it stays that way); so far I’ve only had a thermometer in the ear when visiting a friend in a seniors’ home. But I can’t help but think that the Star Trek gang have it right with their tricorders. (Having said that, though, did Bones actually save most than he lost?)

    I was really impressed with (if a little squeamish about) the amount of detail you included, but what I really related to was the performance anxiety! You did well! 🙂

  5. I was nervous for you reading your slice, waiting to see how the test turned out. I have not had to test (yet) and so I also found your piece informational. What a different time this is for sure. I hope your year evens out and becomes more normal as we go along!

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