A few days ago I woke up with a sore throat and a runny nose. Given the concern about COVID-19 at the moment I thought I would see how it was the next day.
The next day it was still with me so I gave Healthline a call at about 9:30am. They listened to my symptoms and recommended I get a test. The test was available within an hour, so I hopped on my bike and cycled to the testing centre (15 minutes by bike from my house).
When I arrived they gave me a face mask, which I found hilariously difficult to put on. I waited in line (appropriately distanced) for a few minutes while the people ahead of me got tested.
The test itself involved a swab on both sides of the back of my throat around the tonsils and one swab right at the back of my nostril (it just keeps going further back than you think your nostril even goes). It was pretty uncomfortable, but was over with pretty quickly, and overall wasn’t as bad as I expected.
All the testing was done and dusted by 10:40 am. So I went home and waited for the test results which they said should arrive within 48 hours. The strangest thing about the whole experience is I had to self-isolate from my wife who I share a house with!
The next evening I got a text saying I had tested negative, but should self-isolate for 48 hours until after my final symptoms just in case it was a false-positive.
The whole thing may have been a bit overkill, but I’m glad to have contributed to surveillance of the virus to make sure it’s not lurking undetected around NZ. I’m also extremely glad to be in a country which seems to have gotten COVID under control through an effective lockdown, and where we’ve also got easy to access free testing. It’s quite strange to read online about other countries like the UK or the US where it seems to be difficult to get tested, yet I can have a sniffle and sore throat and that meets our criteria.
Thanks to all the nurses and healthcare professionals who made testing so easy — keep up the good work!