I Got Tested for Covid and Here are the Results by @edenbaylee



Yesterday, I spoke with author Bill Kirton about another new experience in the slew of new experiences since lockdown. Over the weekend, my husband and I got tested for Covid-19. Neither of us was symptomatic, but we wanted some assurance that we were not carriers. As we are both fortunate enough to still have our mothers, we wished to see them them without the worry of infecting them. Of course, this goes for all family and friends, but in particular, for our parents.

Initially, the test sites in Toronto, Canada, where I live, were not accepting patients unless they exhibited specific symptoms of Covid or suspected exposure to it. 

In June, this changed. First responders and employees of liquor stores were ordered to undergo testing, along with staff at certain adult correctional facilities, hospital personnel, and workers at congregate residential settings. This was followed by “pop-up” testing centres in neighbourhoods hardest hit by the virus.
We decided to go on Sunday to one of many Covid Assessment Centres around the city. The one closest to us was affiliated with UHN, a collection of health centres and hospitals. No appointment was necessary. We arrived shortly after they opened at noon and were met by a long queue. There was already close to forty people in line under two long awnings temporarily erected outside the test site. It was a gloomy day. What else did we have to do?


In front of us were single people, couples, and families, all observing social distancing. There was a group of four which included two adults and two young kids around five. It was all very civilized, even though a scooter parked mid-queue sounded an alarm each time someone walked by it. You know the angst threshold is high when a vehicle's annoying alarm becomes a comforting distraction.

The worst part of the waiting was when a severe storm hit. Even though we stood under the awning, both of us got drenched. The forecast had called for a tornado, and the winds blew the rain sideways. Being cold, wet, and wearing a soggy mask was not fun, but it was symbolic. Why should the experience be pleasant? At one point, I even thought of how funny it would be if we got struck by lightning or swept away by rains while waiting to be tested for Covid! Wouldn't that be a ridiculous way to die?


The rains stopped by the time we got inside the centre. Efficient and friendly health care workers took our information and directed us to one of several rooms for testing. Our nurse, Kaitlin administered the test. It was uncomfortable, but not at all painful. I've had every orifice of my body poked and prodded, and this test was nothing by comparison. The swab was thin and flexible and inserted into one nostril. My husband said he wanted to sneeze, and I felt like I had snorted water up my nose inadvertently. The discomfort was fleeting.

The hardest part of the whole experience was trying to get out of the parking lot afterward. Our ticket did not open the gate, so we had to go inside the hospital to pay first. We got home, showered, ate hot dogs, and drank wine. Test results were sent to us less than 24 hours later.

I'm happy to say we both tested negative for Covid. Considering we've been isolating since March, I would've been surprised otherwise, however, I didn't want to take any chances. For me, there is no shame in being sick, unless you choose to tempt fate by not listening to the medical experts. My fear was always about unknowingly spreading the virus to someone else. 

Though the negative result means nothing more than: I did not have the virus at the time of testing, I'm still relieved by the outcome. It allows me to see my mom and mother-in-law with some peace of mind. I look forward to giving them something I haven't been able to give anyone except my husband since March—a simple hug. 

Stay safe everyone, 
eden 🥰

Comments

Brian George said…
Hi Eden, I sympathise with your concerns about spreading the virus. I have also just received a letter from our Dept. of Health to say that I have been randomly selected to take part in a study being conducted by Imperial College London and if I agreed they are going to send me a testing kit and a questionnaire about any symptoms I may have had, to do at home. I have agreed.

I am on the government's vulnerable list being over 70 and having CHD (apparently) something I'd not considered , despite having had an arterial stent inserted over 11 years ago. I am fit, a little overweight, especially since lockdown but have been out since they relaxed most of the rules. The only reason I'm curious is that I think that I may have had Covid-19 in the early days here. I'm not usually one to worry, having lived & travelled in Asia during Sars and wandered around quite freely unmasked. I had also been to Sierra Leone and not caught Ebola! I am often blase' about these things and believe in c'est la vie. But the hype around this pandemic has made me cautious. I'm freedom loving & do not trust our government one iota that they will not use track & trace to put me in a pen for my liberal views at some stage. I do wear a mask if in shops or nearby others as required, but out in the air no way.
Back to when I felt that I had Covid. I suffer from some allergies & food intolerance to, primarily dairy products and MSG. It affects my sinuses and hits like a bad head cold, streaming out of my nose and giving an itchy face, akin to hay fever. On this early occasion I had an attack similar along with a slight cough, which lasted about 2 days after the first hit and gradually wore off. I couldn't think what I'd eaten that may have set it off, and then about 10 days later another similar attack. About 5 days after that I ate some Battered Fish & chips at our local club and that kept me up half the night, coughing and spluttering with a weird taste in my mouth. I enquired at the club the next day what they use in their batter and was told it was a 'bought in' mix, so I put it down to maybe containing MSG or similar. After reading that Covid seems to attack taste buds for a period after I am curious now to know if I'd had it and happily have built up some immunity.
There are so many dilemmas thrown up by this virus situation and more so now we are allowed out more. I do healing meditations regularly and believe that I had some protection because of that. I keep myself to myself mostly and am working over Zoom at present but how small the world is and the explosion of this virus has shown us that we need to think differently now and protect the environment more. I see it as a lesson, but will those in power heed that lesson?
Sorry about the length of this response Eden, but felt it was the only way to explain my testing experience. I'm waiting eagerly for it to arrive in the mail!
Brian www.briangeorge.co/
Bill Kirton said…
Truly glad (although not surprised) to hear the results were so positive and I understand so well the relief at being able to dispense (and receive) the occasional hug. Consider mine sent to both you and John.
You know that, despite appearances, I don't treat this crisis lightly, but I can't resist responding to one expression in your post. You write that 'The forecast had called for a tornado'. When my wife and I spent several months in the USA a few years ago, my response to weathermen and women 'calling for' storms, tornadoes, etc. was always to say to the TV 'Well stop bloody calling for them, then'. Sorry, I'm not trivialising your post. You set an example we all should follow.
Zenesis Design said…
Thank you for sharing your experience! I'm glad and relieved to know you're both well and I hope the trend continues.

Hugs,
Michael
Eden Baylee said…
Hi Michael, thanks so much for adding your comment here. :D We are relieved by the results and hope it stays that way too. Big hugs to you and yours also, xox
eden
Eden Baylee said…
Hi Rahul, thank you for reading and letting me know you liked the piece.

Really appreciate it,
eden
Eden Baylee said…
Hi Bill, hahaha, funny line about the forecasters "calling" for storms/tornados. I never thought of it that way, but you're right!

I know you are taking the pandemic seriously, and like you, I'm in a fortunate position to have been living a pseduo isolated life even before lockdown. The transition has probably not been as difficult for me as it has been for some people.

Virtual hugs received on this side of the pond, thanks xox
eden
Eden Baylee said…
Hi Brian, epic response. Thank you for taking the time to put down your thoughts. I think it's great that you're going to participate in the the study. Not only will you contribute to science, but you might find out if you have antibodies for the virus -- a win for both parties.

What Covid has highlighted for me is that people have vastly different thresholds when it comes to their health. It’s based on so many factors — age, life experience, existing health, knowledge ...

You can only do what is best for you, however, I cannot abide by those who are reckless with the health of others.

That’s where Covid has caused major division. It has emphasized a peculiar selfishness that is hard to explain — not the “I have a chocolate bar and I don’t want to share it with you” type of selfishness, but one akin to “I don’t want to inconvenience myself even if it can possibly save another person’s life.”

It’s an individualist/freedom-loving mentality, and this is showing itself to be the downfall in pockets of Canada, the USA, and other countries.

It’s manifested as anti-maskers, non-believers of the virus, conspiracy followers, etc.

I don’t think we deserve to survive as a species if we can't get it together to save ourselves.

Only time will tell.

Stay well, lovely, and keep me posted on your test results!
eden
Eden, it's great you were negative and felt able to hug your nearest and dearest safely, but I do feel slightly cynical about covid tests for healthy people with no symptoms since (as you rightly point out) a negative result only proves you did not have covid at the time of testing. On the other hand, my mum - an 89 year old stroke victim in a nursing home with breathing difficulty & heart trouble among other things - tested positive for covid last month, but still has zero symptoms. A reliable antibody test, however, would seem useful for healthy people (who might already have had covid without knowing it). Knowing that you have some immunity, and are therefore unlikely to catch and spread the disease further, would help enormously for people getting back to work and normal life.

As for masks, apparently the WHO changed its advice to governments in mid July due to political lobbying, not any change in the science... which I understand remains the same as before, i.e. back when the WHO were saying that there was no advantage in the general population wearing them. Yet face coverings become law here tomorrow in all shops and supermarkets, which means in theory you can get fined £100 for doing your essential food shopping if you don't (or can't) wear one. I am curious to see what happens in practice.
Eden Baylee said…
Hi Katherine, agree re: testing for immunity. A month ago, blood samples collected from thousands of Canadians were being tested for signs of the COVID-19 antibodies. Based on what I've read, the actual infection rate is 10 to 20 times more than the number of confirmed cases, so this is prudent research. We should have some results on this by end of the month. It will be much longer, however, before we know what kind of protection against future infection having the antibodies provides.

As for wearing masks, our top med expert flip flopped on this too - at first saying it wasn't helpful, then saying it 'could' help, and now advocating for its use. Our laws have mandated masks for all indoor venues. In following the science, I'm wearing a mask whenever I cannot socially distance. I will wear indoors because I believe the science, not just because it's the law and you can be fined.

The WHO is made up of humans, so I'll cut them some slack they didn't have all the answers immediately. I figure they had to adjust recommendations as they learned more. Perhaps it had to do with supply, not sure. I suppose I err on the side of caution given my higher risk and that for me, it is merely an inconvenience. If by doing this simple act, I'm not spreading the virus, then I'm fine with it.

Hope you're well :D
eden

D.L. Finn said…
I'm happy your tests came back negative, Eden:) it does seem fittimg to do it in the middle of a storm.My results thankfully came back nagative, only bronchitis, but it took 12 days to hunt down the results here. Stay safe.
Eden Baylee said…
Hi Denise, Yes, a storm seems fitting for testing a stormy existence, doesn't it? ;)

I'm relieved yours was bronchitis and nothing worse. xox

Please take care and thanks for commenting.

eden

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