My First COVID Test…and Dogs

On Sunday, my company hosted an event for around 70 full-vaccinated, masked attendees. It marked the first time I’ve been around that many people in nearly 2 years, and despite those precautions, I wanted to make sure I hadn’t somehow contracted COVID and potentially spreading it to others.

So on Tuesday I took my first COVID test.

That’s right, first time! Megan and I have been so cautious over the last year that we haven’t even been close to a possible exposure, so we didn’t see a need to get tested.

Also, in the rare times when I looked into getting a COVID test, pharmacy websites seemed to discourage me from doing so, saying that if there was no cause for concern (symptoms or potential exposure), I shouldn’t come in.

However, I didn’t know that there are now home tests available for around $20 (two tests per pack of BinaxNow). A friend just told us about them a few weeks ago. Apparently these types of tests are even more common and less expensive in other countries, but $10 for a test in the comfort of our home isn’t bad.

The test itself also isn’t bad. The instructions are precise and clear, the nasal swap is a little uncomfortable but only lasts a few seconds, and in 15 minutes you have the result.

Mine was negative, by the way. And negative again when I double checked and took a second test today.

As for the dogs, I’d recommend listening to the Revisionist History episode about dogs who are trained to sniff out COVID cases. It’s remarkable, and I actually looked into hiring such a dog for Design Day, but I couldn’t find one in the area. It would be really neat if anyone could have their dog to get trained for COVID testing, though.

What has your experience been with COVID testing? Have you tried a home test?

8 thoughts on “My First COVID Test…and Dogs”

  1. February – traveled to Washington state. Came home with COVID but didn’t know. Couldn’t breathe, went to the ER, tested positive. Very sick. Stayed in the hospital but stayed out of the ICU and off a ventilator.
    March/April – two Moderna shots
    July – felt kind of crummy, realized my sense of taste was gone, got tested. Positive for COVID Delta. Didn’t need hospitalization but sick for a week.
    August – consulted with my pulminologist, he recommended a”cross booster” so on August 11, I got a J&J vaccine.
    I guess I’m super immune but I still wear a KN95 mask whenever I’m out in public. I’ve worn masks since the beginning so I’m still not sure how I got sick twice, especially since everyone in my family tested negative multiple times!

    Reply
      • Me too! I really want to play a few board games before Team Geek at BGG.CON! By the way, we have really enjoyed Wingspan on the Nintendo Switch while all cooped up. Thanks so much for making it available on that platform. I wish the expansion was available as downloadable content; I’d pay for it.

        Reply
  2. Well since you asked… 🙂

    I’m an essential caregiver for my mom age 93 (and my late dad who passed away several weeks ago at age 95, not Covid) in a long term care home so I’ve been tested for Covid many, many times. I’ve never tested positive fortunately.

    When I started, I had to go to a testing centre to get a pcr test which would take 3 days & I’d have to log in a provincial website to see the results. Then the same test was available in pharmacies. Eventually my province had the long term care homes hire a nurse just to give rapid antigen tests (which only take 15 minutes for the result). All of these tests involved long nasal swabs and were uncomfortable. Eventually Canada ran out of these long swabs so they switched the testing with shorter swabs, a swab in the throat and around the nostrils (considerably more comfortable). I’ve haven’t tried a home test as they haven’t been available here for long and the long term care home’s nurse has to administer the test I’m required to get (like all the staff & visitors.)

    When they let us back in the homes, family caregivers had to wear full ppe – gown, gloves, eye shield and mask. Then it was eye shield & a mask. After I was 2 weeks fully vaccinated, then it was just the mask & showing proof of vaccination. If a floor goes into outbreak, it’s back to full ppe.

    Testing was every other day at first, then 2 x a week then weekly. Now with Delta and cases increasing, it’s now up to 2 x per week.

    Considering the home was badly hit in the second wave (they lost 25 people) before vaccinations were available here, I understand the need for frequent testing. My mom was one of the lucky ones, she got Covid but remained asymptomatic except for a loss in appetite. My dad’s retirement home never got a resident case and he never got it. He didn’t get in the hospital either (6 weeks) and moved into my mom’s long term care home 5 weeks before his death.

    I’m older myself (65), higher risk (Type 2 diabetic with obstructive sleep apnea) and since I’m frequently helping with my mom and around vulnerable elderly people, I’m really cautious.

    Reply
  3. Jamey,

    I’ve only had three tests…the first last year before a medical procedure and it was conducted by an RN. She was great and admittedly tickled. No COVID…great!

    Before we got together with family at Christmas time and two weeks ago, even though we’re fully vaccinated, at the request of a friend because we would all share a house in Hilton Head with kids under 12. Both times, self-administered and again, no COVID.

    While the numbers of adults with at least one shot is encouraging (71%), it’s probably not a bad idea to keep the test centers open and allow folks to test as frequently as desired so we can finally turn the corner on this pandemic.

    Cheers,
    Joe

    Reply
  4. I work in a school in the UK so I’ve lost count of the number of Covid tests I’ve done. Even when in-person schooling was confined to the children of key workers, at the start of the year, I was going in. We are provided with free lateral flow tests through the NHS and all staff test twice weekly. I’ve also had numerous PCR tests if I’ve had a sore throat etc. (Also free) I finally caught Covid last month from my 22 year old daughter who works as a beauty therapist. Luckily myself and my 59 year old husband only had mild symptoms since we are lucky to have been double vaccinated. My daughter felt worse since she had only received the first one due to the timing from her age a new waiting between jabs. We are all fine now though.

    Reply

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