The Stress of the COVID-19 Test

Recently, my apartment complex had to be tested for COVID-19 as a result of wastewater testing and I have a little story to share regarding that. Good news is, I’m negative, first of all. Second, I hope you are all staying healthy and doing the best you can to stay sane and optimistic during these weird times in the world.

Story time!! I received an email from my university’s housing services requiring mandatory COVID-19 testing. Understandable. I scheduled my test and was able to get in the next day. The test was self-administered meaning that I had the joy and pleasure of sticking a swab up my nose til I felt a little bit of pressure and then swirling it around a few times on both sides. Following that, I had to carefully break off the little tip with all my nose gunk on it and seal it in a little tube with some liquid and then place my tube in a biohazard bag that then went into a little cooler. Easy peasy. Yes it did hurt a little, but I’m thankful that my school offered a quick and free test for students. I hope following that experience, I never have to be tested again, but only time will tell.

The test itself wasn’t difficult, as I mentioned, it was the thoughts that led up to my test and those that followed as I waited for my results back. The convenient thing about the testing ordered by my university, was the turn-around of results. I heard back that my test was negative a little after 24 hours. I absolutely DREADED waiting to get my results back though. Yes, I have been asymptomatic. Yes, I have been wearing my mask and following all CDC guidelines and procedures to the best of my ability. Yes, I have been doing whatever I can to maintain a happy and healthy physical and mental state. But still, the thought of, “What if I have this virus and have to quarantine in my apartment all by myself?” loomed over me from the moment I got the email requiring testing to the moment I got the email with my results back. I had all this anxiety and nervousness about what I would have to do if I did have COVID-19 and I absolutely hated how on-edge and stressed out I was.

Like I said, I was pretty confident that I didn’t have the virus, but I thought a lot about, “Well, what if you’re just not showing symptoms? But you might be the kind of person to show symptoms, considering that you have asthma.” And then my head went in the direction of, “What if you really are forced to quarantine? Are we going to have enough food for two weeks?! What do I do if I can’t leave my apartment to get food but I’m all out?!” There was just a lot of unnecessary stress and panic. Maybe some of you can relate. The feeling of not knowing is a really scary and stressful feeling. In the end, I am grateful for my health and that negative result.

I’m not quite sure what can be done to alleviate the stress associated with being tested for COVID-19, or if anyone else has felt like they were in a similar situation, but it would be interesting to know how you all are dealing with this. And if you have been tested, how has that been? I just hope you all are staying happy and healthy. Take care of yourselves this week!! See you next Sunday. 🙂

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