I got COVID tested a couple days ago. What I wanted was the antibody test to see if I really did have COVID back in late January/early February when I was so sick or if maybe I had picked it up later from one of my patients and was one of the asymptomatic ones. While I was at it, I also got the straight up COVID test. The governor has been urging people to get tested and first responders are near the top of his request list.
The whole process was super easy. I made a virtual appointment online with an MD, then drove to the place offering the tests. I was in the parking lot when my appointment time came up. I talked with the doctor over a Facetime-like app on my phone for a few minutes. He approved me for the test, then while I waited in my car, a medical worker came out and swabbed my nose and drew blood just like that and I was on my way. The swab was sort of unpleasant but was over very quickly, and before you could complain about the swab that went up your left nostril, it was up your right nostril and then out. Since I had insurance, it was free with no copay.
I received the results two days later when I went online to check my medical records through the mychart service. The results had actually been posted the day before.
Negative to both.
I had been hoping to have positive antibodies. A part of me had always thought I had already had COVID so I couldn’t catch it or was likely to catch it again, and that made me a little less afraid. Now I don’t know if COVID will kick me into my grave should he show up in these parts again and corner me with no exit. “So you thought you beat COVID,” I imagine him saying to me with a sneer, “That germ dude wasn’t me. Now, you are in for a serious ass-whoopping!”
On the other hand, the fact that I haven’t gotten COVID yet with all the positive patients I have cared for made me feel better about the inadequate PPE we have had. For all its drawbacks, it seems to have protected me so far.
I am going to get another antibody test again next week as part of a research study. It’s a different brand of test so who knows I might be positive with it. Although not likely, I have heard of people being negative on one test and positive on the next.
And my overall negative COVID test, while also not being perfect, at least showed me how easy testing was and how I can imagine it being used more frequently in the future (with follow-up contact tracing on those positive) will make people feel safer about venturing out. I also know I am not silently passing it on to others.
It is a shame that it took three full months of dealing with COVID before I had access to a test. Most of the people I work with in the field still haven’t been gotten or been offered testing unless they were symptomatic.