Octo𝘣𝘦𝘳 16, 2020

My sister and Brother in Law are retired and have become snowbirds.  They live in Maine and have a sister in Florida, so that is usually their first stop.  Next, they loop south into Texas and then up to see mom in Kansas.  They were in Texas when everything started closing across the nation and bypassed Kansas to get home before the lockdowns.  Even before these annual trips my sister had been coming to see mom around her birthday (end of February).  Since the parks have reopened, they decided be safe and camp on the way to see mom around my sister’s birthday (end of October).  Since mom has basically quarantined the last seven months, they thought it would be good to get tested before they came.

This last week I took the opportunity to get tested.  There are three different testing sites in our area.  One was appointment only, another took no insurance, and the third was out of network.  I called the third and was told they took my insurance and explained what I would need to just “come right in.”  When I arrived, I masked and went inside.  They gave me the usual paperwork and disclaimers.  I filled these out in the car, took them inside, and was told they would call when they were ready.  I waited “patiently” in the car for the next hour and 20 minutes.  They finally called, took more information, and then asked me to come inside.  The test itself only took 20 minutes, and most of that was again waiting in a room.  This was not the rapid drive through test I had heard about.  It seems everything takes more time now.  I quarantined waiting for the results.

Having gotten their tests, my sister and brother in law took off for Kansas last weekend.  They learned the results would be back in three days, but this was “business days.”  That meant sleeping another night in their car in a state park.  There were few people camped and it was easy to distance, but still they stayed as far from others as they could.  The results were still not available when they arrived, so they visited masked and distanced on the porch.  When the results did come my sister was not included.  Apparently, the test was incorrectly processed.  After taking so many precautions they still had to continue to distance.  She got retested on Thursday and should soon know it is safe.

𝗧𝗛𝗢𝗨𝗚𝗛𝗧𝗦:  I had the option of taking the rapid antigen test or the molecular test (RT-PCR).  The rapid test gets results in around 30 minutes and you generally wait.  The molecular test takes 2-3 days (in our area) to process.  I chose the molecular test because it was more accurate.  While a positive quick test confirms you have the virus, it can also give a false negative and it is recommended to retest to make sure.  I figured since I had come this far, I might as well be sure (I refrained from saying “positive” for obvious reasons).  We have an obligation to not only protect ourselves, but to protects those we love.  Part of that obligation comes with letting others know how much we care, and we show we care by protecting them.  The way to control the virus is clear:  distance, mask, test, quarantine, and contact trace.  By the way, I was negative.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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