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Surviving the COVID-19 Test

Taking a free, drive through COVID-19 test exposed my weaknesses as an old person.

The free testing began at 7:00 am. After reading all the stories about people waiting in line for hours, I told my husband we would be IN LINE by 6:30 am. As I have aged, I have become more and more nervous about time issues. Off we went, Sudoku puzzles and coffee mugs in hand with snacks to sustain us in case we would be there for hours. We arrived at the civic center parking lot and took our spot as number 5 in line. I expected to be about number 50 so this was pleasant surprise.

I was reminded of the time we visited our son in Chile. We were spending a few days in a remote part of the country and had to travel to a distant local airport for a connecting flight back to Santiago. I insisted we leave 5 hours early. We easily got to the airport by bus only to discover the terminal was not yet open. For two hours we sat on the curb. If looks could kill, my son would have committed matricide.

The COVID-19 testing started on time. I see my family doctor at the testing tent. I immediately open my cell phone photos to the many, many pictures of my new grandson. Dr. Rosie delivered my daughter and I know she wants to see pictures of my daughter’s baby. Just before we arrive at the station, Dr. Rosie disappears. I think she anticipated me bombarding her with baby pictures and beat a hasty retreat. Just in case Dr. Rosie reads my blog I am inserting a picture of Molly and Leo.

Dr. Rosie delivered Molly, shown here with Leo

Testing for COVID-19 involves inserting a 6-inch long swab through the nose to detect if the nasty virus is hunkered down in the respiratory system. There is some discomfort but the procedure is fast. What really hurts is thinking of the pain suffered by the 150,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19 and the thousands more struggling to recover.

The whole process took 45 minutes (including our 30 minute early arrival time). We returned home, snacks untouched. We left the volunteers and folks administering the tests to suffer through one of the hottest days of the summer. The temperature passed 90 degrees by noon. All the staff were swathed in protective gear so the heat must have been unbearable.

We received a little card with the web site address of where we could learn the results within 24-72 hours. . The second characteristic of my getting older kicked in: I am more and more impatient. At precisely hour 25, I started going to the web. I was dogged in my determination to get the results. I went to the site early and often. It took about 8 tries before the results were available. Good news: no Covid! The most depressing part of getting my results was entering my date of birth using the scroll down menu. Whoa. I REALLY had to scroll down since the list started in year 2020 and I had to get all the way to 1948. It was like watching my life flash before my eyes: 2020….1990….1980….1970……1950….1950…1948. My spirit sagged with each decade I passed.

No matter. I may be old but I am Covid free.

For now.

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