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LIZ DREIER | Testing, testing ...

Liz Dreier
Liz Dreier

Our oldest daughter sent a text message one evening to let us know that she planned to visit for the holidays.

“I’m gonna go get a COVID test tonight just to be safe,” she informed us. “I looked, and the drugstore near you has them. Would you guys be willing to do one? It’s super easy and you do it at home and it takes 15 minutes.”

Having lived on the planet for a number of years now, I knew right away that:

  1. The drugstore probably didn’t have the tests;
  2. Nothing is super easy, and
  3. It was going to take way longer than 15 minutes.

I was right on all counts.

A trip to the aforementioned pharmacy the next morning turned up zilch. Our daughter, who was driving to Ohio from North Carolina, wouldn’t make her decision about the trip until she heard from us about the COVID tests. Since there was a bit of a time issue, I wanted to move on this project quickly. There was just one problem: My sidekick, Mr. Enthusiasm, was dragging his heels big time.

“Do we really have to do this?”

“Would you like some cheese with your whine? Yes, we have to do this if we want to see our daughter.”

I searched online and found a pharmacy that still had the test in stock. We waited at the checkout far too long, but we got what we came for and headed home. I spread everything on the dining room table.

“You go first,” my husband said.

“Why don’t we both do this at the same time?”

“If yours turns out negative, then I don’t see any reason why I need to take the test.”

“Oh no you don’t! You aren’t getting out of it that easily. We are BOTH taking this test.”

While he read the newspaper, I read the test instructions. That alone took 10 minutes. I was nervous about doing things right. I set up my little test tube, swabbed my nostrils as directed (which made me sneeze), mixed my snot into the testing solution, dropped the disgusting brew into the result wand, and waited 15 minutes. Every so often, my husband walked over to the table to check the results.

“It looks good so far,” he announced.

“It’s not valid until the timer rings.”

At the 15 minute mark, the test result was negative. My husband looked over my shoulder to see what was happening.

“Okay, Mr. Impatience. Your turn.”

“How do you know if the thing is up your nose far enough?”

“Stop when you reach your brain.”

He sneezed his way through the swabbing, then deposited the goo into the receptacle. The test was negative.

Including travel time and complaints from the peanut gallery, the test that should have taken fifteen minutes actually took an hour and a half out of our lives.

If it means we get to see our daughter, I’d say it’s worth it.

This story was originally published January 4, 2022 4:00 AM.

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