I woke up on Sunday with a cold. My baby also had a runny nose. Neither of us had a fever, so I wasn’t concerned. As the weekend ended, and I looked at my calendar, I noticed a family dinner on Friday. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings I planned to practice yoga in the studio with others. I realized that I would not feel comfortable doing any of these things without confirming that I don’t have Covid-19.
On Monday, I went to the City of New Orleans’ website to research testing options. I found a site that was administering tests with rapid, same day results. Reluctantly, I filled out a brief survey to find out if I was eligible. Despite having none of the symptoms on the questionnaire (stuffy nose is not one of them), I was eligible simply because I live in an area with community spread of Covid. The test was free. All I had to do was make an appointment. The first available was the next morning.
Yesterday morning, I drove 20 minutes to a closed Walgreen’s location that serves as a drive-through test center. I waited behind about seven cars for half an hour. The site was manned by National Guard members, which was a little ominous. But otherwise, the experience was uneventful. I put my Driver’s license up to the window of my car for a volunteer to confirm my identity and reservation. She stood 6 feet back so that I could roll down my window to receive instructions. She gave me a disclosure pamphlet with information about my results. From that I learned that I was taking the Abbott Labs rapid test.
When my turn arrived, I drove up to a folding table upon which a plastic container held a nasal swab. The attendant instructed me to open the swab, insert it one-inch inside each nostril, and circle around five times. I covered the swab, placed it in the plastic bin, then returned it to the table. Easy peasy.
Three hours later, while participating in a Zoom board meeting, I received an email with my results … Negative.
This negative result gives me peace of mind to continue my limited interactions with others. Although I never actually believed I had Covid, there are many stories of asymptomatic or mild cases. I wanted to know for sure. Of course, I could pick up the virus any time, so I will continue to wear my mask when around others outside of my household and will practice social distancing.
I am sharing this to let you know that (at least in New Orleans) testing is free, available, noninvasive, and easy.
Now, time to go get my flu shot.