My Experience Getting Tested for COVID

I’m one of those people who overthinks everything. A cough or the sniffles and I become very anxious about whether I may have unknowingly been exposed to the virus (or worse, exposed others to it). Despite staying home and only going out when I need to and appropriately social distancing. However, I also know that tests are in short supply and I shouldn’t get tested unless I needed to.

My sister and I have talked about needing to visit my mom for months. She has some health issues and it’s hard for her to travel, so any time we can spend with her is critical. We originally planned to visit her in March, but we ended up cancelling as a precaution (narrator: she should have just gone in March). After 5 months, we got to a point where seeing her is a necessity. She lives with my aunt and grandmother, so visiting her gives them some much needed time off caring for her, but we wanted to make sure neither of us were exposed to COVID before planning a visit.

I booked my test for a Tuesday in the morning through the City of Austin. The testing site is a drive through site so I stayed in my car the entire time. Here’s how the process works: you drive up, show your QR code confirming your appointment, and your ID. You go through a series of checkpoints, keeping your window up and your mask on until you get to the testing point. At the testing point, they confirm your ID again, have you roll down your window slightly, have you blow your nose, and then they shove a q-tip shaped swab up your nose for what feels like forever, but is probably only 15 seconds. You roll up your window, wipe away your tears, and go home.

Was it the worst experience? No. But I walked drove away knowing that I didn’t want to do it again… Until I had to.

The day I got tested, I happened to come down with a stomach bug. I spent the rest of the week curled up in a ball not feeling great. After a few days, I came down with some sinus pain, sore throat, and a cough. My test results came back on Thursday, negative. After several more days of feeling awful, I decided to go to urgent care to get something to treat the sinus infection I thought I had. That’s when I got the news: THEY WANTED ME TO GET TESTED FOR COVID AGAIN.

The process was relatively similar, though they went in for 10 seconds in each nostril. I teared up a little, but who wouldn’t when you feel the sensation of a cotton swab basically scratching your brain? Again, not the worst experience in the world, but if I never have to do it again, I’d be a okay with it.

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