I spend one hour a week waiting – slightly anxiously. If you recognise the items in the picture below, you will have already guessed what it is I am waiting for.
Twice a week, patient facing NHS staff, care providers and other health workers take what many know as a Lateral Flow Test or a Antigen Rapid Qualitative Test to detect if we might be carrying …you know. If we test positive, we would be sent for a different kind of test that is more accurate.
So far my results have been negative, negative, negative. Looking at this picture you might be unsure because it looks as if the red line is between the C and the T, but if the camera was directly over the test cartridge you would see that it is on C – which means negative.
This is the new routine. I have not had any symptoms of the virus. But whether or not we have symptoms (as we know there are a lot of people who have the virus and have no symptoms) we still test and then we report the results on the government website. We are getting used to the new routine.
We have all had to do things we have never done before, we have all had to make small adjustments and major changes. We have all made sacrifices. We have all felt a little nervous. It is strange for us. Having a swab stuck up both of your nostrils twice a week and waiting for the results is not something I relish. But it is important. So is wearing that face mask, washing those hands and staying at home (unless you are taking your local daily exercise, picking up essential shopping or you cannot work from home – key workers certainly cannot!)
I think it’s obvious that many are feeling weary of the pandemic – but I promise you – any weariness you may be feeling is nothing compared to the way NHS staff feel after a shift of more than twelve hours on their feet and donned in full PPE, seeing people suffering agony.
So please….please stick at it. Stick to the rules. Don’t look for loopholes or look at other people who are breaking or bending the rules. Please just stay home and stay safe.