Monday, January 24, 2022

Two Years Into the Worst Pandemic in Over 100 Years, Why Haven't We Figured Out Testing Yet?

On Sunday, I went to visit my 90-year-old mother at her retirement community.  When I arrived, I found her on the couch coughing.  I decided to go out and look for a rapid Covid-19 test and was pleased to find my local Walgreens had several tests in stock.  I obtained one (which actually had two tests inside) and went back to test her.

She tested positive.  I reported the result to my family.  Then a friend suggested I use the second one to test myself.  I had not planned on doing that since I didn't have any symptoms, but I figured why not?  I was surprised when I also tested positive.

Surely that wasn't right, so I returned to Walgreens and obtained another Covid-19 rapid test, this time a different brand.  But once again my mother and I tested positive.

My mother's only symptom then and now is the cough, which by now has decreased.  My only symptom is a very slight nasal congestion and an occasional cough which I believed, and still believe, is the result of an environmental allergy I always get this time of year.  Other than that, my mother and I feel perfectly fine.  I should mention we are both vaccinated and have been boosted.

I have a mistrust for the home rapid (antigen) tests.  They have a high error rate, although the most common error is false negatives, not false positives.  So, I called my doctor to schedule a more accurate PCR test.  I drove out to the clinic and was tested.  After the nurse took my sample, she told me it would take four days to get the result.  Apparently, some chemical used to conduct the PCR test is in short supply. 

Four days?  Are you kidding me?  Covid-19 might well run its course in five days. The test result will be so dated by then, it will be worthless.

So, we are two years into the worst pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Flu and we still haven't figured out testing?  First, President Trump doesn't want to test because doing so will inflate the case numbers.  Then President Biden bets everything on vaccinations while ignoring testing.  Only lately has Biden switched gears, a necessary move because so many people have refused to get vaccinated, many of whom choose to believe ridiculous conspiracy theories over science.

Probably the Covid-19 pandemic will end this year.  When it does, we need some serious reflection on how our government leaders dropped the ball in protecting Americans and how we can make sure it never happens again.

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